3 Tips for Traveling on GAPS

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The thought of traveling while on the GAPS Diet can seem incredibly daunting. What food will be available? How will you make sure you’re eating everything you need for your healing? How will you avoid foods that make you ill?

Take a Deep Breath

Don’t worry — traveling really is possible and enjoyable. As with most things on the GAPS diet, it does take some advanced planning and preparation. My three tips for traveling on the GAPS diet will help you have a successful adventure away from your home!

1.  Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is a must for traveling while following GAPS. There are a few factors you’ll want to take into consideration as you make your arrangements.

Staying somewhere that has a small kitchen available is extremely helpful. Whether it’s with family or friends or just a kitchenette in a hotel room, it will make a big difference to have a fridge and stove available for meal prep.

Provided Meals
Whether you are going to a conference or visiting family, you’ll want to find out what meals (if any) are going to be provided. Then you’ll be able to plan what you’ll need to either bring along with you or purchase when you arrive at your destination.

For example, a few weekends ago I attended a retreat with several other women from my church. I emailed the gal in charge of the meals to find out what was going to be served. Fortunately, she was really great and was preparing at least a portion of each meal to work with my GAPS diet limitations. Once I knew what was being served, I knew what to bring to round out each meal.

Local Stores and Restaurants
Particularly if you are flying to your destination, you’ll want to do a little research ahead of time as to what local grocery stores and restaurants are in the area. Then, you’ll know what items are essential to pack yourself and what you can wait to pick up once you arrive.

Eating out is often a big factor when traveling. You’ll want to review these tips for eating out before you set out on your trip. Also, if you know anyone in the area, they can be a great starting point for finding restaurants that will work for you.

2.  Pack Thoughtfully

If you’re traveling by car, you’ll have more leeway for the amount of food you can bring with you. I’ve found an electric cooler to be a big help for road trips. I can plug it into the car while on the road and then plug it into a wall outlet once I arrive.

Even if you’re traveling on an airplane, you can check a small cooler. I’ve done it before without a problem and it allows me to take a few cold and/or frozen items along that I won’t be able to find easily once I reach my destination.

essential foods

Hard-to-Find Essentials
Depending on where you are traveling, or even on the duration of your trip, it’s just better to bring along some of those hard-to-find items.  I will typically pack items such as my fermented cod liver oil, my favorite veggies for breakfast, or some homemade chicken or beef stock.

Travel-Friendly Snacks
You’ll want to have some satisfying, yet portable snacks along with you. It can be challenging to find GAPS-friendly snack options on the go. Some great ones to bring along are homemade energy bars, hard boiled eggs, crispy nuts, hard cheese, or dried fruit.

While you may be out of your usual routine, you’ll still want to be sure you’re taking your probiotics, cod liver oil, fish oil, and any other digestive aids you need.

As I mentioned above, I pack the liquid ones in my cooler either in checked luggage or in my car.

For the rest of the supplements, if I’m going for several days or longer, I’ll just bring the bottles along with me.  If I’m just staying somewhere for a night or two, I’ll pack small baggies with what I need for each meal.  For example, for this coming weekend, I’ll pack the supplements I need into small snack-sized baggies for each meal.

3.  Enjoy Your Trip

It’s important to not let the stress of traveling take away the joy of your trip. It will be more challenging to travel rather than eat at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your trip!

Do Your Best
While on the road, you’ll want to do your best to follow the GAPS diet just as closely as you do at home. You’ll feel better and you won’t have any setbacks on your healing journey. That being said, it won’t undo all of the good you have done, if you have a slip up or are running out of options. Just do your very best to stick as close to the protocol as possible.

Don’t Stress
On the same note, don’t stress about the mistakes you make while traveling! I think stress can be very harmful to the healing process, and it won’t change anything that’s happened.

I can tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and so I want to do everything as well as possible. I’ve come to realize that when traveling I may not consume as much stock as I do at home or eat as many fermented foods as normal. That’s okay! My trip is just for a short time and I know I can get back to my stricter GAPS routine once I return home.  Worrying about it won’t help!

Enjoy the Journey

Just as the GAPS diet is a journey that doesn’t happen overnight, learning to travel while following a special diet isn’t something that you perfect the first time.  Just be sure to enjoy your journey along the way!

What are your GAPS traveling tips? We’d love to hear!

