Traveling Gluten Free and Grain Free, No Problem!
Traveling with food intolerance can create many challenges and is one of the biggest headaches we have to face. With a little forethought and good planning, your road trips can be painless, well as far as eating goes that is 🙂
The best thing you can do to avoid problems is to be well prepared. The first step in becoming prepared is planning ahead and avoiding the problems in the first place. It all begins with your destination. Are you visiting relatives/friends, camping, or staying in a hotel/resort? In this article I will provide you with some tips for road trips that can take the headache out of your journey.
Staying with relative/friend:
Staying with a relative or friend can be hassle free if they are on board with helping you stay faithful to your food restrictions. The best way to find out is to have open communications with them. Based on these discussions, you should know ahead of time the environment you will be staying and how accommodating your host will be to your needs. If they are not accommodating, I would recommend the tips that I will be providing for hotel stays and camping.
The following are questions you should have answered before you embark on your trip.
- Are you open to the use of your kitchen to make foods prepared for our food restrictions? (remember you will need to make sure it is well cleaned to prevent cross contamination)
- Do we need to bring any supplies with like pans, utensils, etc.?
- What grocery stores do you have nearby?
- Will you be willing to share space in you refrigerator and shelving for us to store our food?
Once you know the answers to these questions you will have a better idea of what you need to bring with and what you can get once you arrive at your destination. A tip that my family uses is to always bring a cooler with. even if you can share refrigerator space, you may want to bring items you are unsure you will find once you arrive.
Camping and hotel stays:
The larger challenge comes when you either camp or stay at a hotel. Choosing the right location is key. For camping, if you are able to choose a site with electric hook up, it will make the stay a lot easier. Here are some more helpful tips.
- When booking for a hotel, look for one with a kitchen/kitchenette. It will cost a bit more but the money you will save by making your own food will even out. Plus you won't have the risk of cross contamination or accidentally eating foods you are trying to avoid.
- Get a room with a refrigerator. If you can't find one in your destination, your cooler you brought with will come in handy. You will need to refresh the ice in it more often, but it is still manageable to keep refrigerated foods cool. (see why we bring a cooler when we travel) Also, most hotel refrigerators or smaller than normal unless you have a full kitchen. It's nice to have the extra space a cooler provides.
- Bring a slow cooker with you. Most hotels don't allow toaster ovens, but slow cookers are fine. You will be the envy of all the rooms around you as the meals you make give off their wonderful aroma.
- Make some of your meals ahead of time and bring your meats frozen. They make a great way of keeping your cooler cold as you drive to your destination without the headache and watery mess of using ice. Some ideas for this are frozen meats- roast, whole chickens; pre-made and frozen- taco meat, pulled pork, soups.
- Bring dishes, utensils, spices and other kitchen sundries the hotel or campground may not have.
- Silverware/sharp knives
- Can opener
- Garlic press
- Paper towels/coffee filters
- Cutting board
- Cheese cutter
- Dish soap
- Wine bottle opener
- Coffee grinder
- Water purifier (no need to get bottled water)
- Sugar (coconut)
- Coconut creamer
6. Plan meals ahead of time and stick to the plan.
Recently my family had a dance competition t a resort which took us from home for a week. We had a room with a full kitchen. Here is what we made for the week. All of it was gluten free, grain free and dairy free.
Pancakes with bacon
Sausage links with eggs
Sweet potato, sausage, and egg scramble
Sausage onion, mushroom, artichoke and kale egg bake
Sweet potato hash with rosemary and bacon
Tuna salad wraps (coconut wraps)
Pulled pork salad
Bacon hamburgers with green beans
Slow roasted chicken and vegetables
Roast beef with carrots, mushrooms, and onion
Pizza (homemade paleo crust)
Maple glazed rosemary salmon and broccoli
Steak and Greek salad
Chicken tenders with side salad
It takes a little more preparation and planning, but traveling grain free can be easy and enjoyable.
Want the menu plan and recipes? Sign up here to be notified of when my menu plans become available this fall. The recipes and shopping list for the meals in this post will be included in the meal plans.