Season 5 finale: Food hacks for your next neighborhood vacation from travel blogger Carrie McLaren

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With the summer travel season upon us, we invited travel blogger Carrie McLaren to share her best food-related travel hacks.

Carrie is a Jacksonville-based travel influencer, behind the website and social media platform Carrie On Travel.

She specializes in family travel, taking countless trips with her

Her husband Robert and daughters Maggie, 13, and Molly, 11. Wherever he is

Your summer travels take you, Carrie’s advice will help you eat better

While saving time, money and stress.

Items that Curry always brings:

  • Cooler or cooler backpack
  • Ziplock bags in different sizes
  • pastries
  • reusable water bottle

Here’s Carrie’s advice for specific travel situations.
road trip:

  • Pack breakfast to take it in the car. Mini muffins, cups of oatmeal, and fruit are a good breakfast on the go.
  • Bring coolant. My favorite non-messy curry items are cheese sticks and pepperoni slices. “It’s her little meal,” she says. Her family is also big on carrot sticks, apples, and oranges. Cooler Backpack is useful for getting around when you reach your destination.
  • Bring snacks. “I never leave the house without pastries,” says Carrie. “And I always have goldfish. Goldfish seems, to me, like a snack to the kids, but in fact I find myself eating it as much as I do anything else.”
  • Go nuts. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are a good source of protein that doesn’t require refrigeration. Choose the already canteen option to avoid clutter.
  • Eat local. Avoid chain restaurants and splurge on dinner at a local hole-in-the-wall. “It gives you a sense of where you are,” says Carey. “I do a lot of research before I travel.”

plane trip

  • Avoid adhesive shock. Skip the expensive snacks at the airport, and bring along from the dollar store. Carrie loves Lemonheads and Gobstoppers.

Sea trip

  • Try everything. “I try to become more adventurous, and I challenge myself at least once a day to try something new, whether it’s frog legs, or whether that’s the ring,” says Carey. “Anything fancy, try it, because it’s included [in the price of the cruise]. “
  • Hold and go. Before disembarking, Curry gets a few small boxes of dry cereal from the breakfast buffet. She also fills a Ziplock bag with cookies from the candy buffet. This gives her family something to snack on when they leave the boat for a cruise.
  • Put a cover on it. Bringing food on a cruise ship is like bringing sand ashore, but there’s a food-related item that Carrie packs: reusable cups with lids and straws—one for each family member. This helps reduce spills in their cabin.

the hotel

  • Bring paper plates. Instead of trying to get her family to the breakfast buffet downstairs, Carrie brings them the buffet. Having paper plates (along with the packets of cutlery you’ve collected) makes it easy to set up a breakfast station anywhere. “I almost had my own little walk in the room,” she says.
  • Turn the fridge into a freezer. Fill a mini fridge with bottled water because there is a good chance that it will freeze. “This is one of those wonderful miracles that happen when your ice freezes,” says Carey. “You have an instant ice pack.” Put it in your cooler backpack, and you’re ready for the day.
  • Do not leave coolant in the car. If your fridge is full of water, that means you’ll need your cooler and some hotel ice to cool your cheese sticks, cold cuts, and anything else that doesn’t fit in the fridge.

Holiday home rental

  • Keep it simple. If you don’t order groceries, go to your local supermarket for breakfast items, sandwich fixings, frozen lasagna, and the like. “The last thing I have to do is serve everyone a fancy dinner on vacation,” says Carrie.

solo travel

  • Get some “me” time. “I think going out to eat on my own is a luxury,” Carrie says. Schedule a long dinner at a restaurant you wouldn’t normally try, and tell your server that this is a special occasion for you. Bring a book and order whatever you want without having to think of anyone else. “When you travel alone, you are responsible for what you want and certainly what you don’t want,” says Carey. “There will be no chicken and french fries on my plate.”

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