I imagine that we are like many of you with food issues…not able to travel easily. Since learning of our family and Celiac disease(3 years)we have only really travelled once.
I have wanted to take the family for this trip for quite some time, but only recently have I felt confident enough to make it happen. We have worked hard at learning what we can and cannot have and some easy all-satisfying recipes that I thought we could take with us.
We finally made it all come together and surprised the kids with the trip!
We really had the time of our lives! If you learn that food doesn’t have to get in the way and fun is foremost, you can do it too! It is important to live and be “normal”, for the whole family.
I hope that I am able to share with you, some tools and tips that you can use, so you too can have a little fun and not be paralized by the food issues that you and your family have.
The first and foremost issue was finding a hotel that had a full kitchen available. I figured if I had a base, then I can build on that and make most everything work around that. My goal was to find a hotel that was close to the gate, had a pool and a full kitchen. I found all of these at the Tropicana Inn & Suites. They were pretty good to deal with on the phone, as I was trying to arrange groceries as well and needed to have a full sized fridge to keep all of the food.
After a bunch of searching for groceries or online options that we could utilize once in Anaheim, I found an excellent resource with Vons Online Groceries. There were a few other, less desirable, options. VONS offered a great selection of groceries along with organics. As a bonus, the first time you order, the delivery was free! The hotel front desk was willing to recieve the order(if our flight was delayed)but they delivered(1 hour window)just after we arrived.
One of the other thing that I was checking on, was that all utensils were in the room and available. Next time, I would have a list of all the items that I would make and probably take the utensils with us, minus the knives, of course. The room was supposed to have a “fully stocked” kitchen. I guess this means that most of the time, they are used to provide light meals and snacks. I had a hard time rounding up a real knife, as I wanted to slice up some watermelon and cantaloupe. It was a little sad, when I called to the front desk and asked for a knife for my “fully stocked kitchen” and they sent me a pairing knife. Oh well. The Cove(store in motel)was able to lend me a knife so I could at least cut up the big things. Ha ha. Life is good at this stage, so this wasn’t going to get to me.
Part of my plan was to be as close to Disney as possible. This managed to fit the bill from my research and I was SO right. My thought was, since we have to make and bring our own food, we can have food in the room, when we get hungry and tired for lunch, we can walk back to the hotel. This turned out to be brilliant. Thank you God for the inspiration. This hotel was a 10 minute walk to the park gates.
We also had a shuttle service that would take us directly to our hotel, not like the Disney bus that makes X number of stops on the way to your hotel. It is a smaller company, but with excellent, on time service! They service the 3 airports in the area. Karmel shuttle service.
If you are like us and have to prepare/take food with you, you might really appreciate these tips for travel by air.
Going into the US, we talked to our doctor and had them draw up a letter so that if we got questions about some food we were bringing, that it may assist. We also found that if you bring US fruit that they were less likely to take it away. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are good airplane options when presented with the typical glutenous airplane snack options.
I originally thought that I might make some food and send it ahead of us, but that turned out to be VERY cost prohibitive! Like $1000, cost prohibitive!! When I called FedEx and they gave me a couple of quotes I nearly fell on the floor of the store I was shopping in at the time. That was when I started looking for grocery stores near the hotel. VON’s really was the way to go.
Here is a summary of our travel/food plan that you can use as a template:
Day 1 of trip started early. I had some fruit, nuts, no grain snack bars and packed those into my carry-on bag. We planned on not being able to find any food until we got to the hotel and got my grocery delivery.(fingers crossed of course) So we packed enough for the 4 of us for the 6-7 hours of travel time. Once we got to the hotel, the delivery showed up right on time and they brought it right to the room. Make sure that you will have enough fridge and freezer space to house all the groceries. I ended up forgetting something and took a taxi to the closest VON’s to get a couple more things. The cab ride was short and costs about $10-12. After picking up the groceries that I forgot, I whipped up a batch of delicious chili, with the grass-fed beef and organic veggies that I bought!
This gave us lunch and dinner for the next 2-3 days.
Day 2 was the first day to Disney. We started the day with organic scrambled eggs and Applegate bacon, some lovely cut up fruit and some of the grain free muffins and grain free bars that I brought along. We then packed our backpacks and headed to Disney for the first day of adventure. When we got tired and hungry, we came back to the room, had some lunch and a swim in the pool. It was nice to come back to the room and relax and then go back to the park for some more adventure. Just bring snacks and fruit and you will be all good.
Day 3 was pretty much the same as far as food was concerned, but I placed another online order for groceries with VON’s. That service was a god-send!
Day 4 was much the same with snacks and another batch of chili needed. I did make a longer cab ride to the closest health-food store, Sprouts. This was my kind of store. It was an excellent resource. It was a bit far by cab(about $20 one way)but worth the trip to find good products.
Day 6 was getting back on the plane for trip back to Calgary. I again packed enough fruit, nuts and dried fruit for the 4 of us and 6-7 hours of travel. Don’t plan on bringing any fruit back into Canada as they make you throw it out at the border.
We really had a great vacation. I am so excited and proud that we were able to accomplish this formidable task. I now feel ready and empowered to take another trip in the future. If you have been thinking that you want and wish for a trip, DO IT! With a bit of planning you can find solutions and make your trip safe for the whole family. Good health to you! Email me if you need any suggestions or encouragement. God bless.