Road trip- do's and don'ts.

We have been traveling cross-country now for 4 days, by car, with our dog. Here is a brief list of things that have worked, and things that really did not go so well, when it came to food, and finding food on our trip. I decided to group them into DO's and DONT'S so as to make it simple and practical. Here we go...

  • DO bring water with you, in your stainless containers. You save a lot of money not having to buy stupid little plastic water bottles, and avoid an incredible amount of waste and trash thrown away. After all, I have not seen so far, between Florida and Utah, a single recycle bin in any gas station or hotel. So, again, if you don't want to generate more waste than necessary, bring your water. 
  • DO bring some apples with you. They are nice and red, fresh, juicy, and keep remarkably well in the car for days. Wash them before the trip, so they are ready to go.
  • DO bring flat bread with you. They are already stale anyway, so they never go bad. Rye-Vita, Havli... they are all great, and go pretty much with anything. They are full of fiber and very nutritious as well, as opposed to most road-trip car snacks.
  • DO bring a little (good quality) chocolate with you- for those moments of desperation when you've driven for over 12 hours and you are still not there...
  • DO bring some good cookies with you- they give you energy and a smile, specially when you eat them for lunch! I found a recipe in Joy of Cooking for chocolate-chip/oatmeal cookies (or maybe it was just raisin/oatmeal, and I changed the raisins for chocolate?), and changed the regular white flour for whole wheat flour. Those cookies were awesome! They had the melted chocolate, they were soft and chewy, but since they were made with whole wheat and good quality (raw, grass-fed) butter and eggs, they were nutritious as well. That recipe is definitely a keeper for future road trips- I was eating 3, 4 cookies at a time!
  • DO bring some nuts with you. In a pinch, they will save you.
  • DO bring a good, sharp knife. Not to kill yourself, but to slice and share fruit and veggies like cucumbers and/or peppers. But it is wise to use it when not moving in the car, as I have cut myself with it before- badly. You know, little bumps in the road...
  • DO bring your coffee thermos. You can always fill it up at your favorite coffee shop, and save it for later. Nice to have when you get sleepy- with your cookie or chocolate, or both.
  • DO bring a few boiled eggs- a couple is good, 6 a bit much though, especially if they crack... then they end up as dog food. But they were great as long as they remained cold. If they are in a cooler with ice, make sure they don't get wet, because then not even the dog will eat them. Nasty stuff.
  • DON'T. Speaking of nasty stuff, the cheese also did not do so well. It too got wet, and became a mess. That was very unfortunate, as I was counting on some nice cheese on flat bread for dinner... ended up with boiled egg and flat bread instead, but do regret the waste, since it was such nice cheese...
  • DON'T bring junk food. It makes you feel greasy, tired and gross. Not worth it, especially since it also makes you fat. Yes, Snickers taste great when you are tired, but the minute they are gone, you are back to square zero in the tiredness scale, plus the extra fat/sugar/crap you just ate.
Bringing these items saved us a lot of money on potentially expensive and crappy meals at places that we would normally never step foot in. We spent $50 on food for 3 days. Not bad, huh? We went one morning to Whole Foods and got brown rice sushi to go (vegetarian, so you don't have to worry about fish going bad...), meat for the dog, bread to nibble during the morning, and coffee... we also went to a couple coffee shops in different towns (not Starbucks, local coffee shops) and got a salad for a late lunch, scones for the morning, more coffee... that kept us going for 3 days. We also brought a nice pasta salad from home for the first day. At first I thought that it was silly to bring food in a glass container, but it kept well, and now we have the container for the summer to use for left overs and whatever we may need a spare container for. 

I also do bring a reliable beer opener- if all else fails, you can always have a nice, cold beer.

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