Still have questions? Book a free discovery call

Gluten Free Road Trip

Summer is the season of travel. I’ve already explained how we stay gluten free in airport terminals (read that here), now I want to help you stay gluten free on your road trip!

Staying gluten free at home (once all the hidden gluten is found, and meals made over) is easy, leaving the house is when the challenge really begins. At home we know what safe restaurants we can go to, the staff might even know us by first name, but what about staying gluten free on a road trip? Not all towns/cities are gluten free friendly, let alone rest stops, gas stations, or available fast food/restaurant options. Well I decided it was important to help you enjoy your trip versus dreading it, or ending up spending a whole lot of time in pain and/or in the bathroom. Here are my tips and tricks to a gluten free road trip:

First, pack what you can in your car.

Non-cooler options:

  • Air popped popcorn
  • Gluten free chips
  • Gluten free crackers/pretzels
  • Homemade trail mix with mixed nuts, dried fruits, and coconut flakes
  • Dried fruit
  • Gluten free jerky
  • Bananas

Cooler options:

  • Diced cooked chicken and steak
  • Cheese cubes or sticks
  • Premade PB&J’s on your favorite gluten free bread (I like Canyon Bakehouse)
  • Grapes
  • Sliced apples
  • Water 🙂 (Have to stay hydrated!)*

*Tip: Freeze half of your water bottles. It will help your ice keep frozen longer.

Things you can pick up on the road:

Gas Stations

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Some have Naked smoothies
  • Potato chips
  • Drinks


  • Mom in the Raw Bars
  • Kind Bars
  • Nuts
  • Trailmix
  • Premade smoothies (like Evolution)

Grocery Stores

If you are anything like my family, the last thing you want to do is get out of the car on a long road trip. We like to stay on the road as long as humanly possible so we get to our destination faster. However, it does not do any good for everyone to get hangry and/or sore from sitting for too long. Getting out, walking around, and stocking up on your favorites does not have to take longer than sitting in a busy drive through, and you know you’ll be safe and not pulling over constantly from getting glutened.

  • Gluten free lunch meat
  • Precut vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Most have gluten free sections you can replenish your non cooler goods easily
  • If you get lucky and find a Whole Foods or other natural grocery store you’ll be in great shape

Restaurants that tend to be gluten free friendly:

  • Chick-Fil-A
  • In-N-Out
  • Chipotle
  • Jimmy John’s (the unwich)
  • Red Robin
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Pei Wei
  • Rock Bottom
  • Cheesecake Factory

*I love an authentic experience when visiting a new city or town. There is this great app called Find Me Gluten Free  and I highly recommend downloading it before you hit the road. Helped me find a fantastic 100% gluten free mexican food restaurant in Sausalito over the weekend!

Quick Tip: Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, sometimes we get glutened. Keeping activated charcoal capsules on hand (like this one) and taking them as soon as you realize what has happened along with drinking a ton of water will help minimize the effects.

Do you have anything you would add to this list? I would love to hear what things I haven’t thought of!



Learn how to go 100% gluten free, get a cookbook to get you started, and heal your gut with my 12 Day Online THRIVE GLUTEN FREE program. Check it out now!



6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Road Trip”

  1. Great post! I love the idea to freeze half your water beforehand to keep the ice longer. Being prepared is always important, but more so when you have dietary restrictions. Going on a road trip definitely makes you quickly aware how well you have adapted at home.

  2. Are all jerky meat gluten-free? I’ve never seen it labeled as gluten-free, but can’t think off the top of my head what ingredients that have gluten. Would be curious how you navigate through your gluten-free menu selection process when visiting those restaurants above. Summer roadtrip! Hope your family had a great time. Thank you for all the tips, as I’m off to a little road trip next week.

    1. Marian Mitchell

      Hi Naomi,

      No most jerky’s use soy sauce which is not gluten free. There are certain brands that are but you most definitely have to read the labels. In my 12 day program I have an entire day dedicated to how to dine out safely. For the restaurants I mentioned above, you ask your server for the gluten free menu and let them know you have an allergy. In my experience, they have been great and no one has gotten sick. We had a wonderful time and I hope you do as well!

  3. Great post Marian!
    Im a gluten free girls and always looking for more options, especially when travelling! I love eating at Chipolte because its just so easy with food allergies- and I look forward to trying some of your other suggestions! People need to learn more about how easy eating gluten free can be- you do a great job of providing solid info- thanks so much!

  4. Great Ideas! Whether it be for road trip or air travel we plan ahead. Having gluten and dairy allergies (yes you read it right, double food intolerances) makes it even more important to pack our own meals and snacks. Pouches of meal replacement powder makes it easy to get started in the morning; just add water! Dehydrating at home helps avoid store bought processed foods. You can make your own jerky, crackers and granola at a signicant savings. As much as we love eating out cross contamination remains and issue and requires a conscientious chef.

    1. Marian Mitchell

      It most definitely does! We have gluten, corn, and dairy here. It’s definitely so much easier to plan ahead to make sure no one gets hangry or sick.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Us

Hi friend!

I’m Marian Mitchell, Health Coach, Chronic Illness Warrior, Mom, and Food Lover. I help you navigate the food and lifestyle side of Chronic Disease Management with coaching, meal plans, recipes, podcast, and this blog. You can thrive without eating the same 4 things every day. I’m here to show you how.

Top 200 Podcast
Free Workbook

Related Posts

Scroll to Top