Hitting The Road

Cargo OverloadI’ve just wrapped up a ten-day vacation in Eastern Washington.

The great thing about a road trip, in my humble opinion, is that you can take everything you need with you – without having to deal with limits on excess baggage, or airport security.

For anyone who is Celiac, or dealing with food allergies, that makes a road trip ideal.

Whatever you need, you can bring it along, relying on local grocery stores to stock up on fresh produce and whatever else you might need.

Of course, that also means you might not exactly be traveling light.

In fact, if you’re like me, the words “travel light” might not be in your DNA.

But that’s exactly what makes a road trip so ideal!

For this annual escape, we always stay at the same place – a comfortable time-share condo, that is ours for exactly one week.

When we arrive it is always sparkling clean, and tastefully furnished – and that includes a well-stocked kitchen.

Even though the condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, in the last couple of years, I’ve started bringing more and more of my own equipment.

Perhaps you can relate.

The big concern here, is cross-contamination.

You see, we share this condo with twelve other families during the course of a year.

So, it would be careless of me to assume that all the pots and pans and cooking utensils are spotlessly clean.

Even though the resort strongly recommends that everything (and I mean everything) be washed in the dishwasher – there’s really no way of knowing what other families have done.

Which is why I’d rather play it safe, than take any chances.

By the way- if you’re on vacation – do keep that in mind.

In other words, even though you’re still preparing meals, you want to keep things simple!

(Besides, even cars have their limits).

The following is a list of key supplies I like to bring with me – easily adaptable to whatever works for you.

Cause in the end, that’s what it’s really all about, right?


Bring a Clean Cutting Board

At our vacation condo, there is a big wooden cutting board front and center on the kitchen counter.

Remember – it’s been used by numerous families in preparation of their meals.

So, the likelihood of them slicing fresh bread or making sandwiches on that cutting board is extremely high.

Until a few years ago, I always ‘made do’.

But last year, I brought my own, small bamboo cutting board from home and it was the perfect solution. (I stay away from plastics as much as possible).

It packs flat and is now a necessity for when I travel to a destination with a kitchen.

Plus, you will always have a gluten-free work surface for food prep of any kind.


Pots and Pans

OK, I admit it.

Pots are a bit bulky to travel with.

Plus, there’s a perfectly good set in the condo, so I just bring a favorite frying pan along and call it good.

I usually also pack a small omelet pan, since that’s a quick, weeknight meal that I typically prepare for my husband.

And especially on vacation, I like things that are quick to prepare.

While the omelet is cooking, I can stir-fry some veggies and tofu in the second pan, whip up a salad, and dinner is done.

I might also throw in a square baking pan, in case I’m inspired to bake a batch of brownies or something.

From a mix, of course – vacations are the time to make things as easy on yourself as possible.


Cooking Utensils

I always include a favorite cooking utensil or two.

Things like my go-to cooking spatulas, and favorite knives.

Cause let’s face it, a good knife makes your job in the kitchen so much easier!

So yes, I could get by with the knife set supplied in the condo kitchen, but you know what?

Those knives are kind of crappy.

The blades are dull, and the tips are often bent, so rather than struggle to chop carrots with a less than ideal kitchen tool, I just bring my own.

After all, it’s just a paring knife.

It hardly takes any room at all in your suitcase.

And no one at TSA is going to confiscate it, remember? This is a road trip, after all!


Your Vita Mix

Last year, I brought along my Vita Mix for the first time, and it’s now an absolute must.

Here’s the thing about the Vita Mix:

If you don’t already own one, you might want to add it to your Wish List right now.

And if you do own one, then you already know that no other blender quite compares.

I use my Vita Mix all the time at home  – for things like smoothies, hummus and even for pureeing soup.

(It actually does a lot more than this, but those are my basic must-haves).

So yes, I tried getting by with the condo-supplied blender, but it just isn’t the same.

Trust me.

If you have the convenience of a car, and a Vita Mix sitting on your kitchen counter – bring it along.

You’ll be happy you did!


Last But Not Least – Food!

Last but not least, I bring along a full supply of food.

I approach this pretty much the same way I do any kind of travel, which is that I like to arrive at my destination with everything I need.

Or – at least enough to get by for the first few days.

A lot of this will depend, somewhat, on your destination.

If you know there are good grocery stores where you’re headed, and you’d rather not pack up the car with food, that’s fine.

But remember – the gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t always follow the same rules as everyone else’s diet.

In other words, do you know for sure that the local stores in your vacation town have the gluten-free breads, pasta and other baked goods that you crave?

If not, come prepared!

It’s probably the best thing you could do for yourself, so you can really enjoy your vacation.


So, that’s a brief recap of how I typically pack for a road trip, when I know I’ll be staying in comfortable lodgings with a full kitchen.

Now it’s your turn.

Do you have favorite items to bring along when you travel?

Any smart, savvy ideas you’d like to share?

This is the perfect place to share your experiences and support each other.

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