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hpr1638 :: Surviving A Roadtrip: Food

A few tricks about food and eating that can help you survive a roadtrip.

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As we are all human to some degree, we require sustenance. When on a roadtrip, this can prove to be challenging - but it is also an opportunity to save money and enjoy yourself!

Bringing Food
---

- Buying all your food on the road is a good way to empty your pockets
- Convenience stores do not have your health in mind; their food is generally
  over-salty or over-sugary
- Stopping for snacks can add lots of extra time to a trip
- A quick stop at the grocery store before your trip is not a bad idea
        - Stock up on non-perishable snacks
        - Nuts and trail mix are a classic for a reason. They're full of protein and
          fiber, and easy to munch on in a vehicle
        - Fruit are sweet, healthy, and also usually easy to eat in a vehicle.
          Apples and grapes are super easy, bananas less so, and oranges are tricky.
          You can pre-peel fruit to make it more accessible, but it won't last as long.
- Water is important. Make sure to have a gallon jug with you, and refill as
  necessary. I don't mind tap water, but if you're picky, there are water
  filters designed for camping that are compact and quick. Keep yourself
  hydrated!
- Your options for variety of food increase a lot with a cooler
        - Things like cheese and sandwich meats should do fine
        - Make sure to fill it with ice or freezer packs when you set out in the
          morning, and maybe during the afternoon depending on weather
        - Check to see if your lodgings have refrigeration; your cooler will be
          useless if you don't have something more substantial to use in-between
          legs of your journey.
  

Stopping To Eat
---

- Saving money and being efficient is all well and good, but roadtrips are not
  all about getting from point A to point B.
- A great way to experience an area is by ingesting a small part of it
- Add an hour or two to your travel time for a meal stop
- Pick lunch or dinner
        - Lunch may suit your timetable better if you are an early riser
        - Lunch menus often offer slightly less food for a reduced price
        - Restaurants may be less crowded for lunches
        - Dinner might be a better choice if you like waking and driving late
        - Dinner menus are more comprehensive, but often more on the expensive side
- Avoid chain restaurants all the time, but especially on a roadtrip
- Local restaurants and eateries are usually found in downtown areas, away from
  highways. They are well worth the diversion.
- Different areas have vastly different cuisines, and trying new things can be
  very rewarding. Crawfish: who knew?
- Find something on the menu that you don't recognize, and eat it.
- If you are a picky eater, try not to let your preconceptions stop you from
  trying something. For instance, coconut soup is surprisingly unlike any other
  coconut dishes that I've had.
- Be polite, be patient. Many tourists are rude, and there is a chance that
  the person helping you gets to deal with those tourists frequently.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions. Figure out what you can, but ask for
  clarification if something on the menu is unusual.
- If you have food-based allergies or special dietary requirements, these might
  not be accommodated in all areas. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or are 
  allergic to gluten, peanuts, or dairy, your options may change drastically
  depending on the region you are in.
  - A little research into local restaurants  could help you determine which
        places you can eat without stopping at each restaurant in town.
- Overall, try to enjoy yourself. Roadtrips can be high-stress affairs, and a
  meal break can do wonders to relieve some of the stress that's built up over
  the day. Relax, and give yourself plenty of time to eat

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