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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Food For Thought 5.14.11

I’m a lover of food and when I go on vacation it’s no different. In fact, I’m even more of a food lover, because all the fresh air and exercise makes me ravenous. I don’t know what that’s all about, but it’s true that I often claim I am starving at least 4 or 5 times a day. I’m worse than a child. Maybe I truly am hungry, but maybe I’m also really excited about being somewhere new that I want to try all the amazing food they have to offer. Either way, it’s just not possible for us to stop to eat all day, because we would never get anywhere and we would be broke by Day 2. We do pad our food budget a little more, just for this purpose, but even so I’ve learned many things about saving on food when we travel and how to pack some snacks each day before we leave our lodging.

Today, I’d like to talk mostly about the fantastic travel accessories that you can take to help you stretch your food budget and be prepared for food-related emergencies. This might also be good for those that are diabetic and need to keep their blood sugar up throughout the day.

Get yourself the Ultimate Day-Trip Bag made by Picnic Time! Whether you’re just hauling the kids to soccer practice or planning a fun-filled ay inBarcelona, having drinks and snacks handy can really be a life-saver. When you’re more active, you get more hungry, and when you’re traveling, you’re often off your normal eating cycle. The Ultimate Day-Trip Bag is the only bag you will ever need when you plan to bring snacks with you. It has 2 insulated compartments that can keep food hot or cold, plus it has a bunch of pockets, so you can use it to carry all your essentials, too, instead of carrying a purse, too. There are removable padded backpack straps and a top handle. It looks like you can wear it as a crossbody bag as well, which is super convenient for a lot of travelers – even men will be willing to carry it. It has a cell phone pocket and an outside pocket for a water bottle. There is also room for your money, keys, sunglasses, camera and anything else you plan to take with you during the day.

Practical uses:
  • Theme park visits – Load up on water bottles and/or sodas, sandwiches, fried chicken or other munchies. You’ll be able to ignore the snack carts and spend more time getting on rides, since you don’t have to wait in the long lines for a pretzel and you can whip out any of your snacks to eat while you’re waiting in ride lines or while you’re walking from one ride to another.
  • Traveling with babies – Keep formula/milk chilled and make feeding time more convenient.
  • Farmer’s markets – This is an awesome way to save money on your trips, because you can buy food for lunches and then go enjoy your goodies in a nearby park or even take it back to your hotel.
  • Grocery shopping – Staying in a place with kitchen(ette)? Bring back your frozen or refrigerated items in this.
  • Pack a picnic – If you already have a plan to eat your own food for lunch, pack sandwiches or whatever else you’re in the mood for and keep it cool/warm until you’re ready to sit down and relax.

Get a collapsible water bottle! This is one of those things that you never think is a good idea until you get one. Empty water bottles take up so much space in your bag…or are awkward to carry around. Also, if you’re like us, you drink a LOT during the day. Purchasing several drinks a day can really add up and create garbage with each one. Your collapsible water bottle is reusable, so no waste. Fill it with cold water before you start your day – if you’re lucky enough to have a fridge, put it in there overnight – and as you drink from it during your day out the bottle begins to flatten, until it’s empty. Then you can roll it up and stuff it in your bag or your pocket! Refill it throughout the day and save even more!

Who doesn’t love a spork? Granted, they aren’t always very practical and can snap in half just by trying to eat some potato salad, but you won’t have that problem when you purchase these fun and colorful polycarbonate ones. They come in a set of four, have a serrated edge for cutting, weigh practically nothing and are safe to pack in your carry-on. These come in super handy if you plan on bringing your own food or grabbing something at a market. You don’t have to rely on plastic utensils and lack of recycling facilities. Eat with your own tools and then take them back to the room to wash later to reuse another day. Great for having leftovers in your room, too.

If sporks aren't your thing and you want separate utensils, check out this picnic set from Rick Steves that has 2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives and a corkscrew. They are nearly indestructible, come in a nice seal-able container and are also TSA compliant.

This next week I would like to do a second installment of my vegetarian/vegan travel blog post. I had some fantastic response to the last one and it occurs to me that vegetarians and vegans have a hard time ordering food and finding restaurants that cater to them, as well as eating on the plane and at the airport. Stay tuned and let your animal-loving friends know they can see the first post here and to look for the next one on Wednesday.

Join me on the awesome new Savvy Living Community sponsored by Ebates. Not only will you learn how to save money by better utilizing Ebates, but you will also be able to read Savvy blog posts and join in discussions and live chats with Savvy Leaders (like me!) to learn how to save money on all aspects of your life. With 21 bloggers who are experts on everything from travel to family life, you're sure to learn a lot of new information, find some great new blogs and even make some friends along the way. I will be conducting my first live chat on the new community with the three other great bloggers below on Tuesday May 17 at 5-6pm PST. We'll be discussing Saving on Summer Travel.
Happy Birthday to Ebates! They are 12 years old this week and they are celebrating by giving their Facebook fans gifts! 4 lucky fans will win a $250 Philosophy Gift Bag (ends 5/15). Make sure you "like" the Ebates page and also go and join Ebates if you haven't already, because they are super awesome and give you cash back for buying things you already planned! Besides, what other websites PAYS you just to sign up AND to tell people about it? Get $5 for signing up and an additional $5 for each person you refer that signs up and makes a purchase. Plus, the more people you get to join the bigger prizes you can earn, including store gift cards and an iPad.

There are several giveaways I have going right now, so don't forget to sign up to win each one! Here are the details:

Win a Carry On Caddy bag full of travel-size organic toiletries. The bag clips to your carry-on and helps you whiz through airport security by enabling you to have your 3-1-1 bag at your fingertips. No more rummaging in your bag or repacking after the conveyor. You already have to put your shoes back on and stuff your laptop back into your bag. Make this one less thing to worry about. Enter to win on my Facebook page HERE. You can also get a second BONUS entry by subscribing to this blog via GFC or Networked Blogs and then leaving a comment on any of the posts. Enter by 5/15.

Shereen Travels Cheap is sponsoring a $10 Target Gift Card on Free Samples 2 Fill Up Your Mailbox's Big Giveaway on Facebook. They were kind enough to let us enter the giveaway after it had started and we've gotten a lot of new fans and page participants (which I love!). You can find out the rules on how to enter HERE. Enter by May 23rd.

Win a $25 Travelocity Hotel Gift Card here on my blog by following me via GFC or Networked Blogs. You can earn more entries by liking my page on Facebook, following me on Twitter, tweeting and/or posting about the giveaway. You will find all the details on how to enter HERE. Enter by 5/21.

Our next giveaway will be that celebrating our 2,000 fan mark. While we aren't there yet, we hope it will be soon and are going to be offering a big travel prize pack with several sponsors (including Travelon, Humangear-GoToobs, SoakWash and more). There will be a lot of ways to gain entries, including referring friends to the Facebook page. When you enter, the form will have a spot to enter the person who referred you to the Shereen Travels Cheap page. This goes back to the very beginning, so start/keep referring people, because the more you refer and the more entries you'll get into this giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. You are the winner of my blog giveaway. Here is the blog post...


    Thanks, Katharine


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