travel eating / travel food
Many times traveling equals bad fast food or overpriced tourist food, and it can be very irritating, and also cause your kids to get hyper or act out of control and even make yourself not feel 100%, lose energy and get irritable. Traveling on the road you need as much as you can get going for you, and the littlest thing can throw you off. I promise you it doesn't have to be difficult or complicated. My rule is just travel with good food and have healthy snacks ready at hand and you can usually expect a more smooth road.
Like I've said a few times already, we didn't plan this trip very well, in that I mean we didn't have any of the details worked out before we left. I was even a bit surprised when we got on our flight to Las Vegas and it was announced that it was a 5 hour flight! whoa! Luckily, I grabbed the leftovers from our meal the night before and packed them in to-go containers. We munched on carrots, celery and cucumbers and a dip of hummus and some pita bread, it's all we had so there were few complaints. Somehow this just set our trip off in the right way.
We arrived in Las Vegas to pick up our VW Eurovan (from a great little company that rents vans called Leaving Las Vegas) and headed straight for Whole Foods (yes, even in Las Vegas we were saved by Whole Foods!) We stocked the fridge and cooler with yummy and easy snacks and camping food and we were set to go! (the cost came to just about $120 but saved us from really bad road food along the way) and it took us all the way through the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley until Santa Fe where we stocked up again.
I don't know if I should go into details about what we brought with us, don't want to bore you, but letting the kids pick out a few things usually helps. We stocked up on fresh fruit, veggies, and nuts for snacking and then just a few simple meals. One of my favorite fall-backs is futomaki (vegetable sushi rolls) they are such a complete meal with brown rice, veggies and seaweed all rolled into one, you know everthing is there! We are not health food police when we are on the road and we have our share of hot dogs and smores - but believe me it all goes smoother when you have healthy food at hand.
Each time we came into a town with a Whole Foods or Co-op we stocked up so that we were ready to go. We also ate breakfast or lunch at Whole Foods instead of restaurants when we could because the food is better and cheaper than eating out and you can usually sit outside. When in a town looking for a place to eat out, opt for a health food restaurant or Japanese or Korean rather than Tourist food. Our total food cost for two weeks was $320 (for a family of four) and we only stopped once for hamburgers - this includes eating out and everything!