Vacations and trips may vary - but my top travel accessories always remain the same for any gluten-free adventure.
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From international vacations to road trips to weekend getaways, the familiar sight of my hiking backpack or a small suitcase brings me happiness - it means another trip is coming up soon!
While the destination, weather, or activities may vary, these travel accessories make my list every single time on the gluten-free diet. Packing your favorite belongings can really impact your traveling experience and make the process go much smoother. Consistency is key when you are away from your familiar surroundings.
You can take this list and make your own; you can tweak it, change it, add to it, or remove items. We all have our own travel styles, comfort levels, and needs. It's important to pack what makes us happy (within the available space) in order to travel safely.
My Top Travel Accessories
Gluten-Free Travel Snacks
#1 Rule of Gluten-Free Travel: Always Bring Snacks!
My go-to gluten-free snacks are granola bars, Instant oatmeal fruit like apples/bananas, gluten-free pretzels, rice cups, beef jerky, veggies, or nuts. I try to pack foods that are portable and easy to carry and with minimal refrigeration.
Emergency Travel Supplies
Bring a mask, hand sanitizer, emergency medicine, first aid kit, or anything else you feel is important for your health, hygiene, and wellness. Talk to your doctor or visit a travel clinic to know the best meds to have on hand.
For gluten-free purposes, bring whatever you need to help you feel better if you encounter gluten and supplies to prevent cross-contact when cooking in unknown kitchens.
Packing a pair of warm socks is my secret weapon to ensure I am cozy enough to fall asleep during a flight, train ride, or any other mode of transportation. SmartWool socks are excellent - they have a lifetime guarantee and are perfect for outdoor activities like hiking. Having a pair of warm socks not only keeps my feet toasty but also guarantees I make no attempts to sit cross-legged on a freezing cold plane and bump my seat neighbor. Win-win.
Travel pillows are an excellent invention. Smaller than a standard size pillow, they come in different shapes, styles, and colors. For our round-the-world trip, we invested in these square travel pillows and wound up using them frequently. You can never be sure what the pillow situation will be like at a hotel, Airbnb, hostel, or guesthouse.
These pillows, along with our sleepsacks, definitely came in handy on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Some hostels or albergues didn't have pillows - but we always did! It gave us a small place to rest our heads every night after walking 12-15 miles a day.
Headphones are the perfect choice when you don't want to engage with the world around you (and that's okay, we all need that sometimes), but you can plug in a variety of entertainment: movies, music, podcasts, audiobooks - you name it! Invest in a comfortable pair but be warned - they are pricey these days. I bought these JLab Bluetooth Headphones and I'm really happy with them so far - and they are under $50.
And if all else fails, at least have earplugs with you! Earplugs are a CRUCIAL travel accessory for long-term traveling, especially when you are staying in hostels or group settings. People snore or make noise. You need your rest!
We use Mack's earplugs, which are rated as some of the best earplugs out there, and we both agree. They are thorough and do the job well - blocking out noise while also being comfortable in your ears.
Another top travel item that came in handy almost as much (if not more) than earplugs/headphones were these eye masks. I will admit, sleeping with a mask over my eyes did take a little getting used to, but I quickly adjusted when the options were blinding light or total darkness!
Having the proper darkness in a room makes a big difference in how you sleep. By using a combination of earplugs and an eye mask, you're pulling out all the stops to get your sleep. Traveling is exhausting - and you're going to be tired. Get an eye mask (and some earplugs!) so you can sleep peacefully!
Journaling was one of my favorite pastimes as a child and teenager, and I continue to enjoy it as an adult - especially when traveling.
If you bring a journal, or even just a notebook, and some pens while traveling, the possibilities are endless. Calligraphy, drawing, doodling, writing poetry, itinerary planning, to-do lists, and just brainstorming are some of my personal favorites.
When I get home, I use my travel journal to scrapbook my travel memories!
Traveling around the world to countries I wasn't particularly familiar with meant I needed to invest in a bag that would prevent pickpockets or thieves. This bag was recommended on multiple travel sites, and I'm really happy with it. It has anti-slash straps, pockets with zippers that link and close on to each other, and in black, matches with most things!
Since I bought my purse, at least two other women in my family have purchased the same one and used it for international trips. I myself used this purse in 15 countries on five different continents and never had anything stolen, or had anyone attempt to take something from me.
I learned about Travel Scarves from Waypoint Goods after doing a giveaway with them through Traverse Journeys. These scarves are life-changing and now a go-to travel item! These gorgeous infinity scarves have a hidden zipper pocket where you can store valuables without having to worry about a money belt, purse, or being a target for pickpockets. The materials are soft, made in the USA, and have beautiful travel-themed designs.
My travel scarf has now become something I bring with me on both international trips and for traveling within the United States. In any instance where I don't feel safe bringing my purse or just don't want to, I can store my valuables discreetly, easily, and fashionably in the scarf!
Reusable Watter Bottle
I can't believe I used to walk around with a plastic Dasani water bottle and refill it for days on end. Not only would it almost explode when I went to open it on a plane due to high elevation, but it would become hot water when left inside a car. Not to mention, my constant purchases of plastic water bottles definitely weren’t helping the environment!
For years now, I've been using a reusable water bottle. My personal favorite is Hydroflask but we've also had HydraPeak and IronFlask. Water stays fresh (and cold!) no matter the temperature. This sustainable travel accessory helps me reduce plastic and served us well on our travels abroad - six months of it!
Final Thoughts: Top Accessories For Gluten-Free Travel
Those are my top travel accessories that always make my packing list. The clothing items may vary, and there are always some changes depending on the type of trip & where I'm going, but those are the items I can't live without.
By having this list established, I can pack more efficiently and have a more enjoyable trip.
What about you?
What are your top travel accessories?
What's your packing style?