Every year, winter seems to find a way to outdo itself. This winter has brought record-breaking low temperatures, widespread snow and sleet and essentially buried New England. Groundhog Day has come and gone, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow — so if you’ve got your heart set on jetting off to a warmer climate, we’re right there with you.
However, traveling on a gluten-free diet is enough to stamp out the most severe cases of wanderlust, and leave you snowbound for the rest of the season. In our opinion, that’s just not right — those on a gluten-free diet should be able to indulge in any experience they so please, without fear of limited food options, accidental gluten consumption or social isolation. Whether you’re just looking to escape the cold, or gearing up for Spring Break, we’ve put together three key tips for planning the ultimate gluten-free getaway, complete with gluten-free cruise lines, must-have snacks to stash, and resources to find GF restaurants no matter where your adventures take you. Pack your bags, gluten-free folks, we’re going on vacation!
1. Plan ahead.
As with all things gluten-free, planning ahead is crucial. Whether you’ll be cruising the Bahamas or making magic in Disney World, the trick is to alert the hotel or kitchen staff of your dietary restrictions at the time of reservation. If you’re using a meal plan or have an all-inclusive vacation package, it’s standard procedure to alert the staff well in advance of your arrival. Be sure to include as much information as possible, including the severity of your intolerance and whether or not your meals need to be prepared on dedicated equipment. If you’ll be providing your own meals on vacation, download the awesome Find Me Gluten Free app and discover restaurants in the area with gluten-free options. We recommend always calling ahead and confirming the menu before trekking out to a new restaurant — give them a ring and find out exactly what’s available on the day you’ll be visiting.
2. Find your niche.
We’ve got good news: it’s actually pretty awesome to be gluten-free on spring break. With the rising awareness around gluten-free diets comes greater options and accommodations for those on the diet. Nearly every major cruise line offers gourmet gluten-free options at every meal, and all-inclusive resorts can point you to restaurants with five-star gluten-free accommodations. In the field of hospitality, the goal is always to make guests as comfortable as possible, so you’re likely to be met with enthusiastic, helpful customer service to ensure you have excellent gluten-free options at each meal. Find your niche by reviewing some of the top getaways with gluten-free options built into the menu, and pick the destination that appeals to you most. Check out this list of top international cruise lines with GF options, how to navigate cruise menus, and Disney World’s policies on special dietary needs. If you’re planning your spring break trip yourself, use Gluten Free Travel Site to research gluten-free restaurants near your destination, read user reviews, and contact restaurants in advance.
3. Come prepared.
For those on a gluten-free diet, you know to always have an emergency backup plan. In an ideal world, every convenience store, local diner, and coffee shop would carry gluten-free options, but the more exotic your vacation, the more difficult it is to track down healthy, delicious GF options. For those moments of despair, come prepared with your own stash of snacks. Opt for small, easy-to-pack snacks that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. We pack our bags with instant oatmeal, ziplocks of our favorite GF cereal, nuts and berries, GF chips and crackers, and protein bars.
Our Gluten-Free Bars and Gluten Free Bites come in six unique flavors, and are packed with the fiber and protein you need to make the most of your spring break. Join the Gluten-Free Bar Membership Program and your customized case will be delivered to your door each month. Receive special membership perks like free shipping, a permanent GFB discount, free stuff, and more! But act fast — we’ve extended a limited time discount through the end of February, so now’s the time to become a GFB member!
Where do you go for your ultimate GF Spring Break? Let us know how you make the most of your GF vacations in the comments below!