Planning a Gluten-Free Vacation for Your Child

The trick is planning ahead. Call the local health food stores where you’ll be staying well ahead of your trip and ask them about their selection of gluten-free foods. If there aren’t enough gluten-free choices, usually the store will be happy to order your favorite gluten-free foods for you.

If there aren’t any health food stores around, some grocery stores have health food sections and may be able to order gluten-free foods for you as well. You can always bring along your own supply of gluten-free foods, such as gluten free crackers for the road or gluten-free flour and pasta for instance, or you can order online from your favorite gluten-free sites and have the gluten-free goodies delivered straight to where you’ll be staying. If you won’t be staying with friends or family, I suggest you rent a condo or get a hotel room with a full kitchen for your gluten-free cooking.

If you’ll be staying with family, particularly during the holidays, tell them ahead of time about your celiac child’s gluten-free diet needs so they can stock up gluten-free foods. You can also send them some gluten-free recipes for the family’s favorite holiday foods. Oftentimes you’ll find that your family will be more than happy to make your celiac child feel at home with gluten-free goodies and a generous stock of gluten-free foods for your gluten-free cooking.

Learning how to meet the gluten-free dietary needs of your celiac child has required some planning and a few adjustments, but in the end it isn’t very tough to successfully adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. Similarly, keeping your celiac child well-fed on gluten-free foods during travel and vacations requires some work and planning ahead, but you’ll find that you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Tina Turbin

Posted in Advice, gluten-free
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22 Responses to Planning a Gluten-Free Vacation for Your Child

  1. Nina says:

    Totally agree with you on planning ahead. If you do it right, the vacation will be an absolute breeze! Also, if you choose a gluten-free-friendly facility, such as a Disney hotel, you’ll have a much easier time, too.

  2. Nancy Sterling says:

    Some great tips here! We always rent condos or places with kitchenettes so we can do our own cooking.

  3. Daysha says:

    This is a fantastic article. Thanks for all your advice for parents of celiac kids!

  4. Hi all! Please don’t forget how our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite ( ) can be a HUGE help when planning your meals for a gluten-free vacation.

    GlutenFreeTravelSite is a website I launched 2 1/2 years ago that allows users to search and submit REVIEWS of restaurants, grocery stores, cruise ships, and hotels/resorts around the world that accommodate gluten-free diets. Reviews are organized geographically to allow users to quickly and easily access the information most relevant to them, whether they’re looking for a place that offers gluten-free food in their neighborhood, or when traveling ( ). You can either search a broad geographic region (state or country) OR narrow your search of our huge database of gluten-free dining and travel reviews down to the town/city or zip code level. The results appear on a Google map, and you can click on any establishment to link to the user-submitted review. Between the database of reviews and the dozens of national and regional restaurant chains with gluten free menus listed on our separate Gluten Free Restaurant Menus page ( ), visitors to our site can find thousands of safe and delicious dining options. I hope this helps you when dining out and traveling!

  5. Sharon says:

    Thanks for this article! my niece is celiac and my sister (her mom) is soooo good at traveling with her, so it’s definitely possible to have a great vacation that’s also gluten free.

  6. Peggy says:

    Some hotels/resorts are particularly wonderful at catering to the GF community, such as Disneyworld. Websites such as offer very helpful tips too.

  7. melissa newman says:

    Driving through California on a road time is such a blast for my celiac daughter who really enjoys eating out at my hand-picked itinerary of GF restaurants. Definitely pick out the restaurants ahead of time in every single town or city you’ll be driving through, just in case you need to stop!

  8. melissa newman says:

    I recommend bringing gluten-digesting enzymes along just in case of accidental gluten ingestion. I think Tina recommends some on her gluten-free website,

  9. Marissa says:

    I always rent a condo with a kitchen for our vacations so I can make gluten-free food for the kids, but of course you want to do your research ahead of time to find restaurants in the area that will service gluten-free customers.

  10. Chelsea Herrera says:

    Sounds like a dream–a gluten-free getaway for the kids and parents!

  11. Aurora says:

    Hi Tina I agree with some planning, great internet and book resources, and creativity, a gluten free vacation for kids and adults is actually pretty easy. You get better and better at it with every trip you take.

  12. Renee says:

    GREAT tips! Thank you so much. We’re going to be doing some traveling for the holidays, so this post came just at the right time!

  13. Gillian says:

    Excellent tips here. I really appreciate this!

  14. Tanya Chapman says:

    Thank you Tina for your tips and those who have commented as well. I have a 5-year-old celiac daughter and we’re going to be going out of town for the first time since her diagnosis next month. @Karen I’ll definitely take a look at

  15. Talia Bancroft says:

    Highly highly recommend the guide from Triumph Dining. There are so many incredible websites out there too for traveling and eating out. Times have changed–it’s so much easier these days!

  16. Nikki says:

    It’s so much easier nowadays than before to have a gluten-free vacation without even cooking for yourself. Always bring your gluten-digesting enzymes with you just in case of contamination though! It happens, trust me!

  17. Danielle says:

    I’ve heard good things about Bob and Ruth’s from a friend and also on your blog at I wonder if they have kid-friendly vacation packages as well.

  18. Marion Feeney says:

    Yes absolutely right with planning ahead you can have a really easy gluten-free vacation that the kids will LOVE

  19. Dani says:

    everyone has listed some great resources for traveling when you’re on the gluten-free diet. We go on lots of short daytrips, so we usually just pack picnics with us. It’s a lot of fun for the kids to pack and picnic basket with their favorites before we go on our trip!

  20. Mollie says:

    An especially good post for the holidays, I’m sure, with all the traveling we’re all doing!

  21. Sue Linni says:

    Dang! I wish I had read this before the holidays!!! These are some great tips, will keep them in mind for our next family vacay!

  22. Gina McClure says:

    We had such a wonderful holiday following this advice. Looking forward to our Disney vacation this April for my son’s birthday. Thanks!

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