Spring break is around the corner and summer vacation will be here before we know it. Now is the time to start planning! Are you looking for a vacation that will ease your mind and give your the freedom to enjoy family without stressing over exposure to gluten?
See below how we got our family vacation down to $24 per person, per day- TOTAL!
Camping with an RV Rental
So a few weeks ago, we decided we wanted to take an impromptu family vacation. My husband got off work for a long 4 day weekend (which was a miracle in and of itself) We started looking online for campsites, but knowing that it would be raining and freezing cold, we wanted an RV to ease the camping experience. We began looking up RV rentals, and to our surprise, they were sooo much cheaper than we ever imagined! The base price for an 8 sleeper camper was $50 a night, for a minimum of three nights, so we were like… YES PLEASE! Of course there are always taxes and fees that creep in, but even with insurance, taxes, and mileage, it was going to only be a total of $400.
Now that is incredible! When you have a family of 6, to go somewhere for 3 nights and 4 days, $400 is unheard of! We were really excited and started looking up campsites and found an opening at Joshua Tree, California, for $20 a night. So this was an amazing-crazy-good deal! Things were coming together within a matter of minutes!
We got our RV, we got our campsite, we were set…
Now for the preparing of our food…
This can often seem like a daunting task, and prepping food for a family with both celiacs and non-celiacs can add more pressure. Of course we kept all of our food 100% gluten free so there would be zero cross contamination worries. But where I do find a challenge is to create meals where my husband will not miss gluten at all. (And I have to admit, he is a great sport and never complains about eating gluten free in the home). I try to make a little game out of it instead of letting it bring me down. (believe me- that helps a TON) Mind over matter. We need to be in a good mindset.
Safe Cookware and Dishes
My greatest surprise was that when you rent an RV (at least from where we rented) they don’t supply any dishes, you get to bring it all. To some people, that would be annoying, but for a celiac, that was music to my ears– we get to bring everything that we need to use. All of it is 100% safe!
I then sat down and scheduled out every meal– breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for three days, and I went grocery shopping. I tried to choose realistic meals that I knew my kids would eat, that would be easy to prep, and that wouldn’t require a lot of ingredients and dishes. For instance, we bought pre-cooked Costco bacon so we could heat it on the stove or in the microwave. I also got a rotisserie chicken and shredded it up and put it in a baggy. Trying to prep as much as I could before we left was key to our mealtime success. We had tons of fruits and veggies– grapes, bananas, apples, carrots etc…
For breakfast we had bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and fruit each morning.
Lunches consisted of ogf sandwiches, chips and veggies.
For dinners, we made hamburgers, hotdogs, or chicken taquitos (and we may or may not have set off the smoke alarm a few times… oops)
We ended each night with hot cocoa with marshmallows. We would have made s’mores but we forgot the skewers to cook them on. So we improvised a bit! (I just love this little moving, blurry photo-bomber)
Back to planning… Once I prepped all of the food the morning of our trip, my husband-picked up the RV and pulled it right up to our home… and as easy at that… we loaded everything right up– my pots, pans, spatulas, and any other kitchen gadgets I would need, it was so easy!
In total for all of our groceries, the cost was $109.54. Which again I call that a win. Imagine if we would have chosen to go to a hotel in a city, the cost of the hotel and then eating out every meal would have been at least quadruple what we spent. AND we were able to eliminate the stress factor of being ‘glutened’ I call that a crazy amazing WIN!
The best part was that I never, not even one time, had to worry about cross contamination or that my kids were going to get glutened.
We just spent lots of time with my family, carefree of gluten. We played board games, we went on a lot of hikes, and at night, it was rainy and windy, but we were in the comforts of our RV, totally fine and safe.
Just to recap on how much we spent for a 3 night gluten-free RV Vacation…
- $400 on the RV, tax, insurance, and gas
- $60 for a total of 3 nights/ 4 days for the campsite
- $110 on Groceries
Literally the best vacation we ever had as far as not being worried about being glutened.