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My husband and I just got home from our two and one half week road trip through CA, UT, back to AZ through NM, TX, OK and into KS. We went to see kids graduate with upper level degrees and to see a kindergarten graduation. We saw our too far away grandchildren and had a great time traveling together! It was a lot of fun and exhausting!
When we travel by car, in order to avoid travel stomach problems, it is important to watch our diets and to realize that we aren't burning a bunch of calories just sitting in the car driving or sleeping! When we used to travel with kids, we also had to remember to keep them fed and happy with things they would enjoy. We also didn't want to spend a ton of money. It all definitely takes some pre-planning and preparation! Over the years, we have come up with some favorite foods that we like to bring along on road trips!
What are your favorite road trip snacks?
Years ago, my friend Kelly, who lives in Massachusetts, gave me a soft-side cooler that is perfect for traveling in the car with us. I love it and we use it all of the time now when we travel. (Until this trip when we couldn't find it and I think someone has borrowed it and failed to return it. I really missed it.) The soft side cooler is the perfect size to hold cold drinks like water, juices, soda and the one we have has enough space for a few snacks that need to stay cool. It keeps everything organized and easily accessible. Between that cooler and the deep center console in our car, we were able to keep all of the snacks close to me and easy to hand out. Here are a couple of similar options.
And, now for the food choices!
#1: Lindsey never drinks soda, but on road trips she will break that rule because when she drives a little caffeinated soda keeps her awake. I am the same way. On the other hand, if you are driving with kids, you probably like them to sleep! So juice, water, and Gatorade are important to bring along. Everyone needs to stay hydrated to help avoid stomach problems. Alicia says Gatorade is something she likes to travel with. The idea of avoiding stopping for bathroom breaks by not drinking much is not really a good one. Kids suffering with constipation is worse than stopping to let them go to the bathroom. Plus, a good stretch of the legs is good for everyone as well.
#2: Alicia says she loves beef jerky for road trips because it is delicious and savory. I think jerky is a good travel food as well because it isn't very messy and doesn't need to be kept cold. It can be eaten slowly instead of quickly gobbled down. Here is an exotic jerky assortment that would be fun to try as a treat on a road trip or to give as a gift to your jerky loving family member or friend!
#3: Fresh fruits and veggies are always a hit with my husband and I. This last trip I brought quartered strawberries and sectioned oranges and we gobbled them down. Then I picked up a package of apple slices, baby carrots and peas for the way home and they were consumed while I slept! :( These healthy snacks are easy to prepare at home and package into either Ziploc bags or into small containers. They are inexpensive and really refreshing to eat during the trip.
#4: I rarely splurge on cheese sticks because they seem so expensive. But, for our road trips, they are a special treat. Kids love them, they are healthy and satisfying and they fit nicely in the cooler. Along with cheese sticks, I always get crackers or Pringles or Lays Stacks. I like those types of chips in the tubes for traveling because they don't get crushed so easily, the tubes stand nicely in the center console of our car and when they are empty, I can shove trash in them without it taking up a lot of space. When my husband is driving, I can set a stack of them on his lap as he drives for him to snack on. It all works out great. He likes the original chip flavors, but I love the varied flavors. Sometimes something a little salty and crunchy is what you need when you are driving along.
#5: Of course, one or two sweet things are in order when you take a road trip! Maddy says that she loved it when we would get those Honey Buns that Little Debbie makes. Homemade cookies packed along are always good to have, or if you must, the packaged variety. We ate some packaged ones this time that I am thinking of making a homemade version of that will be so much better! (Stay tuned for that!) And finally, there has to be some kind of chocolate to keep me (and possibly everyone) happy! We like to buy Hershey Miniatures because then there is a variety for every taste. Who knew you could get them on Amazon Prime?
Those are our faves! And just a couple of other travel tips:
*We try to get hotels that serve breakfast! We make note of the ones with the best breakfasts. It is good to start the day with a good breakfast that will carry you through the day as you live on snacks. Even less expensive hotels will offer breakfasts now-a-days, so this is very budget friendly.
*When you stop for the evening, go and get a healthy meal. It doesn't have to be heavy. I ate a lot of salad bar offerings and soups. Everyone will sleep better if you eat something satisfying after the long drive, plus it is fun to go to a local diner or restaurant and just relax and enjoy the town you are in and one another's company. Some of our favorites this trip were Settebello in Salt Lake City, a local diner we ate in while in Panguitch, UT, and Braums in Winfield, KS.
*When you travel with kids, it is great to give them little surprises along the way to bust the boredom of driving. My grandchildren are going to be traveling a long way this summer, so I decided to give them each some little packages to open along the way to help keep them occupied and happy.
Are you planning any road trips this summer? If so, what are your favorite snacks and tips? Let us know and we hope you can use some of our ideas. Happy traveling!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!