One of the first things my family seeks out when we land in a new place is a grocery store. This especially holds true when visiting a foreign country. As most parents of a child with food allergies know, this can be an indispensable find to get you through stressful snack and mealtimes.
When we first started traveling abroad, I used to try and carry gluten free food in with me via suitcase. This proved difficult for longer trips where more gear like snorkels or ski helmets were necessary. There is only so much space in those checked bags folks, especially when you are limited to that pesky 50 pound rule.
I had read a bunch on the Internet about Ling and Sons being a great grocery store for those seeking gluten free staples. But, as luck would have it, our little one fell asleep in the car ride between the airport and our finding landing point of the Marriott Stellaris.
We did not have a car rental at our disposal and were told it would cost roughly $24 US round-trip if we wanted to return later to the part of town. That didn’t exactly check any of the boxes: not convenient nor cost effective so that settled that. We were just going to have to find a location that was walking distance to our hotel in the Palm Beach vicinity and hope for the best.
Thankfully, Google maps showed us that Ting Wei Supermarket was located a quick 15 -minute walk from our hotel. We figured even if our favorite gluten free brands were not available there we could still stock up other naturally gluten free items to help get us through our eight day stay.
Hubby and Kid Allergy set off on their walking adventure while I curled up on a lounge chair alongside our sleeping four year old.
They returned about 45-minutes later loaded with gluten free goodies.
The bill totaled $115 and got us: a gallon of still water, a small bottle of Jack Daniels Bourbon, a six pack of Diet Coke, three bottles of red wine, a bunch of red grapes, multiple red apples, a couple of yogurts (labeled gluten free) and a reusable large shopping tote.
All in all, the whole family was all pretty pleased with this grocery store experience. It isn’t a large supermarket experience but rather a local bodega providing plenty of gluten free safe snack options.
Kid Allergy – one and a half thumbs up
The red grapes had seeds in them so both of my children refused to eat them. But, other than that, my son enjoyed the apples and was thrilled the yogurt was actually labeled gluten free.
Mom – two thumbs up
It ticked the boxes of walkable, convenient and safe. I enjoyed having some of the gluten free basics on hand and loved that they also sold some reasonably priced adult beverage options so we didn’t always have to schlep the kids to a bar every time we wanted to enjoy an island happy hour.
Remember to bring a sturdy bag roomy enough to carry your groceries to avoid the $2.50 cost of purchasing a reusable tote. The store does not provide grocery bags and the walk was just too far to try and juggle everything in their arms. On the upside, the bag was relatively sturdy and quite roomy so they were able to pile everything in to just one.
You might want to consider shopping in smaller spurts. My husband and son were quite knackered when they returned from the 15-minute journey in the heat of the Aruban sun. Don’t underestimate how difficult it can be to muscle such heavy items back to your hotel room!
For more on gluten free grocery store options in Aruba, look to Erin Smith’s Gluten Free Globetrotter Blog.