In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, I asked my readers to contribute their gluten-free travel stories. I love all of the comments and entries I am getting from my dear readers. Although faced with challenges of being gluten-free, you are still traveling and that is what is most important. You, dear readers, have not let Celiac and the gluten-free lifestyle keep you down. You are jetsetting more than ever! Here is my first reader-submitted travel post. Thanks Diana!
by Diana S. from Chicago
These have been ups and downs to say the least. I’ve had some great travels, some that were miserable. All of my travel has been in the US. But next year I’m looking to start some international travel, so it should be interesting!
I always pack a ton of food when I travel, nuts, pretzels, cookies, larabars. I panic each time that I will get stranded.
I was spending a week in LA with friends. In the “agenda” of our trip I added a tab of GF restuarants I found on Urban Spoon, Gluten Free Travel Site, and reviews of LA. I also packed several packets of Tamari Soy Sauce and my multi languge travel cards and any travel size snacks I could keep in my purse. We also mapped out Drug Stores in case we need to get some Milk of magnesium (Helps reduce my pain when glutened) that luckily we never needed! (We all have smart phones, but felt much better having this written down and in hand)
Starting with the miserable…
I had a layover for 3 hours in St. Louis… I had pretzels, cookies, and nuts in my luggage… That was really my only option there. They had so few options it was unreal, everything was pre-made, breaded and fried. I could at least get something to drink, but i was starving when I got home!
Tawas, Michigan – went up for a week stay at a friend’s cottage. They stared at me like I was crazy, that I packed GF pasta, pancake mix, cookies, pretzels, brownie mix, and a few other items. Being such a small town there were VERY few options for eating out, and we ended up making a lot more food than expected. The grocery store had some mixes, but not much more… On the up side we did have some fun with the “non-cookers” trying their hand in the kitchen to make some interesting naturally GF meals. This years trip is centered around What can we learn to make.
Mackinaw City was a pretty similar situation… But we did find a place to eat that understood my situation, and made a very lovely salad! The drive home was pretty dismal until we found a Ruby Tuesdays for their squash pasta.
On to the good…
Grand Rapids, Michigan – We went to visit some friends, found TONS of places to eat on Urban Spoon. There is a GF section, it was fabulous.Everyone we talked to when dinning was so nice about it. I felt very welcomed and ate well. We tried some unique foods and have to go back again.
Southwest Airlines – Flying for work I was on a 3 hour flight with Southwest. They were passing out cookies and nuts. I told the stewardess I couldn’t eat the cookies, but the nuts were ok, she gave me handfuls of the packets of nuts. My boss is also really good if we are meeting with a client who insists on taking us to lunch or dinner, he’ll tell them up front, it has to over a GF menu, give me the name and Diana will contact them, and we’ll let you know. I’ve never met a client who was rude about it, it always starts an interesting meal conversation.
On a return flight from LA on American Airlines, I had brought back BabyCakes cupcakes for the family in Chicago. The flight was packed and we did not have room for the box with the cupcakes to lay flat. I talked to the stewardess who was a sweetheart, totally understood my situation and put them up in First class where there was room. As we were de-boarding she made sure to flag me down and make sure I got my cupcakes.
We do a lot of roadtrips and my Boyfriend and Brother are both really good at looking up our travel routes and telling me what cities we’ll pass thru, to see if I know of any places, or just looking up, “Hey there is xyz along the way, we’ll stop then..” I only travel with people who understand my situation, because it makes it so much more comfortable.
Send me your travel stories and I will post them on my blog throughout the month of May. Email me at gfglobetrotter @ gmail.com