How to Travel Gluten-Free

Think airport security is a pain? What about delayed flights?

Dealing with airline travel makes going through security seem like a (gluten-free) cake-walk.

It turns out that airports are one of the hardest places to be gluten-free! Even the chain restaurants that usually have gluten-free menus – restaurants like Applebee’s and Chili’s – often don’t have any gluten-free offerings in their airport locations.

Come to think of it…

Airlines are a problem too! If you were brave enough to eat airplane food, only a couple of airlines offer a gluten-free meal – if they offer meals at all. American Airlines and Delta both offer gluten-free options. However, airline meals are typically only offered on long-haul flights where the flight is transcontinental. Business class and first-class travelers may also request a gluten-free meal on some domestic flights.

So where does this leave you and I?

We need to eat!

You and I have two options – we can bring our own food to the airport or we can plan to buy food at the airport.

Here’s a better solution

Actually, it is best to plan on bringing food and be prepared to buy.

Always bring food to the airport

What can you bring?

You can bring non-perishable food like nuts, chips, candy, trail mix, crackers, and bread. Avoid brining canned food as airports don’t like metal nor do they like sharp objects (like tin lids or can openers). You can even bring something to drink as long as you drink it before you go through airport security.

How much should you bring? I say bring enough for several snacks. I like putting snacks in individual bags so I don’t over-indulge and end up eating four servings at one sitting.

What to buy at the airport

Like I talked about before, airports don’t have much gluten-free food. But the newsstands have plenty of gluten-free snacks to keep you alive until you can get some regular food.

I recommend making a short list of gluten-free foods so you can whip it out if you need it at the airport. Here is a starter list:

  • Lay’s Potato Chips
  • Fritos
  • Cheetos
  • Snickers
  • M&M’s – Plain and Peanut

Additionally, you can almost always find packaged cups of fresh fruit in the refrigerated section of the newsstand. Fruit is good. Occasionally, you can find pre-packaged salads where the croutons are packaged and separate from the salad. This is safe for you to eat, but avoid the salad dressing unless it says it is gluten-free. Salad with no dressing sounds pretty bad, but if you’re hungry, it will do.

I hope you found this useful!

Until next time,


P.S. I have a new book coming out next week called How To Be Gluten-Free. It is packed with useful information.

Happy Gluten Free