If you are a person, or a family, who is making an effort to eat healthier foods, I am sure you have found yourself at an airport, on a road trip, or vacationing in a new and unfamiliar town, with few nutritious options. It’s times such as these when many people may revert back to less healthy food choices.
But what if you have food sensitivities or allergies and making a poor choice simply isn’t an option? The repercussions of that choice could make you seriously ill.
Traveling with food allergies is a big topic that may involve a significant amount of prior planning that other people without allergies may not be accustomed to. We personally do things such as:
- Choosing a place to stay that is near a natural foods store
- Finding a place with a kitchen that allows us to cook many of our own meals
- Doing internet research in advance to find restaurants that might accommodate us best
- Dining out less but at higher quality restaurants; places are more likely to accommodate food allergies if the food is being prepared fresh and for you
- Preparing and carrying along a meal for each of us to take on the plane—both to and from our destination
But even with all this prior planning, traveling can be unpredictable and taking food along with you for your travel and your stay can make things much easier! This is why we wanted to share some of our favorite things that we personally take along with us.
I am breaking this list into two categories—1. grab-and-go-foods for your travel days and 2. staple-foods that you can take along to your destination. We personally avoid gluten and dairy, so you may need to adapt what is below to address the foods that you need to avoid.
Foods you can take with you on your travel days:
- Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, grapes are easily transportable)
- Cut veggies (carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery)
- Hummus singles
- Bars such as GoMacro, Kind…..whatever is your favorite 🙂
- Nut butter packets
- Dried fruits, fruit leathers
- Trail mix
- Seaweed snacks
- Applesauce packets
- Make or purchase snack size bags of almond flour crackers, rice crackers, pretzels, potato chips, popcorn
Staples you can take along to have once you arrive:
- More of all the above!
- Protein powders for you or your kids
- Teas (our favorites are rooibos, mint, and roasted dandelion root)
- Gluten-free breads (baked or purchased in advance), pastas, various whole grains, hot breakfast cereals, granola
- Life changing loaf, homemade muffins, bars, or allergy free bread
- Non-dairy milks such as hemp, rice, almond, etc. (although these can make your suitcase heavy!)
- Anything you may be unable to buy locally or that you or your children cannot live without!
How much you will need to purchase will depend on several factors: how much time you have to prepare & research before you travel, how long you’ll be away, and how familiar you are with the place you are visiting.
Roy and I are both creatures of habit and we can relax more with a certain amount of predictability. As a result, we often choose to travel to places we have been to before—where we know the restaurants we can safely dine, the stores where we can buy our healthy foods, and the accommodations we will have where we are staying. Not having to reinvent the wheel each time makes travel actually feel more like a vacation instead of another project!
We’d love to hear from you! Does someone in your family have special dietary needs that make traveling a bit more difficult? If so, please share what you have learned and what works well for you!