During June, COMPASS has shared ideas, experiences and stories about how to have fun on a summer budget. Today’s post was adapted from a past edition of Simple Living, a monthly column by Amanda Garcia and published in the Messenger magazine, the denominational magazine for the Church of the Brethren.
When I was a little kid and our family minivan trekked from the Midwest to Gramma’s house in Florida, there was no greater road trip treat than chicken nuggets and orange soda. When I got older, it was a cold, chocolaty, coffee beverage with whipped cream. But these days, my idea of a “treat” while traveling looks more like a salad that’s not in a plastic box.
Fresh, healthful food can be a challenge to come by on the road, which makes eating well a challenge. Cost is another factor—when French fries cost 50 cents and an apple costs 3 dollars in an airport terminal, it can be difficult to weigh your choices. Wisely spending money and making nutritious food choices are two very different stewardship practices that need to be considered together while traveling.
In the name of simplicity, savings, and wellness, I’ve experimented with travel-friendly foods that I thought I’d pass along. If you have suggestions to add to this list, please share!
- While driving, stop at roadside farm stands whenever possible (especially when they have homemade apple butter).
- Instant oatmeal packets require very little space in suitcases and make a quick, cheap, and nutritious breakfast almost anywhere (including hotels with in-room coffee makers).
- Hardboiled eggs are a great way to add protein to a meal on the run, and are especially easy to eat if they are peeled ahead of time.
- Slices of carrots, celery, and broccoli are tasty replacements for chips alongside a store-bought sandwich. They also don’t require refrigeration for several hours.
- Apples, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits (pineapple, apricots, golden raisins, cranberries, bananas) are full of fiber and all natural sugars, and also require no refrigeration.
- Whole grain crackers travel well in a small box or bag and go perfectly with your apple butter.
- Almond butter and honey will also top your crackers well, and are good for stirring into oatmeal—just be sure to pack them in your checked luggage if you’re flying.
- Dry cereal and granola are filling and great for snacking, as well as breakfast.
- It’s always important to drink lots of water while traveling, so if you’re flying, pack an empty bottle and fill it with water after you get through security.
- If you’re traveling with a cooler, freeze bottles of water or juice for an efficient way to keep food cold instead of ice. When the liquid melts, drink it!
About the Author: Amanda Garcia is an Ecumenical Stewardship Center board member and a freelance writer and designer outside of Chicago. Her undergraduate degree is in Communications and Worship Arts, and she is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration, where her interests in strategic planning, dynamic leadership, and good financial practices merge with her background and expertise in communications. Amanda and her husband, Dan, are avid gardeners and prioritize healthful cooking and seasonal eating all year long. They are active members of Zion Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Elgin, IL.
This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.
Image Credit: On the Road