New to our GAPS series? Get up to speed by browsing past posts in this series or reading what the GAPS diet is.

This post is shared with GAPS Friendly Fridays.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    We only did GAPS for a short time, but it was during a time in our life when we lived in two homes and traveled back and forth each week. We needed to eat en route, so we packed the follow foods for car trips:
    Boiled or fermented eggs,
    Hard cheeses,
    Home-fermented olives,
    Dried fruit

    We could have also done cut-up veggies, but I admit that I didn’t since I like mine with a salad dressing and didn’t want any spills. On more adventurous occasions, we’ve also brought along smoothies.

    I must give credit where it is due. Many of the ideas came from KerryAnn Foster, who jotted a few ideas down while I was in the thick of life.

  2. Charlotte says

    We travelled while on intro a year ago. It was just for a couple of nights and the hotel was next to a supermarket. We flew out and i packed soup filled thermoses for the car journey to the airport (which were then left in the car) and i packed meatballs and garlicky green beans for snacks. We also took a portable electric stove/hot plate so we could cook in our hotel room (not sure that was allowed but we just did it) and a cool bag to store food in. We bought chicken portions and veggies each night at the supermarket and cooked them up with salted water to make a broth/stew. We had boiled eggs for breakfast. We had to let our standards slip a little and just do the best we could under the circumstances but it worked out fine.

  3. says

    Thanks for your travel guide. I’ve done GAPS on the road, too, but incorporated a lot more wild foods, especially wild greens. One of my best finds, though, has been Grace brand coconut cream. It comes in a hand-sized dark green box, and it is my best emergency food. It’s double bagged, so if I bring an angle clip along, I can reseal at least one of the bags to minimize mess. It keeps forever, it stirs into stir-frys, soups, stews, and smoothies, and in a pinch, it will keep me going on its own for hours, being chock-full of coconut solids and excellent fat. It’s a great camping food, too.

  4. Guest says

    Thank you so much, frequent traveler here trying to transition family into GAPs and about to travel again. I’m up late fretting over what I can bring and this post was so helpful, jolted my memory, helped me realize this is not madness but a shared experience by other’s also trying to heal.

    In the past I have done:
    For airplane:

    Starkist tuna packets(plain tuna and salmon only)
    sprouted flowerless bread from Trader Joe’s,
    Lara bars ( or home made versions)
    Hard boiled eggs
    Trail mix\granola (No grain)
    beef, turkey and salmon jerky
    Dry or freeze dried fruit.

    For the stay
    I made a protein powder from Bob’s Red Mill Whey/ Unsweetened Cocoa (I get maple syrup there to sweeten or dates)
    (I try to bring a crock pot to make broth)
    an immersion blender for smoothies.

    I’ll buy there:
    Maple syrup, or raw honey if I luck out
    Coconut milk,
    Coconut oil
    Organic bones and meat (pastured is not always easy to find, but organic usually yes)
    Organic eggs and veggies (again pastured is challenging).

    But it is still a challenge. I’m doing a GAPs in reverse sort of thing so that we progressively cut down more and more bad stuff , that was the only way to get my men on board. So we are not on intro yet, we will eventually get there. However on these trips and gatherings which are way too often, is 2 steps forward 10 back sometimes since my guys are reluctantly doing gaps with me and are seduced by what the company is eating. Since eating out with others is inevitably and invariably brings us to non Gaps food oops, I pack or buy there – extra probiotics (freeze dried), fish oil, and enzymes. I also will buy prune juice if needed. If anyone has more tips please do share

  5. says

    I plan WAY ahead and pay a little extra for a room with a fridge and/or microwave. We do cooler bags, lots of snacks, and lots of salad dressing in small containers for those times we eat out…you can just order a salad and count on the salad dressing that you brought at least! We don’t freak out if we don’t adhere 100%, because we know that at least we’re doing our best. We also go to Chipotle if we just don’t have time or energy to go back to the hotel room and “cook”…

  6. Terro says

    We just got back from a camping trip while on GAPS intro. I dehydrated meats, veges, and crispy nuts. We took canned fish and tomato paste, and bought salad greens, carrots and eggs once we ran out. Several jars of frozen soups kept the cooler very cold for most of the trip, since the rim of the Grand Canyon is very cold in March. It was a good first attempt but I hope we are on regular GAPS for our next trip.

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