Tips (and Recipes) for Gluten-free/Grain-free Travel

except if it’s a mango…those buggers take time

By the time you read this I will be ON MY HOLIDAYS. And you can tell from my over-use of caps just how excited I am about that.

Seriously, I’ve been like an ADHD child-who’s-just-guzzled-six-colas-and-three-packets-of-chocolate excited. Poor hubby.

It being summer, I realise most of you are planning some jaunt somewhere and quite a few of you are grain or gluten-free.

This can be a travel nightmare and cause many to fall off the bandwagon and spend the latter part of their holidays with a rumbly digestive system as your body pays the price.

don’t worry, ‘drinking your own wee’ does not feature in my travel tips

But it needn’t be all doom and gloom, I’ve collected some handy tips and recipes that might help ease the burden and allow you to concentrate on the more important stuff – does that bikini make my ass look bigger or was it all those squats?

Traveling Tips

1. Prepare. Yes I know packing your suitcase, deciding if that shirt goes with those trousers and debating whether you’ll need that extra set of pyjamas (yes) seems like all you can handle in the pre-holiday ruckus but trust me, snacks are important and you’ll appreciate it later if you prepare now.

And by preparing I mean packing whatever food you’ve made ahead (see recipes below for some ideas) in handy containers, figuring out what you can take in your carry on luggage and estimating how much you’ll need.

2. Get comfortable with being that customer. Restaurants are very tuned into food intolerances and allergies these days but that doesn’t mean that all of them will put ‘gluten-free’ on their menu. Sometimes you just have to speak up and ask.

In general, be careful of things with sauces (they are often thickened with flour), alcohol with your meal (spirits are gluten-free but some cocktails and beers not so much) and desserts (again things can be thickened with gluten-laced additives). For a list of some chain restaurants that happily accommodate GF diners check here and here

3. If in doubt, go hungry. For some people the idea of being hungry is tantamount to torture, a violation of their human rights. This is nonsense. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you can eat something that you know is healthy and safely gluten-free. In fact, some studies suggest that Intermittent Fasting (as the health crowd call it) is actually good for you.

4. Check ahead. This also falls under the prepare category. If you are staying for bed and breakfast at a certain hotel, call and make sure they have a gluten-free option; research eating establishments nearby; if you have your eye on a certain restaurant, check out their menu online.

It all helps you make an informed decision.

5. Shop when you reach your destination. Most hotel rooms have a fridge – don’t be afraid to use it. Hit the grocery store when you arrive and get in some GF food so you can at least ensure you’ve access to ‘clean’ food whenever you need it.

6. Pack travel friendly snacks. Don’t do what I did and carry around a power bar made with coconut oil on a hot day. I reached into my bag and came out with sticky mess, it was not pretty.

Things that need refridgerated, things that are liquidy, fragile items, things made from perishable items like dairy foods – all of these are potential calamity while negotiating an airport/train station/bus depot.

GF Snacking:

  • You might want to make up a batch of these Chocolate Espresso Power Bars. With both chocolate and coffee, they’re probably going to deliver that boost of energy that a long haul flight requires.
  • Sweet n’ Salty Almonds are easy to carry, nutritious and energy-boosters. Yes, I’m plugging my own recipe but it’s my blog and be warned – that won’t be the last TMBL effort on this list.
  • Not just GF but vegan too, these chocolate chip cookies look pretty amazing. So amazing I’d probably eat them all the night before the trip but I’m weak.
  • I’m guessing mango scones would ease the pain of an early morning commute….
  • …as would these blueberry banana muffins
  • Quinoa cupcakes and superfood muffins are very portable and good to cram into the mouths of complaining children and/or spouses.
  • For an interesting twist on seeds as snacks, check out these Coconut Lime Candied Pepitas.
  • And for those that don’t have a sweet tooth (weirdos!), these plantain chips look delicious.
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9 thoughts on “Tips (and Recipes) for Gluten-free/Grain-free Travel

  1. Have a fantabulous holiday!

    I’m lactose intolerant and it’s pretty easy to substitute milk, cream and butter. I really feel for people who have to be gluten-free.

  2. Just got back from vacation. Hope yours was as great as ours! Great post — sharing with some friends that are gluten-free and will appreciate all the helpful traveling tips!!

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