Image Credit: NMEDA
Beaches, amusement parks, and hotels, OH MY! Lately, I’ve had lots of questions about how to eat when you are not at home. This can be tricky but there are always options if you are willing to plan ahead and do the work.
First, you’re going to need a good cooler. You’ll need to be able to put enough food into it for the duration of your vacation. You’ll want to pack it as tight as possible to help keep food cold. You can even freeze some of the food to act as natural ice packs.
Next, create a menu for your time. Remember to include snacks. I typically try to book a hotel that provides a free breakfast so I don’t need to address that for everyone. Most hotels have a microwave available in the lobby or “breakfast/kitchen” area. I also plan for at least one “splurge” meal or a meal eaten out at a restaurant. This not only helps with staying on track health wise but is great for the budget too!
In creating your menu try to pick foods that travel well and can be eaten warm or cold if needed. I normally make a large batch of chicken and a large batch of ground meat flavored for tacos, both packed into large plastic microwave safe tubs. Tortillas can be laid flat in a bag or cooler and you don’t have to worry about squishing them like regular bread. Rice or quinoa can be cooked ahead and packed the same way as the meat. I also love to take my black bean sweet potato mix to add to meat or salad. I hope you see a pattern here. I do a lot of meal prep for the week and I just basically transfer that meal prep into things that can be packed and stacked into the cooler.
Veggies like carrots and celery can be peeled and cut into sticks, placed in sealed tubs with water and will keep crispy for about five days. Look for fruit that you can either cut up or doesn’t bruise easily. We always end up taking bananas, they get eaten so quickly they don’t have time to bruise though. A word of warning though, as much as I have tried to take hardboiled eggs with us, they ALWAYS make the whole cooler stink. If you absolutely want to take them, I recommend packing them in an entire different cooler, all by themselves.
Don’t forget to pack plates and silverware!