Updated: Mar 3
So, you are going away on a fabulous vacation! You are so excited, and then you start to feel the worry seeping in. Where will you eat? What if you get sick? You need to do a “Full Investigation.”
Tip 1: The Investigation begins…
The first place I start is Facebook groups. I look for gluten-free/celiac groups near or in the place I’m going and join. I start searching for restaurants that are recommended. If I can’t find the answer to my specific question I post my question to the group.
I also began searching on Find Me Gluten Free. I make a list of places that have high reviews. Then I cross-reference the restaurants I find on the app to what I found on Facebook groups. I can also ask questions in the Facebook group about specific places.
Once I find some restaurants I'm interested in, I review the restaurant location and their menus. I compare this to where I’m staying and sightseeing. Trying to find a restaurant that will suit everyone’s needs is tricky. We need not only gluten and gluten-free but also for a picky child!
Tip 2: Don’t leave home without…
Once I have a tentative plan of where we might be able to eat and I have thoroughly investigated all the restaurants I start to think of what I need to bring with me. My youngest child eats just about EVERYTHING with Ranch. Since not all Ranch dressing is gluten-free we often travel with ranch. We also pack lots of snacks that do not need to be kept cold. (I don't have any issues with oats so you will see some of my go-to snacks include oats.) Here are a few examples:
· Ranch packs (Hidden Valley)
· Trail mix (Kar’s Sweet & Salty)
· Beef sticks/jerky (Vermont/Jack Links)
· Fruit snacks (Welch's)
· Kind bars of various types
· Honey Nut Cheerios
· Prepacked GF oatmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
Then I start thinking of medicine we may or may not need on our trip. As you know, not all over-the-counter medicine is gluten-free so I usually take the following medications with us.
I love Target because many of their generic brands are gluten-free!
Tip 3: Breath In, Breath Out…
My last tip is to take a deep breath! I have to remind myself of this. Traveling can be stressful and when you add gluten-free/Celiac to the list it adds to the stress. If my daughter or I get cross-contaminated it can ruin the whole trip. Getting sick is NOT fun, as you all know all too well. I put a quote on one of my bags that says “Travel more, Worry less.” This is my visual reminder. We can do this!
What are some of your favorite travel tips? What food and/or medicine do you pack for your trips? I’d love to hear what you bring. I’m always looking for more ideas!