I do quite a bit of traveling. I love travel, whether vacations, outdoor excursions, visiting family or even a last minute trip. But traveling can be stressful for me and involves quite a bit of planning. After our recent vacation, I’ve been thinking about some basic tips for traveling. Leaving your home, and your kitchen, can be overwhelming for those of us with special food needs. Here are a few pointers to make your trip as stress free as possible.
- Think about rentals: If you’re in the planning stages of your vacation, think about renting a condo as opposed to staying at a hotel. This way you can actually have your own kitchen so you don’t have to eat all of your meals out. And, quite often, a rental is a much more economical option. Cheaper housing and you’re not forced to dine out every meal.
- Call the hotel in advance: If you’re going to be staying in one place for an extended period of time, you want to make sure they can accommodate you. Particularly if you’re going to a nice place, they will absolutely bend over backward to meet your needs…and they should! It’s good to give them a heads up so they can be prepared and take whatever extra steps to make special treats for you!
- Do your research: Take advantage of technology and look online or use your iPhone to find restaurants, grocery stores, etc. that will be near where you are. See if there’s a local celiac support group near your vacation destination as they might have a great list of dining options for you to use.
- Ask for an empty fridge or check out your space in the mini-bar: When we arrived at the St. Regis, the fridge was stocked full with pricey beverages. David and I rearranged so that we could fit in yogurts, fruit, and hummus. Of course if you can get an empty fridge, that’s great too.
- Plan non-food related activities: When traveling, think about things that don’t involve food, such as hiking, horse back riding, rafting, etc. Then everyone in your party can enjoy them without worrying about their diet. Often, these are great outings on which to bring picnics!
- Bring snacks: Lara Bars, Glutino pretzels, and cereal are some of my go-to snacks that I include in carry on or suitcase. Sabra hummus now makes a great travel size packet that is perfect for taking on a plane. JIF makes travel size PB too. Your flying companions will be jealous while they pay too much for mediocre airplane food!
- Locate the nearest grocery store: David and I walked to Gelson’s on our first full day at lunch time to stock up on GF food. This way we could do a little shopping, plus get a lunch off of the hotel property for a much better price than pool-side Cobb salad.
What are some of your travel tips? Anything that you’ve found works well for you?