My kids had spring break just after Easter, so we took a quick trip to the Dells and spent a few days at an indoor waterpark. It's a great getaway, only a three hour drive and we felt like we were on vacation. It isn't cheap, especially during spring break! One way that I like to save some money is pack our snacks, drinks and several of our meals. The money saved is one benefit, but obviously, we are also able to eat so much more healthy as well.
Don't get me wrong, part of the fun of vacation is to be able to try some new restaurants, while relaxing and not having to clean up after yourself and your family. That's what dinner was for, and in our three day trip we ate out three times for dinner, including a stop at my favorite downtown Dells bar, Monk's, for my birthday dinner complete with cheeseburger, fried cheese curds and a chocolate turtle from the fudge shop!
We ate all three of our breakfasts and lunches and several snacks from our hotel room. It was so much cheaper than buying meals at the hotel, and we didn't have to take as much of our fun-time away from the waterpark and game rooms to eat. I stocked up at Mariano's before we left and my macgyver-like husband packed it all up in a cooler. We set our lunch for the road on top of the cooler for easy access on our way there, then unpacked what we could into the mini-fridge at the hotel. I packed paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils, napkins, cups, etc. so we had everything we needed.
I know many of you may have spring break trips upcoming, or other summer travel plans. Perhaps this list of what I packed will give you some ideas to save some money, or some calories, and help you stick with your healthy meal plan while you are on the road.
- Breakfast: whole wheat bagels, cream cheese, instant oatmeals packs, hardboiled Easter eggs and dry cereal
- Lunch: leftover hunks of Easter ham, reduced fat cheese slices, and Triscuits for homemade "lunchables," sunbutter and jelly sandwiches for the kids and a chicken/green bean/farro salad leftover from dinner the night before we left for my husband and I, and a package of smoked salmon (with cream cheese and bagels)
Fruits & Veggies: large Ziploc bag of cut bell peppers, cukes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and snap peas; red grapes and a bag of mandarin oranges
- Snacks: Skinny pop, pretzel rods, freeze dried snap peas, cheese sticks, M&Ms, leftover chocolate Easter bunnies
- Beverages: half gallon of milk, chocolate milk boxes, juice boxes, unsweetened iced tea bottles, La Croix, and plenty of adult beverages for enduring hours at a waterpark
Even if you are flying to your destination, make a quick list and make a point to stop at a grocery store or market when you get there. Even if all you can get is a bunch of bananas and some yogurt and granola, it's better than nothing!