In all honesty, I avoid a standard hotel room. For short trips I always prefer a hotel with a full kitchen, for longer trips we look for condos or vacation rentals. Hawaii is the exception. We are there for a work conference so staying in the hotel is key. Here are some tips to help prepare for an extended hotel stay while staying safe and gluten-free.
Packing list for hotel stay
- Breakfast Hash
- Gluten-free bread, toaster and almond butter
- Grilled chicken
- Salad and veggies
The downside to this is the prep work in advance. Here’s what I typically do – I usually cook a large batch of protein. Marinated in coconut aminos, lemon and seasonings, grilled, refrigerated and packed in a Ziploc bag. I then pack something that I can freeze – this trip it was a breakfast hash with hamburger, celery, zucchini and sweet potato that I sauté with seasonings and freeze in a Ziploc. The morning of the trip I pack the frozen Breakfast Hash, refrigerated chicken, and my yummy coconut milk creamer for my coffee in a cooler bag and tuck it in my checked luggage. Downside – its heavy. Upside – I had room for the yummy Hawaiian Spirits Rum on the way home!
I usually throw in a freezer pack or two also just to be safe. The downside to these is that the TSA will confiscate them on the flight home because the hotel mini-fridges will not refreeze them and if they are liquid they can’t get carried on. Although you could put them in your checked luggage so they don’t get swiped.
Essentials for hotel gluten-free living
- Paper plates
- Plastic forks and knives
- Varying sizes of Ziploc bags (for food transport or ice packs)
- Almond butter packets
- Epic bars
- Rx bars
- Homemade protein balls
- Salad sized tupperware for packing salads to go
- Bottle of salad dressing (make sure this goes in checked luggage)
Keeping myself from feeling deprived on vacation is key. I don’t usually have toast every morning but on vacation I find it helps me from feeling ‘carb-starved’. So the easiest way to have your own gluten-free toast in a hotel room? Pack a toaster. I go to Wal-Mart and buy the cheapest toaster they have. This year the price increased to $7. I packed it (literally only 2 pounds) and then I use it every day and then leave it in the room. People laugh but that $7 is so worth it to have something warm for breakfast!