• This is a list of ten tips to help you travel gluten free. There are certainly many more. If you have any additional ideas, please include them in the comments section of this blog. There are many people who will benefit from this list and any suggestions that you might have.

    Ten Tips For Traveling Gluten Free

    1. Whether traveling a great distance from home or going out to do a few errands, always leave the house with food, even if it’s just a snack or two.

    2. If you’re going on a trip or traveling to another city for a day, use the internet to research gluten free restaurant options.

    3. Call restaurants during off-peak hours and speak to the manager. Ask questions like: Do you have a gluten free menu? Can you send, email or fax it to me? Is it posted at your website? Who can I speak to once I arrive to make sure that my dining experience is gluten free? Even if you don’t have a gluten free menu, can your kitchen accommodate me?

    4. Fortunately, there are more and more restaurants like Outback Steakhouse and PF Chang’s that have gluten free menus. They can be found in many cities across the United States. Become familiar with these restaurants – many of which are part of national chains. They can be a lifesaver when you’re on the road.

    5. Remember, just because a menu item says it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it will arrive at your table and be gluten free. If you have any concerns about your food not being gluten free, speak to your server and if necessary, send it back.

    6. If you are concerned about asking too many questions when your waiter or waitress takes your order, speak privately to the manager of the restaurant. Managers are usually quite willing and eager to make sure your dining experience is a good one and they will communicate your needs to your waitstaff.

    7. Find out where the closest grocery and health food stores are to wherever you’re traveling. If you won’t have a car at your disposal, ask the hotel if they have a van service that can bring you to the grocery store. Another option would be to take a cab to the store and stock up on foods that will tide you over as needed.

    8. If you travel frequently, especially for business, keep a food rider (that explains your food needs) on your computer and email it as needed to restaurants, catering halls, etc. Call ahead and speak to someone who can help make sure that your food needs are met.

    9. If you’re traveling by air, bring a doctor’s note saying that you need to be able to bring your own gluten free food on the plane.

    10. If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead and ask if they can supply a small dorm-sized refrigerator for your room. If not, fill the bathroom sink or tub with ice (every hotel floor has an ice machine) and put the food you brought with you from home into it.

    Do you have any great ideas that you can share for traveling gluten free?
    • Endless Possibilities

      Great tips!!! I didn’t think of a lot of those!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Dear Endless Possibilities – yup – and there’s more where those come from. We travel a lot and so are pretty good road warriors. Will post more at some point.

      ~Ellen

    • thewholegang

      Great tips! I like everyone you mentioned. I also try to stay somewhere with a mini kitchen so I can cook a couple of meals if it’s a longer stay then overnight. Thanks for getting these all in one place.

    • Anonymous
    • Gina

      I never thought of #10. So many times I’ve given up leftovers or refrained from bringing my own perishables – and I could have made my own ice chest in the tub! Thanks for the ideas.

    • Coco.nut Your Average Girl

      Hi, just found your blog. What a lovely blog it is! Lots of great recipes and info.
      I can totally relate to the stress of traveling with multiple food restrictions; it is always a big ordeal to go anywhere. And I married an Australian, so traveling is a must!
      We had an incident where we were staying in a hotel overnight and I had called ahead to order a mini-fridge for our room. Upon getting there, there was no fridge to be found!
      We went down to the front desk to ask about the fridge and they could not find one anywhere. After a few hours they called us saying they found one and when they brought it up, it had the most horridly strong smell of Febreze inside!! (We think there was some old food rotting inside when they found it, so they sprayed the heck out of it before bringing it to us)
      I had no choice but to keep my food in the fridge and eat cold, febreeze-flavored chicken breast and veggies that weekend.
      Just gotta laugh about it now :)

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Dear Gina – You’re most welcome! That’s the power of the internet – we share our ideas. I will be writing another 10 Tips list in a future post so stay tuned!

      Dear Coco.nut Your Average Girl,

      Yup, I can’t tell you how many times, despite my best efforts to call ahead, there still is no frig in our room, or the one they supply is disgusting (like in your example). That’s how I got the idea to make my own ice chest! Thanks for your story!

      best, Ellen

    • Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

      I am shortly off to England for 10 days… You just reminded me how much work I have ahead of me in getting ready to go.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Meghan,

      Safe traveling!

      ~Ellen

    • Gluten-Free in South Florida

      Great tips! I always travel with some snacks (GF pretzels, breakfast bars, or even just some peanut m&m's). #10 is great – I would have never thought to do that.

    • Ali (Whole Life Nutrition)

      This is great Ellen! I may link back to this post on my blog sometime in the future if that is OK with you.

      -Ali :)

    • Linda

      Those are great tips. I don’t travel very often, so when I do I forget to do some of those things. I’ll have to save your ideas and refer back to them.

    • jgoodfellow

      Thanks for sharing your tips!!!

      I often carry a tiny bottle of my own salad dressing (it’s small enough for one serving, and fits in my purse) when I’m travelling. That way I can always get a fresh salad if all else fails. Not every restaurant has a balsamic and olive oil dressing, so this way I don’t have to have a dressing-less salad :)

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Jgoodfellow,

      Great idea bringing your own container of salad dressing. Salad dressing, after all, can really make or break your salad! In a pinch, I ask for oil and a whole fresh lemon and then I use that for my salad.

      ~Ellen

    • Anonymous

      As the thrifty (cheap) Mom of a GF DS6 I travel with a cooler bag and refill the ice every morning. Amusement parks will allow you to enter with bags of food and snacks when you explain the need. It has also saved us a LOT of money bringing in a bunch of grapes and nuts. *see cheap*

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