Travel Tip: Hotel Living

luggageMost hotel rooms do not come with their own kitchen, so vacations that require a long stay in a hotel room can be challenging if you are used to preparing all your own meals. You can try to look for hotels that have a restaurant with gluten-free items on their menu, but most times those can be hard to find. And, usually,people are looking for the best-priced room at hotels that may or may not even have a restaurant. That means relying on what amenities those hotels have to store and cook food.

If hotel rooms do not have a refrigerator, I always request one. If they ask why, I say it’s for medical reasons. This allows me to bring snacks and breakfast foods that require refrigeration. For me, finding breakfast foods, besides fruits, is near impossible at hotel restaurants and cafes. I can’t eat oats, and even if I could, most restaurants do not carry gluten-free oats. So, I typically put items such as muffins (which I refrigerate) or almond milk yogurt in my hotel room refrigerator. For snacking, I bring things like a bag or baby carrots and hummuses or other dips. If, for whatever reason, the hotel cannot provide you with a refrigerator, you can bring a cooler and keep items chilled in there. The hotel’s ice machine can supply you with ice to make sure it stays cold.

When it comes to heating things up in a hotel, I will ask to use the microwave at the restaurants or cafes. Most of the time, once you explain your situation, they are more than happy to help you out and let you use the microwave. In addition, sometimes the welcome areas or stores that sell toiletries and snacks will have one that you can use, too. This is helpful for warming up baked goods or pre-made meals that you bring along.

One of the reasons I advise bringing at least one meal, or enough food to equal one, is for emergencies. If you go out to a restaurant and they fail to make you a safe, gluten-free and vegan meal, you know you have something back at the hotel just in case. That piece of mind is nice to have on vacations that can be stressful when it comes to relying on restaurants for an extended period of time.

Ideally, you will not need that emergency meal. But when playing the restaurant roulette game, you never know how things will turn out.

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