One of my favorite things about the Nima sensor is the freedom it gives me to explore! Before Nima, traveling was something of a nightmare. Trips all but guaranteed I would be eating multiple meals out for at least a few days on end. And while I always did plenty of research before my trips, there was always the lingering fear that I would get exposed to gluten. I’m so grateful that Nima helps to bring the joy back to travel, and here are some tips to make sure your next trip with Nima is a breeze! 

Tip #1:  Plan Ahead

Before your trip, try to calculate about how many capsules you think you’ll need. I take into account how many times I plan on eating out and how many capsules I think I’ll use at each meal. From there, I know exactly how many capsules to take, though I always bring a few extra just in case! I never want to be caught anywhere short on capsules, so I always make sure to get my capsules well in advance before I leave.  

Tip #2: Research

While Nima makes eating out much less stressful, I still like to give myself the best chance of success by researching nearby celiac-friendly restaurants. Nima’s app and desktop databases are hugely helpful, as well as individual city guides. Especially for planned meals, such as family dinners – I always call ahead to ensure that the restaurant is capable of making a celiac-safe meal. Working ahead can help to ensure that your trip is full of all smiles!

Tip #3: Smart Packing

I always make sure to put my Nima sensor and capsules in my carry-on suitcase for a number of reasons. First, on the off chance my luggage gets lost, I don’t have to worry about not having my Nima with me. Second, when traveling in the winter and summer, the capsules may get exposed to extreme temperatures if in a checked bag. I also make sure that I pack my Nima fully charged, and I always have an extra charging cord and box just in case!  

Tip #4: Be Prepared

While obviously disappointing, I always prepare for the possibility of a gluten found result just in case! Every time I travel, I pack small pre-packaged snacks or meals that I can take with me to restaurants or keep at the hotel. Most hotels have mini fridges in their rooms, and often times, you can request to have a microwave brought up. Having “back-up” food just in case can help to make sure you don’t go hungry! 

Tip #5: Give back

Be sure to log your Nima tests on the app to help your fellow gluten-free travelers! Since I’ve gotten my Nima, I’ve travelled to eight states, and the Nima database has been an enormous help in every city. Knowing which restaurants have the capability to make a celiac-safe meal really eases a lot of fear and aids in planning. Just a few minutes of your time can truly make a difference for another traveler! 

Valerie Kraft is a Nima College Ambassador and food safety activist studying Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Valerie has been a leader in allergy advocacy work for young adults since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2015. Read more about Valerie here. Valerie

Nima College Ambassador, Vanderbilt University

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