Traveling with any food allergy or restriction can be challenging, even tricky depending where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and who you are traveling with. Personally I love traveling, but the moment a trip comes up in topic, I kind of panic, and a million questions rush through my mind.
Will there be places to eat out? What are the grocery stores like? Do they have GF options? What does everyone else like to eat? Are we renting a car so I can go to the store? What should I just pack?
How I travel – I guess I can break this into two parts. How I travel via plane and via road trip!
Plane has more restrictions, since there are restrictions on what you can bring on a plane, and how much room you have to pack. I always have a carry-on with snacks, and if I have room in my checked luggage, I’ll pop some stuff in there.
Why keep food in my carry on? 2 reasons; it’s with me and I can snack on the plane since the bag of snacks they give out usually is a trail mix that has gluten in it. I’m set. Secondly Layovers. We had a layover in Saint Louis coming back from California. The terminal we flew into was a temporary one because a Tornado hit the regular terminal a few months earlier. It left us with a very desolate terminal with not a lot of options. The 2-3 food options were all fried and pre-made fast food, we had 2 hours sitting there, and luckily I had snacks to tie me over.
What do I pack; well any variety of these items I can pick up before the trip and fit in my bag – Nuts, Larabars, Kind Bars, Kind Granola, Raisins, Cookies, Pretzels, Crackers (who knows I may find cheese or salsa or guacamole to go with it), Skinny Pop individual bags, Pamela’s Figgy and Jammies, Corn Nuts, Gummy Bears and M&M’s. Last but not least my Toast-It Bags. I usually stay away from perishable items like bread or fruit because I’m not sure how long it will be until we get to our destination after flying. That kind of thing I look for Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s. If I find out what grocery chain they have, I’ll read reviews on how good their GF product line is to decide if it’s worth going there. Taking the Toast It bags allows me to pick up bread or anything that needs toasting and use a toaster at the hotel to make a quick breakfast item.
Bringing food in the car again has two benefits, you can snack as you’re on the road saving money if you stop at the gas station. But also depending where you’re traveling you may be stuck along the way to find safe GF options, or the destination may not have the best gf options for you. Traveling up to Tawas, Michigan was one of our adventures that 1st Tawas didn’t have the best GF selection in their grocery store unless I was baking/making from scratch. 2nd driving to Indianapolis from there, the route didn’t offer much for GF dinning without driving out of our way to find it, and on our tight schedule that wasn’t an option! Generally though road trips involve a group of people so I find every way possible to not be a total and udder nuisance to the group. I look up reviews on places we can dine out safely, and make a list so that everyone can decide what they want to eat. The group I travel with has some picky eaters, and there is no reason to make them go somewhere they don’t want to! It’s their vacation too, and their money their spending, so I’m not going to force them to eat somewhere they don’t want to. I bring a lot more perishable options when going by car; including bread, Kinnickinick donuts, a few slices or bread and English muffins, because I can pack them into a cooler to make sure they don’t get too warm before we get there. If we do eat breakfast in the hotel I have some options for myself as well. I also map out what grocery stores are at our destination so we can do a shopping trip to get things like lunch meat or cheese and check out what products I can’t find at home.