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Trying To Plan Vacation, Need Help With Meal Ideas While Traveling.
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Going to be gone 7-9 days. Driving, have 2 teenagers and a husband. Kind of just winging most of our vacation, no set nights in set towns so have no idea where we'll say or what will be around. Will be site seeing, 1 day of hiking a mountain, 1 day floating down a river, other days walking trails, maybe a couple days in Vegas. The rest depends on what we come across. I'm the only one gluten free but I'm so sensitive, my house is gluten free.

Thinking of taking a portable grill and a hot plate thing or electric skillet. They will eat out sometimes (I'll take my own food into the restaurant).

Looking for suggestion or tips from anyone who's done this. I can't stand any type dried fruit so most bars, trail mixes and go picnics are out. No sea food so canned tuns is also out. And to top it off, hubby is dairy free.

Only gone on over night trips since going gluten free, this is going to take some planning.

Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.

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I have posted a bunch about this and have a lot of tips. I probably can't get to them today. If I don't post something by Monday evening- pm me and remind me. I do want to help and I am guessing you aren't leaving tomorrow. :)

Edited: this is exactly my situation and I have done some of those things you are doing. Remember, there are grocery stores. If you want to say where you are going from and to, maybe we have some suggestions of places along the way.

Edited by kareng
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It is possible to have your own food on the road.  This helps to prevent cross contamination and illness while on a trip.  You can feel secure about all of the ingredients in your food.  Be sure to keep all food either hot or cold.

 

 

Before leaving home, I make entree's for the days that we will be driving all day. I package a serving size amount in foil (Or stainless steel container) and I place these in the cooler.    These I heat in a car oven while we are on the go. 

 

I usually make my breakfast at the hotel.  I eat my own pre-made muffins or granola.   I use my electric skillet and spatula to make eggs,.  If we are gong to be hiking or doing special events all day, I often make my supper at the same time.  I would than cool it and be put it in foil and into a small insulated bag with some of the ice.  Later I can heat it in the car oven or in the skillet.

 

  My lunch would have been packaged in foil at supper time the night before, since I have leftovers for lunch daily.  Sometimes I pack this hot in an insulated bag or a thermos.  Otherwise this could be heated on a grill as well as in the car oven or skillet.  I guess a campfire would work too.

 

 My Car bin:  This bin is carried in to the hotel with us.  Add food, and then I have everything needed to serve.

  Having this in the car (at all times) makes packing for trips must easier and emergency meals on the road easier..

 

can opener

foil

paper plates

disposible spoons and forks

napkins

straws

 paper bowls

honey

coconut and olive oil (caution in hot weather I take these out)

Salt shaker

dish soap

scrub brush

Gloves for removing food from the car oven.

 

In My cooler I pack. 

Large ice cubes.

Meats and eggs

Premade meals in foil pouches.

 

I would like to include my current car oven, but intend to come back to post a link.  I have tried many varieties of oven for the car.  I am currently using a model that lasted the longest.  A small bit of water in the oven helps to heat better.  The bottom of the oven gets hot, so foil, or stainless steel containers work the best for me.  Don't forget some gloves, so You can get the food out of the oven and foil and on your plate.  My oven cooks for one or two people.  I have tried to pack in food for several people, but didn't succeed very well.  I recommend to thaw food before putting it in the oven it heats more quickly.  It does better (if you need larger amounts of foods) at keeping the food hot, rather than heating a bunch of cooled food.  You can often purchase a "car oven" at truck stops or online.   Here is the car oven which I use:  RoadPro 12-Volt Portable Stove, Black.  I have succeeded in doing baked sweet potato with this.  Yum!

 

Dee

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Going to spend a night or two in the Phoenix/ Mesa area, maybe a night in sedona, kids want a couple nights in Vegas( want to zip line down Fremont st again). Have no idea where we will be stoping at along the way or even which states were driving through yet to get there.

Looking at a 2,500 to 3,000 mile trip total.

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Many hotels will bring a microwave and/or fridge to your room, as well, on request if it isn't already there.  That is, of course, if you feel comfortable using their microwave with your sensitivity.  (They should bring it sparkling clean).  If you bring along a medium sized microwaveable covered dish that will fit in their compact microwaves, you can most definitely find something at a local grocery store and whip it up.  Beans and rice comes to mind.... something I make myself when I feel lazy.  You can google and get microwave versions of a lot of dishes.  Also, depending on the space you can bring along a rice cooker, crock pot, or even get yourself a single electric burner and you can use your own pot/skillet on it.  Probably disallowed by the hotel, but no one has to know, hehe.

 

On our last vacation we flew, and each day for breakfast I had microwave gluten-free oatmeal and fruit, for lunch I did gopicnics and annies mac n cheese cups that you microwave.  Made popcorn... all were compact things I could shove in my suitcase.  Also, if you want something the whole family can have, find some good corn tortillas and make sandwich wraps/rollups with them that are easy to eat in the car for a lunch on the go.  But the good thing about going by car is you can take more stuff with you :) 

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Looks like there are lots of good suggestions here. I bought an induction stove and a Koolatron cooler that you can plug into an outlet or the car (adapter included). My trip lasted four days. I took egg whites to eat for breakfast. I precut my veggies for the egg scramble the day before leaving and sealed them as daily servings. (I had a bag of onions and peppers to open each day & would just dump them on the skillet & cook with cumin, salt and tumeric before adding the egg whites.). I'm on a GHI shake and that takes care of one meal (or two). I also carried raw nuts. Some almond butters are packaged in single serving packets. Celery and apple are good with almond butter. Hummus is a good dip for veggies. I also ate sardines but realize you say seafood is out. Perhaps more veggies to prepare or canned veggies to heat up. I also had a bag of fresh spinach and had precut veggies for salad. If you can put precooked chicken on top, all the better.

All in all, I ate well, did not go hungry and I ate the same thing everyday just to cut down on the challenges so that I could spend more time enjoying the trip. We took more food than we could ever eat. Planning way ahead helped a lot and cut down on my anxiety. By the time the trip came, I was ready to go!

I hope you have fun :)

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Drive on Route 66 as much as you can! The AZ visitor center has lots of info. Stop in. Stop at Hoover Dam, but avoid it on the weekend. Take the back roads. It is fun on Route 60 between Quarksite and Phoenix. Go down slide rock in Sedona and be sure to see Jerome. Again small roads are awesome.

Food. You will figure it out and you got some great tips. Go to In-N-Out and say you have a wheat allergy. They should cook your burger on a separate grill. Horner canned chili is good on corn chips and Costco has gluten-free jerky.

You will have so much fun!

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These are 2 threads that have a lot of good info on traveling.  You can make things like taco meat ahead and freeze it flat in a plastic bag.  It will help keep the cooler cold for the first day.  
 
Stop at groceries and get things.  I bought a set of light weight backpacking pans.  they fit into each other.  A good set costs between $80- 125 if I remember.  But you can use them for years.  I have packed them in my suitcase on the plane.  
 
I have a small camp stove but we have never had to use it.  The hotels have grills.  I get theses foil grill pans at Walmart in the summers.  My hub sets them on the grill and opens and curls back the little drain holes around the dirty grill.
 
 
 
Cheaper at Walmart.   Pack easily.
 
Let us know if you still have questions after read all this.  I'll follow this thread.
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