G-Tube Travel Tips

Use this guide when you’re packing for vacation, and post it on your fridge so you’ll always be prepared to eat out with friends at a moment’s notice, go on a spontaneous weekend vacation, or weather any emergency.

  • Freezer meals - Freeze individual g-tube meals in plastic food storage containers, such as Gladware or ZipLock containers. You can use these meals at home when your family’s meals aren’t “g-tube friendly” (such as pizza night), and take them along when you travel. When you’re ready to go, pack your cooler with enough meals & snacks to last the number of days you plan to be gone, plus one extra day.  To conserve cooler space, you can store meals in quart-size freezer bags instead of plastic containers.
  • G-Tube Fast Food – Keep some non-perishable g-tube “fast food” around for unexpected events.
    • Applesauce cups.
    • Jar of peanut butter / single-serving peanut butter packets.
    •  Instant Breakfast packets.
    • Jars of strained baby food meats and vegetables.
    • Bottled water.
  • On-The-Go Kit - Keep an On-The-Go g-tube bag ready for any adventure. My daughter’s bag is packed in a travel shaving kit.
    • 60 ml syringes.
    • G-tube extension tubes.
    • Small fine-mesh food strainer.
    • Kitchen towels and bandanas.
    • 1-cup plastic measuring cup with handle and pour spout.
    • Spoon.
    • Hand sanitizer & baby wipes.
    • Emergency medicine.
    • Single-serving non-perishable food, such as snack-size applesauce packs and a small jar of peanut butter.
    • A small soup thermos, to keep a single g-tube meal ready-to-eat for hours.
  • Restaurant survival - Surviving a restaurant with no prepared g-tube meal?  With your on-the-go kit and a friendly waiter, you can make a meal from most restaurant offerings.  Look for easy-to-strain foods such as apple sauce, yogurt, soup, chili, and mashed potatoes & gravy. It might not be the healthiest meal you've served, but it will fill a g-tube tummy while you feed your souls with the company of family and friends.
  • The Traveling Kitchen - Find an old suitcase or duffle, and pack your traveling kitchen. Take it with you whenever you will be away from home.
    • Single-serve / immersion blender.  I found a tiny “smoothie blender” at Target for about $15, and an immersion blender at Walgreens for about the same price.  If you travel by air, the blender must be in your checked baggage; even the tiniest blender blade is not allowed to be carried on board.  When we had to travel by air, we left our blender at the security check point, and bought a new one as soon as we got to our destination.
    • Small fine-mesh strainer. Try the strainer before packing it in your Traveling Kitchen: You don’t want to get to your destination just to find out the mesh is either too large or small for your g-tube needs.
    • Electric hot-pot.  A hot-pot works great for heating frozen g-tube meals when your hotel / rest area doesn’t have a microwave available.  And yes, it’s pretty much like the one you used to cooked spaghetti in your dorm room. I couldn’t find the one I had from 1984, so I recently bought another at Target, for about $15.
    • Spoons.
    • Kitchen towels. You WILL make a mess feeding through a g-tube while travelling. Pack plenty of towels!
    • Dish soap.  You can clean nearly anything with a little water and a drop of dish soap, including dishes, kitchen towels, bandanas, swimsuits, underwear, etc.
    • Microwavable bowls.  Many hotels and hospitals offer microwaves either in-room, or in a common hospitality area for heating your frozen g-tube meals.
    • Coffee / coffee filters.  (Optional for some families; not for mine!) Hotels that offer in-room coffee service rarely provide enough for our sleepless nights!
Now, grab your family and go find an adventure!