Summer is a big time for travel, so I asked my fabulous friend Janelle Holden, who is a gluten-free coach, to share some tips for being gluten-free on the go in this guest post. Next week, I will send some herbal travel tips and you will be set for the summer! -Love, Maia

A few years ago, when I was new to the whole gluten-free world, I was sitting in the Denver airport, doing what I call my “despairering.”

I was hungry. I couldn’t find anything to eat that was gluten-free. And I was watching the woman sitting next to me stuff her face with pizza.

Not that there is anything wrong with that …

It was just … too much. I felt like crying and was battling my own internal temper tantrum that airports aren’t more user-friendly for people like me. It was a whole … thing.

And at that moment I vowed to make travel different. I vowed that I would learn how to take care of myself, no matter where I went. I promised myself that I wouldn’t have to stay home just to eat well. And that I would do my best, that’s all.

Since then, I have learned how to feel good while traveling, and have coached many clients through trips to mother-in-law’s houses, business trips, international destinations (like Italy), car camping, and cross-the-country family vacations.

So, since summer is upon us, and that means traveling near and far for many people, I thought I’d share with you the top 3 mistakes I see people make when they travel and what to do instead.

Mistake #1: Not bringing food with you. When you’re hungry, you will make “riskier” choices to satisfy your body’s need for fuel and that means that you have a greater chance of getting sick. Or … you’ll starve yourself and then compensate by overeating. Whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store or an airplane flight to Timbuktu, you need to have food on your person if you’re gluten-free.

Mistake #2: Not asking for what you need. You are not a burden. You are a person. It’s okay to have needs. It’s okay to ask people to help you. It’s okay for them to say no. It’s okay for them to say yes. If you go to a restaurant and don’t tell them you have dietary restrictions, how can they help you? If you don’t tell your friend what it is that you can or cannot eat then how will she know what to cook you for breakfast when you’re visiting? Let people help you. Ask for what you need.

Mistake #3: Not planning ahead. It takes a really good plan and some thought to travel with food sensitivities. Without a plan you will find yourself reacting to the situation, worrying about what you’ll eat, and probably hungry or sick. A good travel plan includes what you will eat when you get there, where you will eat out, a list of grocery stores that are near your destination, carrying a cross-contamination kitchen kit, medications you’ll take if you get sick, and a host of other necessities. It does take work, but it can be done.

j-holdenJanelle Holden works exclusively with people with celiac disease and food sensitivities to help them transition to a gluten-free diet, travel, be social, and love what they eat.