It’s time to start pre-planning this year’s road trip.
Yep, I’m starting to think about what I need to think about before we drive off into the east on a two-day meander to our destination. Now, let me clarify: we’re sticking to the highway, driving through towns and even staying in a nice hotel. Oh, and we’re travelling with my husband. And his very limited dietary options.
The last few road trips were just my daughter and I. Last minute hunger pangs? Find the next gas station and we’re good to keep rolling. Diners, Tim Hortons or any meal prepared by our hosts? All excellent and limited only by my kid’s aversion to coconut.
But travel with my husband? Oh. Dear. Lord.
Gone are the days of super-spontaneous day trips, packing light and just “picking up and going”.
There are allergies to many fresh fruits and vegetables. There are intolerances to dairy, corn, gluten and some cooked vegetables. And I don’t even fully comprehend the whole fructose issue, but there’s one of those too. It’s unclear to many how he manages to find things to eat on any given day. Never mind on the road, in small town diners or at the mercy of relatives’ favourite family recipes.
And yet he does eat every given day. And we are travelling on the road, through small towns and (in part) at the mercy of relatives’ favourite family recipes.
He has, and continues to, integrate his needs with the world around him. Because it’s damned uncomfortable – if not outright damaging – if he doesn’t.
- pack a cooler of allergy-friendly food
- pack a cooler of kid friendly food, so the allergy-friendly food doesn’t get eaten
- stay at hotels with kitchens, or rental condos and cabins
- scope out the local grocery stores and hours of operation before we leave
- if we’re staying with someone, send out lists of friendly foods and foods to avoid in advance
Now, that may not seem like an exceptional list of things to do.
And here’s the thing: it isn’t exceptional at all. And it’s this list of unexceptional things that make travel not only possible, but accessible and enjoyable.
What can be an incredibly annoying imposition at best, or several debilitating days at worst, can be acknowledged, integrated and managed with a shift of head space.
We can have a family vacation.
They may not include French restaurants or salad bars. But they also won’t include days stuck in the hotel or searching for the nearest pharmacy.
And that’s worth a little pre-planning.
The next post will be in September, after vacation.
Keep the conversation going below: how do you integrate your health and wellness requirements into your life, family and vacations? What has changed? What do you gain? What support do you have or still need?