Lets just face it having celiac disease makes everything ten times harder You cant just pick a restaurant, you cant just pick up and go without a plan, and if you get sick a couple days are ruined! But it is possible to thrive and live life to the fullest with this disease. Yes you might have to travel with more of plan in place, and do more research, and you might have a suitcase full of food but it beats starving your whole trip! Some things I have learned over the years of PCSing (military terms for picking up your whole life and moving across the county) are listed below, by the way I am awesome at road trips since this is our 4th move.
If you are taking a road trip you can bring your own food! Pack a zip lock bag with your favorite treats, and invest in a good cooler if you travel on the road alot. I get sick of sandwiches so I hard-boil some eggs and put them in a zip lock bag along with some celery and almond butter. I also bring along alot of fruit for a sweet little pick me up if I start running low on energy while driving. For long road trips I bring plastic bowls and plates so you dont have to use anything that would be unsafe. If you will be staying at a hotel make sure it has a refrigerator and a microwave so you can store and heat up your food.
Same concept for vacations, make sure the hotel has a refrigerator and microwave, pre-plan and look up what stores are around so you can grab some food to take back to the hotel with you. For us with Celiac the “find me gluten free” app is a life saver, it has reviews from others with Celiac so you know if it is just gluten- free friendly or safe for us with Celiac. I also call restaurants ahead of time to see if they are “celiac friendly” so we have an plan going in where we are going to eat so we are not lost and starving trying to find a place. You an also buy toaster sleeves if you plan on bringing your own bread, that way you can use a toaster safely anywhere!
For us living the Gypsy Life AKA ” Military life”
PCSing with Celiac is really hard! I learned after starving and almost passing out once we drove to my parents house, I really have to figure this crap out! The next move I planned it out more and left notes on things I didnt want the packers to pack. When the movers come to pack your things, leave out at least one pan, the movers usually take your stuff before you actually leave. Before you hit the road plan out your meals and boil up some eggs, and some other kind of quick protein, I used just plan chicken the last time, stock up on some quick snacks like apples, bananas, and peanut butter, Make sure you have wet wipes for your hands since in most cases something will go wrong and the trip will not go as planned, for me a dog usually throws up a few hours into the drive. If you can make your whole car gluten-free so when your handing out snacks you do not accidentally cross contaminate yourself, since you will most likely have the kids and the dogs.
If you can rent a camper that would be ideal but most of cant afford that yet in life so we tent camp when we go out into the woods. With no running water it is easy for your hands to get gluten on them cross contaminating everything, and in turn ruining your camping trip. When you are tent camping make sure you bring a large bottle of water and soap for hand washing, designate a pan just for gluten-free foods and have whoever is cooking, cook your food first. Try to minimize your exposure to gluten by having others handle the gluten containing foods. For grilling your food use tin foil to keep your food separate if the grill has been cross contaminated before. If you are camping with your furry friends make sure their treats are gluten-free, this will save you from forgetting to wash your hands and getting sick.