The Mindful Traveler: 5 Tips to Travel Gluten Free
Posted by ivylau on August 15, 2014 - Leave a comment
If you’re on gluten-free diet and you’re headed out for some later summer family vacations, get ready for some inconvenience. It starts the minute you step into the airport.
I was at the San Francisco International (SFO) airport recently, taking a flight to DC. First stop was the market, where the only food they had that was gluten-free-beside some salad-were some gluten-free cup cakes. It’s way too early to eat a cup cake at 8 o’clock in the morning so I kept moving. I strolled down to several other shops, but didn’t see hardly any gluten free options.
Well (pat myself on the back) it was good that I came prepared. I’ve written about this subject before-traveling gluten free, challenges and tactics. (see this blog on #1: The Healthy Traveler: 5 Tips for Eating Your Way Across Asia (or anywhere) Gluten Free)
Here’s some quick tips:
#1 . Plan ahead. I always packed some gluten-free GF banana bread, gluten-free muffins or gluten-free scones before traveling (home-made or bought). The amount I actually brought on board depended on the flight or travel time, I measure food amounts accordingly; e.g. if I travel to Asia 14hrs, (see more about gluten-free travel across Asia) I will put half loaf of bread on my carry-on or 3 scones or muffins. Having gluten-free bread available on long flights was a lifesaver.
#2 – Bring your own snack. I also bring ample nuts and dry fruits for snack to supplement my meals. Don’t expect the airline to offer the snack you want (How many times have you gotten pretzels as snacks?). Except if you fly Virgin America, there are a lot of gluten free snack you can order.
#3 – Research for grocery stores near your destination. I always use Yelp or Google Maps to zero in on the gluten free grocery stores near my lodging. If the location has a WholeFoods nearby, I’m 99% sure I can buy gluten free groceries. If not, I will start search for other natural stores and call ahead to ask whether they have any basic gluten free items.
#4 – Research for restaurants. Going out to eat is always a fun experience for me; I love to try different types of food. Every city has its own special cultures and its specialty foods. But being gluten free, I just have to be really selective in which restaurants I can eat at, and be sure I avoid being glutened. Yelp is a good tool for helping me navigate these minefields, and some special focus gluten free websites sometimes offer regional information(ex: “Fearless Dining” at the San Francisco Bay area).
#5- Don’t be a penny pincher When I travel, I like to enjoy myself and with my family. I don’t mind using our hard earned money for extra special meals and restaurants. You’ve spent the time and money to travel, so enjoy it-you deserve it!
Visit us on our website www.ivysgardenfood.com for more delicious gluten free recipes, and to buy our Gluten Free Sweet & Sour Chicken, Gluten Free Lemon Chicken and Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets.