5 instant treats that are perfect for travelers
In my last post, I spoke of making travel meals easier, more diverse, and more delicious using 5 simple spice blends to toss in your pack. I want to start taking these with me on every trip! However, I do always take the following – every single trip!
Not much has changed since I first lived in England when I was 20. These basics have come with me around Europe, Africa, and North America - with one exception. The quantity and quality of coffee has skyrocketed since getting married, but it’s utterly indispensable now!
1.) Amazing, high quality, organic coffee, ground for french press.
We have a Starbucks combo travel mug / french press / thermos that always comes with us. Even when motel/hostel/hotel coffee is available, it’s rarely decent. We tend to pack a freshly roasted Hawaiian coffee, chosen from our recent visit to Kona, or another high quality brew. Costs us a few quarters a cup vs. a few dollars in a cafe. Keeps my husband happy!
2.) An assortment of hot chocolates – keeps me happy!
I LOVEhot chocolate, even in hot climates. I make my own blend using cocoa, sugar, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and powdered milk, but I also take along sachets of flavored hot chocolate, like peppermint or raspberry. Camino makes an amazing chili hot chocolate that is a great option. I also bring a Starbucks thermos style travel mug with me, so things will stay hot for hours after I make it. The coffee and hot chocolate came in handy when we visited Haleakala National Park in Maui to watch the sunrise -it was literally freezing, but we had piping hot drinks to warm us up! Plus, having travel mugs helps save money, even a small amount, when we visit cafes.
3.) Instant oatmeal sachet.
Quasi healthy, easy to make, enough flavors to keep it interesting. I remember arriving at a hostel in Menton, France, after a long, slow, “milk run” train in the south of France with that took all day and left me exhausted and starving. Arriving alone, after dark, I had only vague instructions on reaching hostel (thanks to a kind fellow traveler) , and I had to climb hundreds of steps up a hill to reach it. I was done. But I had instant oatmeal and a battered orange 1970′s Tupperware dish with me. Heaven. To say I slept solid that night was an understatement.
4.) Crystal lite or similar water flavoring sachets.
Yep, they probably contain horrible chemicals. Delicious, lovely chemicals. You don’t realize how often you reach for a drink of milk, water, juice, soda at home, but buying all these things can add up fast. Living in Malawi, soft drinks were everywhere and were dirt cheap, whereas water was expensive. I got in the habit of boiling a large pot of water at night to sterilize it for the next day. I bottled most as plain water, but I made pitches of Kool-aid as well and it was so refreshing after a long, hot day.
5.) A few instant soup mixes and herbal tea bags.
Rarely used, but I consider it part of my first aid kit. I would usually got for hot chocolate if I wanted a hot drink, or instant oatmeal if I wanted something more hearty, but it’s good to have variety. Tea can calm your stomach, help you sleep, and help improve your health and detox from yucky food. Chicken broth is a great base for cooking rice, potatoes, and noodles and gives them more flavor. It can also be the foundation for a great soup or stew. And if you are so unlucky to get sick on the road, it will be equal parts hydration and comfort. I’m still looking for crystal lite sized individual sachets for this purpose.
There are many other things I may add to this list, as my next blog will show. Nutella, anyone? But I've found that no matter where I go, or how I travel, I’m always so happy I have these 5 things in my pack.
More from the series!
Part 1: Five Simple Travel Spice Mixes
Part 3: Five Easy To Make Travel Nibbles.
Part 4: Five Easy, Delectable Travel Meals.
Part 5: Five Tips to Survive Travel Kitchens.
3/1/2013 07:22:56 am
Instant oatmeal is a great idea. I sometimes make sachets myself by mixing Quick Oats (it's the same thing), some brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon, raisins and the teensiest pinch of salt to bring out the flavor.
3/1/2013 03:06:44 pm
Thanks for your comment. Homemade instant oatmeal: that is a great idea! You could customize the flavors to your heart's content and never get bored. I'm a fan of peaches and cream myself, but anything with cinnamon is just pure comfort food.
19/5/2013 02:10:46 am
Looks like instant oatmeal is the winner here! It really does make such a difference when you're grumpy and hungry and tired to just get something hot and hearty in your system.
4/1/2015 02:49:48 am
I'm starting to look at bringing along flavored hot chocolate as well (like peppermint) in order to mix things up a little bit.
23/1/2015 08:27:06 am
I'm discovering that powdered chicken soup base is also great to add in when boiling the water for rice or instant mashed potatoes - it makes quick and easy travel food taste so much better!
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