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How much do you research about the destination before you travel?

2 replies [Last post]
administrator's picture
Joined: 01/08/2013

Do you look up restaurants and grocery stores in advance? Please share your story.

Kimberly's picture
Joined: 04/16/2013
What Did I Do Before Internet?

There are so many places I would love to visit, and my son Andrew absolutely LOVES to travel! He is the son of divorced parents, which of course has its major cons. The absolute favorite part of having 2 homes though? Double the vacations!

Before I decide to travel, of course I research the destination as much as I possibly can. If I'm bringing my son with me, I have to take many more precautions than if I were going solo.

If you read my cruise ship forum, you will hopefully gain an understanding about cruise specific dietary dilemnas. Travelling on road trips, or even airplanes, leaves a little more freedom.

The last vacation, again with my mother (I'm starting to see a pattern here), was to Austin, Texas. Home of Longhorns, oodles of tex/mex, music, art, and my sister... the most important reason we travel there if you ask me.

With the severity of my son's diet, it is a non-negotiable that wherever I stay has to have a kitchen. I need to cook for my child- there just aren't enough GF/CF restaurants to accomodate him. The challenge then? Figuring out the local grocery stores of where I will be while attempting to have some leasure time!

One of my favorite things about Austin, Texas? It's the hub for Whole Foods! They're based in Austin, and boy do they have some giant stores there! I decided, after some odd hours online, that the hotel (equipped with a kitchen) within walking distance to Whole Foods was the winner hands down. My son is not a tiny kid- currently he's about 5'1" and 115 lbs. at age 11. He's extremely active, and eats like there's no tomorrow! With road trips, I can basically fill the entire car with his favorites for a week, but flying doesn't leave that opportunity... unless all of my luggage consisted of specialty foods.

Having a kitchen and a Whole Foods on this past trip was a lifesaver! I had the opportunity to take him out, just as I do when we're home, with a packed cooler of foods I've prepared. When food ran out, we'd simply head to the hotel so I can cook some more for him. Planning ahead is the difference between a relaxing vacation, and a potential nightmare. Please do your research!

Kimberly gf mommy
Andrea's picture
Joined: 04/15/2013
Half and Half

My name is Andrea and I'm Type A. I'm a teacher. I'm a planner. I'm a researcher. I research and plan everything, not just traveling. I probably sound like a really fun person, huh?! I swear, I'm a good balance of planning and spontaneity. When you have medical conditions and food allergies, it's important to be prepared.

You can find great websites out there that list gluten free restaurants alphabetically or by state. Most restaurants have their menus (sometimes a gluten free menu!) right online. Also, feel free to call ahead and speak to a manager about the options offered at their restaurant. I find that they are always willing to help and talk with you. Of course, I don't call during lunch or dinner hours. They might not be so inclined to give you their undivided attention. :) Furthermore, you can also look up supermarkets or health food stores in the area that you are visiting. If you know where you are going in advance, it couldn't be easier for you. When in doubt, you'll always have a friend in google.

If you are on the road already or need something looked up quickly, luckily we live in a technological age where we can get anything we want at the touch of our fingertips. There are apps and websites we can pull up in seconds and there are wonderful people out there who have created them.

Additionally, you can type in "Points of Interest" on your GPS in your car! Granted, it won't pull up "gluten free restaurants in your area" but you can cross reference anything on your smartphone.