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Packable Kitchen 101: The Ultimate Celiac Travel Hack!

If you have celiac disease or food allergies, using an unfamiliar kitchen can be almost as daunting as eating at a restaurant. When I travel, I prefer to cook my own food because it is more affordable, leads to fun and interesting cultural experiences, and is guaranteed celiac-safe (see last week’s post: Why I Cook My Own Food While Traveling). My solution to the kitchen problem is to keep the supplies I need in one ready-to-go bag, my “packable kitchen” so to speak. This allows me to embark on spontaneous adventures without worrying about my dietary restriction!

traveling with celiac 1

This Packable Kitchen is best used for car trips and public transit where your luggage has a little extra room and the final destination has a kitchen(ette). I use this system for various types of travel, including road trips, weekends away, staying at a friend’s house, or visiting family within driving distance. For those of you who are frequent flyers, check out the packable kitchen I use when flying!

In some ways, staying somewhere with a kitchen(ette) is the easiest type of travel cooking. You have access to a stove top, running water, refrigerator, microwave, and sometimes even an oven.

However, there are several notable challenges:

  1. Previous gluten-eaters contaminate the surfaces and utensils, making it unsafe for celiacs or people with food allergies. If you’re unfamiliar with cross contamination, I encourage you to read 5 Things Non-Celiacs should know about Celiac Disease.                                                                                                     
  2. With access to traditional kitchen amenities, you may find you have higher expectations for the quality of your meal compared to travel destinations where you are limited to a “microfridge” or camp stove (packable kitchen solutions coming soon for these also!).

Through several years of travel, I perfected the kitchen packing list to find the perfect balance between comfort and minimalism (optional items to the left of the blue line):

Your Checklist:

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Cookware

Cooking Utensils

Personal and Cleaning

  • Lightweight food bowl
  • Eating utensils
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Dish sponge or brush
  • Dish soap
  • Container(s) for leftovers

Optional items (pictured left of the blue line)

 Also if you’re planning on drinking anything other than water, I recommend this amazing, lightweight travel mug from GSI:

GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug (click photo to purchase)

BONUS: All core kitchen items fit easily in a reusable grocery bag with room to spare!

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Tip: Over time, you may decide to include some of your own favorites in your packable kitchen. I often include a few nonperishable food items like olive oil and spices!

What are your tips for going on spontaneous adventures with dietary restrictions?

Happy & safe travels,

❤︎ Jamie

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Celiac Travel DIY Cooking Kit

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Reader Love

Jamie has celiac disease down to a science!

-Rachel

2019-07-14T13:44:39-07:00

-Rachel

Jamie has celiac disease down to a science!

A fresh perspective on gluten-free with tips that are easy to implement!

-Lucas

2019-07-14T13:53:33-07:00

-Lucas

A fresh perspective on gluten-free with tips that are easy to implement!

The best GF info and ideas out there, especially if you travel! Wonderful pictures, as well.

-Ross

2019-07-14T13:54:34-07:00

-Ross

The best GF info and ideas out there, especially if you travel! Wonderful pictures, as well.

I feel like can travel spontaneously again. Thank you!

-Priska

2019-07-14T13:55:08-07:00

-Priska

I feel like can travel spontaneously again. Thank you!

I love the vibe - so positive and uplifting!

-Ashley

2019-07-14T13:55:43-07:00

-Ashley

I love the vibe - so positive and uplifting!