Assess the Situation
Anytime you eat outside of the home, you take on some level of risk. Whether at a friend’s house or a restaurant, it’s harder to avoid unintentional mistakes and cross-contamination. Determine beforehand what level of risk you’re comfortable with. Some individuals with celiac are so sensitive they are uncomfortable eating anything they don’t prepare themselves. And some individuals with gluten sensitivity don’t find it necessary to avoid cross-contamination.
I lie somewhere in between. I generally am fine eating in other’s homes and there are certain restaurants I feel fairly comfortable in but I’ve been burned before for taking a risk.
Pack a Snack
Safe snacks make the trip cheaper and easier.
I have some ideas here.
This last trip I not only brought snacks but also an easy meal I made the night before. Snacking on the road can get old so having a “real” meal hit the spot.
Inform Your Hosts
If you’re staying with someone who is unaware of your gluten free status, give them a quick heads up and let them know how you’ll handle it. I usually offer to bring food of my own or, if asked, I give a few easy suggestions for something they can have on hand. If you are particularly sensitive, don’t be afraid to tell your host you’ll handle it. I know it can feel awkward to refuse hospitality but everyone will be happier if you’re not miserable during your trip. With particularly insistent hosts, offer a suggestion you know will be safe (like yogurt or another prepackaged food that you’re comfortable with).
Preplan Eating Out
Restaurants can be really tricky so if you want to eat out, plan ahead. The social aspect of being gluten free is often the hardest on me. I hate to be a killjoy when everyone wants to go out so I try to know ahead of times what area restaurants are available to me. That way I don’t have to send tummies into overtime grumbling while I search the internet for a safe place to eat. Plus, if you do some research you might stumble onto a great new gluten free experience.
Are you or someone you know gluten free? Any tips for traveling gluten free?