general, Gluten-Free Travel Tips, Mexico

Gluten-Free Travel Nerves

It happen to the best of us!

Two weeks from today, I am heading to Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. This is a big trip because we haven’t seen my mother-in-law since May 2019 when my son was only 6 weeks old! The pandemic kept our family apart for way too long. Now we are vaxxed, boosted, and taking all of the extra travel precautions. We are ready to go!

I have to admit, I am a bit nervous for this trip. Even though I have been living with celiac disease for 40 years and have been traveling gluten-free my entire life, I still get pre-travel jitters. Some reasons this trip makes me slightly anxious…

➡️ There aren’t a lot of gluten-free options in this city. There are zero entries on the FindMeGlutenFree app or any of the other apps I use when traveling. (affiliate link) I have tried to do some research but have come up with nothing. Luckily my husband is my personal translator so he will do all of the question asking and label reading for me.

➡️ The last time I was in Querétaro, I wound up in the hospital. This was NOT gluten related but due to a water-borne illness I picked up in Mexico City. I was sicker than I ever remember being in my life. I got so dehydrated, I started hallucinating and fainted the first and only time in my entire life. (Great first impression for my future MIL) My then-boyfriend, now-husband took me to the hospital where I spent an entire day hooked up to an IV. Needless to say, it was a really rough trip and most of our sightseeing was cancelled.

➡️ It’s the holidays and we are visiting friends and family which means not a lot of control of food preparation. I will help my mother-in-law do grocery shopping and food prep at her house, but seeing friends is where things could get complicated with food.

➡️ Believe it or not, I have never traveled for Christmas! I am packing LOTS of food or the plane just in case we have any travel delays. And we all know you can’t rely on airport or airplane food.

That said, I am very excited to see family and finally explore Querétaro. It is a beautiful city full of history and it’s the holidays. The days are warm and it will be wonderful to explore with my son and husband.

If you have any gluten-free recommendations for Querétaro or products to look for in Mexico, I am open to all suggestions. Thanks in advance!

NOTE: I am not posting this to discourage you from traveling with celiac disease. In fact, I am doing quite the opposite. I want to ENCOUARGE you to travel. I just wanted you to know that even those of us who have been doing this for a VERY long time get nervous sometimes too. You are not alone.

A few pictures from Querétaro including one of the only pictures of me upright the entire trip!

7 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Travel Nerves”

  1. Hi Erin,. I have a life long friend who is Mexican. She will only drink water, also for her cooking, from a home delivered water unit. But, there is always the safety of corn tortillas and beans making sure you avoid street food. I do understand your apprehension which I also experience when travelling. Bon Voyage and Burn Viaje. Erica

  2. Erin,

    Traveling in this moment in time is exhausting and then to top it off you are the only Celiac in the family.

    That said, you know more than many of us because you have been a Celiac for 40 years and you got this.

    I’m Latina, but every latin American country has different ways to saying something or a word that is not shared in other Spanish speaking countries.

    Your discoveries and experience will help so many of us. My daughter has been well taken care of in all parts of Mexico (she is also fluent in Spanish), even street vendors were adamant if she could or could not eat the food and never once got sick.

    I sympathize with you about your last time there. Our honeymoon was in Mexico and I got violently sick (food poisoning) and was hospitalized for the entire day. While I was there they sent Howard out, luckily everyone knew he was married to me and took amazing care of him whilst I was being tended to.

    You have taught me to pack as much stuff as you can if going somewhere that is not food safe, so I do.

    Enjoy this journey and your familia will take amazing care of you, they don’t want to make you sick and you will be instrumental in showing how to be safe.


    Safe travels, Sani

    1. Thanks for sharing your comments and your honeymoon story. Getting sick on vacation is NEVER fun. Sounds like Howard took great care of you.


  3. I have lived in Mexico for 16 years now as a celiac. It’s much easier now than it used to be. People are aware of it and you can usually be accommodated in most places. The grocery stores are amazing with a large selection of gluten-free food. I live in the San Miguel de allende an area not far from where you’re going to be. Relax and enjoy this magical place. only drink bottled water even to brush your teeth.

    1. Hola Victoria! We might actually be in San Miguel de Allende one day since we had to cancel that part of my trip the last time I was there. I am definitely sticking to the bottled water. I made the mistake of having a cocktail in Mexico City which got me so sick. Never again! Gracias.

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