Depending on the size of your family, you could spend $400 or more by eating each meal out during a five-day road trip. Considering that you must already pay the inflated price of gas, that could be an added expense you simply can’t afford. Instead, consider packing your own food. By bringing meals and snacks that keep everyone satisfied, you can use the money on other things, such as souvenirs and sightseeing – or, save it for your next vacation.
When packing food for your trip, it’s essential to keep it fresh. If you prepare meals, place them in freezer bags, eliminate excess air, and freeze them flat to maximize cooler space. And if you plan to stay at a hotel during your trip, book a room with a refrigerator and a microwave. Even if it costs slightly more than a room without, you will still save money by eating in, rather than buying food from restaurants.
Food to Bring on Vacation
Here are some family favorites to consider packing on your next road trip:
1. Sloppy Joes
My family rarely eats these at home, so having them on a trip is a nice change. If you whip up Sloppy Joe meat, store it in quart-sized freezer bags so it’s easier to serve. These are simple to put together, and the kids love them.
Meatloaf is a convenient meal, and it can stay frozen for several days into the trip if your cooler is properly packed. This is great for a main course, and leftovers are good on sandwiches.
To make tacos, simply brown a pound of ground turkey or beef, drain the fat, and add salsa and black beans. Let it simmer for a few minutes, then cool and pack in quart-sized freezer bags. This can be served in taco shells or over a bed of lettuce and fresh tomatoes.
You may wish to purchase a rotisserie chicken the day before you leave on vacation, and dice all the meat into small chunks. That can make up the bulk of your lunches throughout the trip, and it is very cost-effective, as most rotisserie chickens only cost $5 to $7.