I was taking a 13 day road trip, and I didn’t want to do what I had done on my last road trip, namely, eat pizza every single day. Don’t get me wrong. Pizza is one of my favorite foods. But less is more. Multiple days of it and I feel as though I’ll need a jackhammer to loosen my intestines.
Why so much pizza? Well, in the time of COVID-19, a lot of restaurants are closed, and/or stressful to enter. The one reliable source of takeout in a strange town, unless you want to resort to a fast-food chain restaurant (Noooooooo!) is pizza. So I needed to make a plan.
I decided to do my best to eat healthy. I would pack picnic breakfasts and lunches, and either pick something up to eat at a grocery store, or support a local restaurant for dinner. Not only were my intestines thrilled, but I saved a lot of money, too.
So what follows isn’t really a recipe (sorry) but more of an idea of what to pack for breakfasts and lunches and snacks for 13 days.
- A dozen hard boiled eggs
- Breakfast bars and/or granola
- Cold cuts. (I went with turkey and ham and cheese.)
- Sandwich thins. (Fewer carbs and they take up less space. Sadly, the same number of calories.)
- Fruit (I went with apples and grapes.)
- Peanut butter
- Ranch dressing
- Dried fruit
After that, all I needed was a cooler, plates, bowls, utensils, a roll of paper towels, and cold packs that I’d refreeze every night in the room. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I’d pick up salad fixin’s from a grocery store and add cold cuts and ranch dressing to that.
The beauty of many of these things is that they can be mixed and matched for variety. The ranch dressing is good on sandwiches, and it makes a good snack when combined with carrots. I used it to make egg salad, too. The peanut butter made for a good sandwich, and it’s also good with apples, granola or nuts. I used a different combo of cold cuts on my sandwiches each day. I could make my own trail mix.
You can even do this on road trips where you plan to fly to your first destination and rent a car. There are really efficient collapsible coolers now, or you can buy a cheap styrofoam one upon arrival if, unlike me, you don’t feel guilty about adding that to the landfill afterward. Then all you have to do is hit a grocery store, and away you go!
Making healthy choices may take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it.
Okay, okay… I bought chips when I stopped for gas, too. So sue me. I was on vacation.
What are your travel food ideas? Share them in the comments below!
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