Whether you are on a gluten free diet out of medical necessity or simply prefer the gluten free lifestyle, finding foods when you travel can be challenging. Traveling gluten free can be challenging. These tips can help make it easy for you to stick to a gluten free menu, even when you are far from home. From packing extra snacks to researching menus ahead of time, these tips will help you stay gluten free on the go.
If you are traveling by car, set aside some space for non-perishable gluten free snacks. Include a variety and remove from the packaging if space is a concern. Bringing your own snacks ensures you always have an option, even if you are surrounded by gluten laden food choices. If you are flying it may be less expensive to ship snacks to your destination; your hotel can hold them until check-in.
Research Local Shopping Options
Take some time to search for national grocers or retailers who reliably stock gluten free foods – Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are national chains and heavily stock GF foods; if you can find one in your destination you can stock up when you arrive. Regional grocery chains often carry gluten free options as well – a quick Internet search prior to leaving home can expand your dining options in your destination.
Make Reservations and Requests
If you know where you want to dine, let the person taking your reservation know you need a gluten free meal. Giving the chef and kitchen advance notice not only makes it easier for them to meet your needs, it will likely improve the quality of your meal, too!
Ask Your Server
If you do not have a reservation, let your server know you have a dietary need; some menu items may not appear to have gluten but use flour in the preparation process. Sauces, foods that are sautéed and many meats have wheat flour added during the cooking process; your server can help identify the true gluten free items. In many cases, you can order a menu item to be specially prepared without gluten or order off menu entirely if you let the server know about your needs.
Review the List of Gluten Free Foods
You likely have your favorites but reviewing the foods that are gluten free before you leave home can expand your options while dining. If you are heading to a food festival or a regional event that specializes in a cuisine, it is helpful to know what foods typically contain hidden gluten.
Traveling gluten free is not difficult but may require a bit of advanced planning. If you want to accommodate your gluten free on the go needs, the extra time is well worth the effort.