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This is just my experience of gluten free food whilst travelling.
Hi and welcome back.
Today I thought I would discuss something that really stresses me out. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to travel. The thought of exploring new places, learning about different cultures and meeting new people fills me with such excitement that I am already spending far to long on websites trying to plan my next trip. However, there is always an underlying part of travelling that scares me and that is food. I am always scared I am going to turn up in a new country starving (well hangry actually and I am ashamed to admit that I turn full on angry when I get hungry – combined with a long journey, delays and having no idea where I am, it can get ugly quickly). So I thought I would share some tips and my go-to snacks when I am travelling in case it helps you. If you have any other advice, please leave them in the comments below – my other half would be forever in your debt if we could turn up somewhere and I am not always hangry. C. -x-
Now, these fill me with dread at just the mention of food. I think its because we often book early flights, so can get the most out of our holiday and travelling, so I am not wasting extra time sleeping (or picking up the item I have forgotten to pack) on eating. We always say we will eat at the airport before our flight and every single time without fail, we reach the food court and hanger is settling in. I’m stressed from the airport security and jsut need caffiene and food. We have flown from London Gatwick and Heathrow now and my go-to option in both airports has to be Pret A Manger. I posted a while ago my go-to options at Pret for lunch so I will leave that linked here in case you are interested. I find their breakfast items to be a good blend of not so overfilling, I am not one of those people who can manage a fry-up or indulgent breakfast before getting on a plane) but satisfy me until I am at my destination (most of the time). My go-to options are the Honey and Yoghurt gluten free granola pot and fruit.
Now, having only flied with Tui airways since becoming a coeliac, I can only comment on the food options available there. They were amazing in providing a gluten free lunch (cheese and onion roll and blueberry muffin) which was perfect to settle my stomach during the turbulence. Whilst on planes, I never have really enjoyed the meals they provide so I buy food at the airport. Once the hanger is sated, I enjoy spending time at airports wandering round on the hunt for gluten free foods. With most airports having a Pret-a-Manger, Boots or Marks and Spencer, I can often find some snacks or light meal for myself. For my last flight I picked up the Pret-a-Manger gluten free chicken salad, the popcorn bars, corn cakes and fruit. I also like to bring snacks with me through security; Nairns gluten free biscuit bars are my favourite.
Eurostar/ Train journey
If I am travelling around the UK on a train, I will often just eat before my travelling and have my next meal at my destination so normally snack on dried fruit if I am feeling peckish.
The first travelled on the Eurostar to Paris shortly after being diagnosed as a coeliac. Back then, I wasn’t sure on any food that wasn’t from the gluten free aisles in the Supermarkets. You can read about my gluten free journey here. As a result, and because there is less restrictions on travelling with food on the Eurostar, I would advise to bring your own lunch and snacks from home. I made a chicken and bacon with avocado and tomato sandwich on gluten free bread and kept it in my hand luggage. While I looked around at the train station for gluten free bites, I found nothing quite lived up to my home-made lunch and that is fine. You don’t always need to buy food when travelling and it can save a lot by doing it this way too. However, I did indulge in a Costa coffee and gluten free brownie just before we boarded for and indulgent treat; life is all about balance right?
I felt like this deserved a mention and since I am currently living 3 hours, not including any delays, away from my family, I have grown used to spending longer periods of time in my car. I am very fortunate right now that it is just myself, my other half and our dog so we can travel straight from work and not have to worry so much about meal times – compared to if we have children. When I am travelling, I often have a cooked lunch (leftovers) and a light dinner. If I forget or don’t have any food, my go-to option has to be a Tossed Jacket Potato or a Marks and Spencer gluten free sandwich. I have published a blog on my go-to snacks for long car journeys and how I navigate the services so I will leave that linked here. I do try to meal plan ahead of time so I have leftover pasta salad that I can take down with me but that doesn’t always work out. A blog is coming soon on how I meal plan so stay tuned.
There you go! My go-to options for gluten free food for when I am travelling and advice on how to negotiate the services, airports and hanger when it strikes. I hope you enjoyed this blog. Let me know in the comments your go-to snacks and what gluten free food you have found when travelling. Tag me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac or share photos directly to my Facebook page if you find gluten free food on your travels. Newsletter is now live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you do not miss any future blog posts.