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Gluten-Free Travel Guide + Free Stuff Friday!


Free Stuff Friday- Lauren's HopeSummer travel can pose some pretty interesting dilemmas to those of us with food allergies, food sensitivities, and Celiac Disease. If you’re like me, one of the estimated 20 million Americans with some variety of gluten-sensitivity, summer travel can cause more headaches than a delayed flight or highway construction.

I’m getting ready to embark on my first big trip with Celiac Disease. I was diagnosed about 18 months ago, but this will be my first trip away from the familiar restaurants here in Kansas City and the safety of my own kitchen. As most of those with gluten-intolerance already know, eating in unfamiliar places can leave you anxiety-ridden. Toss the actual traveling part into the equation, and your relaxing summer getaway can easily turn into chaos.

HangryIn preparation for my summer getaway, I’ve come across a few helpful hints that have eased my anxiety and will hopefully keep me from being “hangry” (angry + hungry = hangry) or sick by the time I get home.

Pack foods, especially breakfast foods
Stopping at a chain breakfast place isn’t really an option for those of us with Celiac Disease or gluten-intolerance. In fact, finding a gluten-free granola bar in a gas station or airport terminal can be like searching for the Holy Grail. I’ve found that packing breakfast foods like gluten-free granola bars and trail mix is a good way to avoid gluten traps like breakfast joints altogether. Gluten-free breakfasts can also double as snacks that could come in handy in a pinch.

Use technology
Although it’s great to disconnect while you’re on vacation, your phone offers a vital lifeline to delicious, gluten-free food. Between all the gluten-free scanner and restaurant finder apps, your phone is a sure-fire way to find safe places to eat when you’re in unfamiliar terrain. Some apps and websites even allow users to post reviews that can be particularly helpful when looking for new restaurants. Reviews from other people with gluten-intolerance or Celiac Disease can help us gain insight as to how well an establishment handles gluten-free food prep.

Plan ahead
I think this one goes without saying, but planning ahead is the best way to avoid gluten-free travel anxiety. If you’re road-tripping, mapping out the gluten-free restaurants on your route is advised. If you’re flying, check out what restaurants and kiosks in your terminal offer gluten-free options. A little planning can really go a long way in unfamiliar places.

Rosie Medical ID Cuff

Think you’ll be in a hurry? Pack a lunch
In my experience, nothing quite screams anxiety to a Celiac like being in a hurry and hungry. This all goes back to planning ahead, but having a lunch handy can get you out of sticky situations when hunger strikes while you’re in a rush. Gluten-free crackers or chips and a sandwich can make all the difference.

Wear your Medical ID
Although it’s always important to wear your medical ID, it’s especially vital to wear when you’re away from home. Being around those who are unfamiliar with your intolerance or allergy can lead to scary situations especially if you don’t wear a medical ID.

Your medical ID should list:
TREATMENT & LOCATION (like "Epipen in Bag")


What can I win?
For this version of Free Stuff Friday, we're giving away one of our BRAND NEW Quilted ActiveWear Medical ID Bracelets to one lucky reader. 

How do I enter?
To enter this Free Stuff Friday, leave us a comment with your favorite tip for traveling with a food allergy/sensitivity or Celiac Disease.

That's it! Of course there are rules. There are always rules. The contest runs through midnight central time on Sunday, June 22, 2014, and we will announce our three winners on Monday, June 23, 2014 at the bottom of this post and on Facebook. Be sure to check back here and l ike us on Facebook so you can claim your prize!

Free Stuff Friday Winner

Congratulations to Christy Wageman!

"Once we arrive at our final destination re remind ALL family members our daughter has a nut allergy and not to offer her food. We also make sure everyone knows where the epi pens are kept."

Thanks for the awesome tip, Christy! Shoot us an email at brittany@laurenshope.com to claim your prize!

Rose Tone Medical ID 


I always make sure we have food(granola bars and juice boxes) in the glove compartment of our car for emergencies.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 9:19 AM by Jen F
Once we arrive at our final destination re remind ALL family members our daughter has a nut allergy and not to offer her food. We also make sure everyone knows where the epi pens are kept.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 9:24 AM by Christy Wageman
Always make sure there are plenty of good snacks for my son just in case of emergency.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 9:57 AM by Brandy Rhea
Planning. Any mother with a child with a food allergy will tell you that planning is key. We always travel with snacks and we research restaurants ahead of time. Then we are very clear with the wait staff on food.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 10:05 AM by Christine
I always take lots of GF food in a small cooler when traveling by car. Fruit, cheese, nuts, lunch meat, yogurt, prepared salads, etc. are good choices. We also have GF cookies and crackers in the car. When we stop or at our final destination, my daughter doesn't have to worry if she can quickly find something to eat. It also doesn't cause quick trips to the grocery store when traveling or when she stays with friends on a trip.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 10:24 AM by Kathy Joseph
I usually pack a lunch to take in the car along with some snacks. I have my own lunchbox so I know that there will be no way there can be any cross contamination since my dad eats gluten and I don't since I have Celiac. My mom and me will go to Wegmans ahead of time since they have my GF food. We bake cookies and stuff to go with us. We look up places to eat and then call then to ask them if what I want to eat is safe or not. We take extra food in case somewhere isn't safe to eat or doesn't have a safe GF dessert. Thankfully we found a restaurant that had a GF menu and also they have a family member with Celiac so they know how to keep me safe. We take easy things like bread and cold cuts to eat on the beach along with peanut butter and jelly. I bring my own jar of peanut butter and a squeeze bottle of jelly to take while we sit on the beach.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 10:50 AM by Allison Love
I bring a list of common gluten containing ingredients when traveling. This way the server can bring it to the attention of a chef or manager and reference ingredients. I found this to be particularly helpful at one of a kind establishments that may not encounter many people with a gluten allergy.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 11:47 AM by Candace
We always make sure to pack extra food so we can have the option of staying longer.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 11:51 AM by Josh
It's nice in this day in age that so many more are aware of gluten intolerance and peanut/nut allergies, not to mention a few more we share. We've gotten a nice selection of convenient and small packages of seed & fruit mixes, Clif bars, and powdered flavoring for water. Traveling does take a little advanced planning but, being prepared when hunger strikes is worth the effort.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 12:02 PM by Tamrah T
Our number one rule when going any where is if we are unsure we do not eat it.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 12:27 PM by Debra
My gluten-free goto foods are packaged deli meat and cheese. Boar's Head is a popular brand in New York and are pointedly gluten free. That and some fresh fruit and I'm a happy traveler. 
Also, don't just say "gluten free" because I once had a server think that meant dairy! I always explain I can't have breaded foods, or ask if a soup is thickened with flour -- these little hints help them explain my situation to the cooks more clearly.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 7:59 PM by Pamela Merritt
When we travel, we always speak to a manager about our food allergies since there is so many with both of my children to make sure that everything is taken care of! The waiter seems to get overwhelmed with all the allergies so it is much easier to go straight to a manager. We always have some snacks with us because it seems to take a little longer than the average table.
Posted @ Friday, June 20, 2014 11:26 PM by Christine Fenton-Smith
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