The holidays are a stressful time for all of us. But add in the fact that you are going to a place where no one understands or lives gluten free!? My anxiety is skyrocketing!

Below are a few tips on how I am prepping for an 8 hour drive and 3 day hotel stay.

Meal prep

I am a list maker. Below is a list of ideas (not my entire list because you would really realize that I tend to be a bit over the top hahaha)

hard boiled eggs

fully cooked bacon (you can warm in the microwave)

90 second rice



GF trail mix (I make my own)

skinny popcorn

microwavable baked potatoes

We recently took a 3 hour trip, so I bought the girls each a Leap pad (for those of you who have no idea what that is, it is like a game boy).

Do NOT forget the batteries, car charger and HEADPHONES!

l am also bringing a portable DVD player (I do not have a fancy built in DVD player, so this will do). Don’t forget the actual DVD’s.

Side note: do NOT bring crayons. They tend to melt in the car and make a tremendous mess…oops!

Sticker books

felt games

search and find


magnetic games

*Click any of the above list for the link to purchase!*

Book the hotel

To be honest this has been an argument in the household. I truly would feel much more comfortable in a hotel where there is no access to gluten. I may be overreacting, but for our first long trip I am standing my ground on this topic. The perks to a hotel are: free wifi, heated indoor pool, continental breakfast. I know, you may be thinking I shouldn’t even consider the breakfast. However, there is juice, fruit, and sometimes eggs and things like that.

Plan the drive

What time of day is going to be best? We decided to leave after dinner to start out 8 hour journey. This will give the girls some time to play their leap pads and then sleep in the car the rest of the way. This will also allow the adults to get a bit of sleep once at the hotel.

On the way back we are leaving after breakfast. This will be a LONG trip and I may regret that decision later 🙂

Talk with the family to explain expectations.

It is unreasonable for me to expect that people who do not have to worry about foods containing, or becoming cross-contaminated with, wheat, rye, barley, and malts would be able to prepare an entire Gluten Free Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is stressful enough!

Therefore, I have given small gluten free suggestions, but being cognizant to not overwhelm the host. For example, gluten free drinks options, buying fresh butter, providing fruits/veggies.

If you have a special diet, I would love to hear how you got through the holidays! Send me an email at or comment on this post!

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