I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week already! I feel like just a few weeks ago, I was hanging out at the beach catching the last rays of sunshine.
We are boarding a plane today(!!) to travel to San Diego to be with my husband’s extended family for the rest of the week. It’s kind of a big deal, because we haven’t done any major travel with my son yet and it will be his first airplane ride.
But honestly, any kind of travel is a big deal for me. I’m not a traveler at all. I like my routines. I like my stuff. I like to know what’s coming and no surprises. I also like to be able to know the food I have around me is GFDF friendly and I won’t be bloating up like a balloon trying to squeeze into my jeans because I ate something I shouldn’t have.
I realize I sound like a total Type A personality here. Which I’m really not (that’s probably what Type A people say, isn’t it?). But I am quite a bit of a homebody who has her preferences.
Also because I’m like a mega introvert and we’re staying with my husband’s aunt who apparently always has a full house when guests are in town. I’m really hoping to find a hidey hole place that I can use when I need some down time. Because I usually need some down time during the day.
Anyway, it will be interesting to say the least. Lots of lessons I’m sure to come!
But what I planned on sharing with you today are some of the travel strategies that I’m laying out now so that I’m prepared for this time away with family and how I plan to keep my gluten-free dairy-free diet up as much as possible.
Here are my 5 Clever Travel Tricks to Maintain Your Gluten-free Dairy-free Diet
1. I’m packing snacks for the airport and airplane.
I talk about packing snacks all the time. But I’m definitely packing some food from home, so that I don’t have to rely on navigating airport food – which I’m not 100% sure I’ll find anything decent. It’s do-able but usually a little strange. Like eating just the deli meat out of a $7 sandwich from Starbucks like I did when I traveled to LA recently. A little overpriced and not exactly well-rounded, ya know?
2. I’m planning to go shopping when we get there.
I have no idea what the meals or the options will be like, but darn it if I’m not going to pitch in and make sure I can eat meals with our family. If they have pasta, I’ll buy some GF pasta. I’ll probably buy some oatmeal and fruit, because I’m sure there will be breakfast foods they’ll be eating that I won’t be able to (I also don’t eat eggs which makes breakfast pretty tricky when not at home). And of course, I’ll stock up on some snacks that we can keep with us throughout our daytime trips with my little guy.
3. I’m going to offer to help cook meals.
I figure if I’m in the kitchen, I can make ingredient swap ideas on the fly. I know I’ll be labeled as “the special flower” when I’m there, and honestly, I can take it. I’ve been in enough of these situations where I either just tell people to enjoy what they’re having and I’ll fend for myself or I help them come up with alternatives that we all can enjoy. I’ll keep reminding myself – and them if necessary – of all the awesome naturally gluten-free and dairy-free foods that there are that we can choose from.
4. When we go out to eat, I’ll look ahead at menus if they’re online or on Yelp.
This is one of my go-to strategies for eating out near home anyway – and if I can sway them towards the Mexican places (hold the cheese, please!) or places with gluten-free options, I will. Here’s an awesome resource from fellow gluten-free blogger Carrie over at For Gluten Sake, with a list of 100% gluten-free dining establishments that will help you find something safe wherever you go.
5. I’m planning to add a dish or two to the Thanksgiving table.
I know that with so many people coming in from out of town, everyone will be expected to pitch in – and adding a dish or two of my own will enable me to make sure there’s at least something other than turkey that I’ll be able to enjoy. I’m not sure exactly what dishes yet since I don’t know what’s protocol for who brings what, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something tasty.
So that’s the plan for now. I’m sure I’ll check back in and let you know how it all goes.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving – no matter what you’re doing! And keep on track with your gluten-free dairy-free path as best you can.
Want more travel tips? Be sure to check out my 5 MORE travel tips for sticking with a gluten-free dairy-free diet.