Traveling gluten-free requires a set of rules and guidelines, take just one trip with several pitfalls and disappointments, and you’ll draft a checklist of things to remember for your next trip. The following tips, strategies, and suggestions will help you avoid many of the common mistakes and disappointments of inexperienced gluten-free travelers.
But first, remember that aside from the standard guidelines and rules that come with every gluten-free trip, you need to always arm yourself with five things before ever leaving the house, whether it is for business or pleasure: a plan, realistic expectations, flexibility, thinking outside the box, and willpower.
• Keep in mind that dining out may not always be the best option, so shopping at grocery stores and eating in your car or taking food back to your hotel room may be a safer and healthier option.
• Always bring some gluten-free food with you. Car trips have more available space, while airplane trips are more limiting, but carrying your snacks in baggies to eliminate boxes will save space. These snacks will often be lifesavers, and they may occasionally serve as meal replacements when gluten-free options are not as available as you would like.
• When new to the gluten-free lifestyle, reference tools can help you avoid mistakes, save time and eliminate frustration, particularly when hunger and desperation kick in. Bring ingredient lists on cards that can fit inside your wallet for quick reference.
• Have with you the contact information from the local celiac/gluten intolerance support group in the cities where you are traveling.
• If you’re staying in a condo with a kitchen, bring a good supply of groceries from home and eat there. Plan your meals ahead.
This saves time, money, research, and a lot of guesswork.
• Have notes and phone numbers for restaurants you have queried ahead of time for gluten-free menu options.