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Managing Your Family’s Dietary Needs During Summer Road Trips

by Holly Riddle

Jul 15, 2019

Siri Wannapat | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

If there’s one thing that makes travel difficult, it’s food allergies, and if your means of travel is a road trip, dealing with those food allergies and dietary needs can be even more troublesome. After all, how many times do you pull off at a busy highway exit in the middle of nowhere to find the only food options are gas station fare and fast food?


Rather than wait until one or multiple members of your family are faced with temporary starvation until you find them something to eat, prepare ahead and make sure your family’s dietary needs never stand in the way of having a great trip — from summer road trips to vacations of any kind


Know What You Can Eat Before You Go

Knowledge is power and that can certainly be said when it comes to prepping for a road trip when your family has dietary needs. It’s important to have your knowledge handy ahead of time, so you don’t end up researching nutrition labels and ingredient charts on your phone while the waiter stares at you expectantly.


Be familiar with all of the ingredients your family can or can’t consume — including those that often hide behind other names. Then, find a few often-available food options they can eat, whether it’s just one menu item at a popular fast food chain, or some safe snacks found at nearly every gas station.


Take your research a step further and look at some potential dining options along your route, especially those sit-down restaurants you might choose. Look at the menus online and determine some items everyone in your family can have before dining there.


Road tripping with snacks

Road tripping with snacks


Pack Snacks

If you’re on a road trip, snacks are a must, and this is especially true for those with dietary needs. If you can’t find anything along your route, you’ll always have a back up. Stow away a good selection of options, sweet and salty, crunchy and soft, so you always have something to munch on, regardless of the craving that hits. Consider packing a cooler bag as well with some perishable items your family might enjoy.


Focus on the Other Fun Parts of Travel

While food can be one of the best parts of travel for some people in your family, for those with dietary needs, it can be a challenge and struggle. Help those individuals focus on the other fun parts of travel, and don’t exclude them from the experience by, say, booking everyone on a food tour, or planning your days around your next chance to chow down.


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