February 14, 2010
Traveling Gluten Free
As I have mentioned, I traveled to Nashville last week to attend the blogging conference, Blissdom ‘10. I had a great time, and I’m glad I went, but the whole eating thing wasn’t easy. As far as travel is concerned, it was a new situation for me. In the nine years that I have been gluten free I have traveled in various ways including:
- driving across the country and camping in our pop-up camper, cooking all my meals
- flying to destinations in the US and abroad, then staying with family or friends (this meant I had transportation and a kitchen once I arrived)
- driving to other cities where I stayed in a hotel or condo (driving allowed me to take along plenty of food, go to local grocery stores, and find restaurants where I was comfortable eating )
- I packed two suitcases. At first I thought one would be for clothes and one for food, but that’s not what I ended up doing. I packed a small carryon suitcase with a day’s worth of essential clothes and toiletries, my laptop, and anything else I had room for in order to free up space in my other suitcase for food. I put a few snacks in my purse for the trip.
- In my large suitcase I packed an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack, sliced cheese, baby carrots, celery sticks, zucchini slices, a small container of almond butter, and a small container of jelly. I also included plastic bags for ice once I got to the hotel.
- I packed other food items in plastic bags if there was a chance they could leak or in plastic boxes if they could get crushed. Those items included crackers, bread, homemade granola bars, Lara bars, nuts, dried mango, and fruit cups.
I was supposed to return home on Sunday, but was unable to because of the snow storm that hit Maryland on Saturday. I stayed in Nashville an extra day with Toni of The Happy Housewife. Sunday evening we decided to take a taxi to Outback Steakhouse, and I was able to enjoy another real meal that was gluten free.
The food I traveled with lasted just the right amount of time, even with the extra day. I did get tired of the food, especially the granola bars, but it was gluten-free food I could count on, and that was better than taking risks.
What are your travel tips?
He's excited that Starbucks in now offering an assortment of gluten free snacks. It will be nice to be able to grab something at the airport without having to be concerned with cross contamination.
The 2nd trip, we stayed at a relatives, with full kitchen access. There was a GF bakery a few blocks away, as well as access to amazing stores. But we still packed a lot of food.
I'm glad you did okay, Linda.
I also will only eat organic animal products. Consuming any product from an animal treated with RBGH will send me to the emergency room--no joke; it's happened more than once. It's not easy, to say the least.
In the states, I do an online search for Whole Foods and local health food stores before I leave. Like you, I also bring a few things along to fill in. I get along quite well.
Guam was the worst from an eating perspective (Otherwise, it was awesome!). I had a hard time finding what I needed and I wound up using my inhaler after reacting to some soy that had spilled on my rice. I should have avoided it, but I thought I could eat around it. Note to self: DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!
I survived, but I will avoid going out of the country unless I send food out ahead via FedEx(I had a connection in Tokyo, so no dairy, meat, fruit or veggies were allowed through customs). Something to keep in mind if you ever have to travel outside the US.
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