Planning your ski trip – The Food Sensitive Shopper
Ski Resorts – Plan before you Go
If you are headed to the slopes to board or ski and have food sensitivities then planning your food sources is very important. We head to the slopes often but are only a couple hours away. Planning is easier if you drive to the slopes and can bring a cooler of food (cheaper too!) however most people fly to their ski resort destination and have to rely on purchasing food.
Most ski towns have local pubs and restaurants, coffee and sandwich shops, and a grocery market in town. Most ski resorts have numerous cafeteria and restaurant style eating establishments slope-side. Some are more limited in food choices than others so it is good to know beforehand what you can expect. We have visited ski resorts all over the U.S. and Europe and find the smaller the resort the more difficult it is to find foods that our food sensitive family members can eat.
Today we are going to give you some planning advice to help you with communicating about your food requirements before you arrive:
1. Call the resort to talk with the concierge about food options. Ask for contact information for in-house restaurants, bistros, coffee shops, and room service; the name and location of local grocery markets; and names of local restaurants. See if grocery markets and eateries are within walking distance. If not, and you don’t have a car inquire about public transportation.
2. Make a list of your contacts and call or send an email to each one. We have done this in the past and it is a very reassuring way to learn what you can expect.
3. Pack non-perishables that you may not find elsewhere like snack foods, breads, cereals, soy or sunflower butter, and cartons of non-refrigerated soy, rice, almond, or coconut milk. Whatever specialty items you need you should pack and bring to the slopes. Large ski resorts usually have lots of food options but not necessarily specialty foods for food sensitive shoppers.
When you arrive take some time to scout out the area. Visit the restaurants, bistros, and grocery markets. Introduce your self to management or staff that you had already contacted. When we scout out restaurants we also look at the menu options, ask additional questions, and make specific plans (time and date) to let the management know to expect us. This way the manager can alert staff about the food sensitivity and preparation requirements for that particular meal.
We realize that traveling with family or friends who do not have food allergies can create some issues surrounding where to eat and when. For example your family may want to go to a restaurant that does not accommodate your food sensitivity. Be sure to come up with a compromise for at least one or two nights so you can have a meal or two together. Be reassuring and problem solve together. You may find compromising by eating separately for most meals is the safest and easiest method. This is what we do when we travel with family. We eat a meal or two together at a location that we have researched but mostly focus on the fun activities that we can do together instead of eating.
Now that you have some ideas on how to prepare to be a food sensitive skier or snow-boarder we hope you will enjoy your next visit to the slopes.