When it comes to any plan, it’s often the little things that make it or break it. Now that my condo hotel is reserved, I’m ready to start making lists of things I need for my upcoming trip. Of course I’m going to start with the food. I could start with a list of clothes to pack, but cooking sounds like more fun than doing laundry!
First I’ll make a loose menu plan. Once that is done, I’ll divide the ingredients into items I’ll carry with me and those I’ll buy on location. When making that decision, I always consider my mode of transportation and the potential availability of ingredients on location. If I’m making a road trip to a remote area, I may opt to carry more with me and buy less once I get there. If I’m flying to an urban area, I may only carry snacks for the plane.
My next trip is via car to a condo style hotel in a small city. A quick search tells me there’s a Whole Foods there so I’ll be able to pick up anything I need once I get there – even gluten-free snacks. Does that mean I don’t need to carry anything with me? Not exactly.
I want to carry some snacks for the road, a couple of time-saving home prepped items, and some tiny little containers of things like olive oil, spices, salad dressing, or other condiments. It drives me crazy to have to buy a bottle of olive oil that would last a month or two when I only need enough for three or four meals.
Here’s how my carry along lists are shaping up for this trip:
Carry Along Car Snacks
Used cottage cheese containers filled with golden raisins & raw almonds
Snack size Brie or Gouda cheese
Gluten-free crackers or pretzels
Gluten-free protein bars
Carry Along for Later
Frozen gluten-free Cooking2Thrive Success, Biscuits!
Coughlan’s Multispice Container with paprika, curry, cayenne, garlic salt, black pepper, and salt – Available for $8.09 from http://www.coghlans.com/products/multi-spice-9961 Either a 6 pack of Backpacker’s Pantry Organic Olive Oil available for $4.80 from http://www.backpackerspantry.com/products/four-person/snacks-and-extras/organic-olive-oil-6-pack.html
or a 1.75 oz bottle of EVOO for $2.01 from http://www.minimus.biz/FoodMain.aspx
I’m actually so enamored with the cute little containers from Minimus.biz, I may order all kinds of little things I need, and some I don’t really need, for this trip. They have hot sauce, cute little jars of ketchup for $1.37 each, bottles of mustard for $1.42 or packets of Guldens Spicy Brown Mustard for 13¢ each. There’s real mayonnaise; honey in tubs, packets, or jars; Parmesan cheese packets; vinegar; balsamic vinegar packets for 32¢ each; and A1® Steak Sauce in adorable 1.4 oz bottles for $1.97 each. And yes, you can buy single bottles. In the specialty food section of the Minimus.biz website, you can find gluten-free salad dressing packets for 93¢ each, sugar free foods, and much more.
But I digress. The point is that I can carry trip sized olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and spices without having to buy little containers and fill them myself. This saves me time, doesn’t break the budget, and keeps me from wasting a bunch of food. Not to mention, these little tiny packages are CUTE! For me this is a win all the way around.
If you prefer to pack your own spices, there are specialized containers available like the GSI spice missile with waterproof caps and shaker modules available from http://gsioutdoors.com/products/pdp/spice_missile. The price starts at $9.95 for 2 compartments and you can add more sections for cumin, cinnamon, tarragon, etc. This flexibility allows you to be more specifically prepared for your desired travel menu.
While I don’t need every detail tied down for a trip, I feel better when I start with a few things in place. Having a food plan is one of the things that’s important to me. Now that I know I can carry the little things, I am ready to finish the menu plan.
So what is my travel menu? Check out Travel Tip #11 coming next week.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”