We love to travel. Most of our trips are to national parks and monuments for a combination of history, geology, and hiking. We're lucky to live in a state with a ton of national parks, but they are all spread out, so you never quite know what you're going to find.
Being gluten-free does throw a wrench in our plans now and then, but we always manage to have fun, and I always manage to eat gluten-free.
How? A little bit of planning, a little bit of luck, and a little bit of being willing to throw everything out the window when things change. Let me show you how.
For a road trip, I always pack a cooler with my essentials. Flying? Try a collapsible cooler or one of those cooler bags. Plus, we always make sure to book a hotel that has a fridge and a microwave, so if all else fails, we can make a quick trip to the grocery store.
Before you go anywhere, research the web for restaurants that might serve gluten-free food. I've found that you can't rely on just one website to find gluten-free restaurants, so I use a multi-tiered approach. I keep a little travel journal that lists what I've found for the area we're going to visit, so I have a condensed guide to refer back to while we're trying to decide what to eat.
If there's nothing to be found on the web, then you've got to get creative - learn how to order gluten-free at a restaurant that has no idea what gluten is.
If, after all this, you still can't find a gluten-free meal in town, head to the grocery store. Don't think of it as a chore - you're on vacation! Instead, think of it as a chance to have a picnic. Grab whatever you think counts as gluten-free picnic food, then head out to a scenic overlook and go to town! Often these meals are way better than restaurant meals anyways - you get to enjoy the scenery you came to see, hang out with your friends and family, plus it costs less than eating in a restaurant! (Just be sure to pack out all your trash - you don't want to attract unwanted pests to picnic areas.)
This week, I'll be sharing some of the trips we've taken to national parks and monuments, plus what we've found to eat along the way. Some places are definitely better than others on the gluten-free spectrum, and I'll share that too.
Do you have any gluten-free national park experiences? I'd love to hear about them!