This morning I'm enjoying coffee.... at home. In my office. Which is lovely, as I've spent just as much time on the road as I have at home this year.
After living in 'earthquake' territory, 'tornado' territory and 'wildfire' territories, etc. there is no doubt I always have a 'get home bag' in my vehicles. Often, if I'm traveling by car I will also change it over to my 'camping' pack which is a little more involved so I could easily do a 3-4 day camping excursion if I chose to - or choose to camp over a hotel, etc. I keep food and water in those bags but with all the traveling I've done in 2016 I actually set up a little different system in my car and I thought I'd share this hint as it's worked out very well for me a couple of times.
My car has 3 little storage compartments in the back under the fold out floor of my 'trunk' area. Those little compartments have become my favorite part of the car. In the first, I have 3 store bought small jugs of water and a small can of bug spray. In another, my get-home-bag and an extra sweatshirt, sometimes a towel and in the center, bottles of water and a box of freeze-dried & dehydrated foods. These have been GREAT to have available a few times during my travel this year.
Let me just sip some coffee and tell you about two times these came in handy - (outside of the OBVIOUS use of having them available for camping or overnight camp trips or for emergency use).
FIRST: During some solo traveling I was doing cross country this summer, I had made a hotel reservation in a 'new to me' big city for a sleep-stop over. I made the reservation after doing research online; it's rating, reviews; it's amenities and the fact it was immediately off the interstate (.3 miles) so it was easy on and off for fast travels.
I'm a blonde female, traveling alone across the USA so of course, safety has to be first and foremost in my mind at all times. When I arrived (exhausted, hot & hungry) from the road, I pulled in and immediately hated this hotel. Hated it so much I spent 20 minutes on my cell phone trying to get out of this reservation and get a new one at their sister property 4 miles away. In the end, it was a waste of my time (outsourced customer service reps for the hotel chain that didn't know their head from their ass, missing the 'cancel by' reservation time by about 10 minutes and not wanting to pay for 2 hotel rooms at 2 properties when I only needed the 1). Admitting I was stuck, I decided to fill up the car with gas so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning, and then grab a quick bite to eat from a drive-thru near by.
I pulled back out of the parking lot and turned right, where all the businesses started off the interstate. Oh my. I stopped at the first available gas station and it was a scary place. I did not feel safe and I was hyper vigilant to get my car tank filled and get out. But all the food options were in this area and without driving back to the interstate to waste time getting off a different exit and finding food in a new area I was out of luck. But I couldn't do it. I wanted to get back to the hotel as night was falling fast and I wanted to have my stuff unloaded from the car and be safe and sound inside my hotel room until early morning light.
So I did. And I was starving. I hadn't ate literally all day long and had driven about 10 1/2 hours at this point. Then I recalled my emergency stash in the car. YES! Out to the car, grabbed a pouch of emergency food and back into the hotel where I heated water in the microwave and made my 'dinner' of Noodles in Mushroom Sauce. It was hot, filling and comforting after a long drive. And the ability to make and eat food inside my hotel room without having to venture out into a strange big city alone? Awesome.
SECOND: Another trip, another big city. This time I again found myself at a hotel and although it was in a safe, good area; it was 9:pm and I realized I had not had anything to eat all day and I was starving. However, there were two things going against me. I was on a pitifully empty budget and was having to put any food or extra purchases on credit card AND it was 9:00 pm in a very BUSY hotel and every single solitary parking spot was filled. If I was to leave the hotel even for 2 minutes (not to mention the 15 it would have taken minimum to drive somewhere to grab a bit to eat in a drive-thru) I would have lost my parking space for the night and I would be 'that person' randomly and desperately driving around the parking lot in circles hoping and praying someone would leave so I could grab the empty spot.
No thank you. Not only did I have a parking spot - I had one just outside my room window where I could keep an eye on it. I wasn't giving that up.
Emergency food stash to the rescue!!! The ability to again, prepare and eat a filling, hot meal in my hotel room without having to go out, lose my spot or spend needless money on food!
*I currently do not endorse any one singular brand or style* - this is not sponsored by any certain company - it's just my own personal little post about what I currently have in my car and what I've used this year while traveling.
The one I bought for myself, I ordered off Amazon because I liked the amount of food I was getting for the price as well as the variety of foods offered. It doesn't make sense to purchase foods you don't like or you wouldn't want to use.
The one I ordered from Amazon was this one: Wise Foods Company Favorites 72 Hour Cook-in-Pouch Meal Kit
It came with:
- Chili Mac with beef
- Pasta Alfredo with chicken
- Teriyaki chicken
- Noodles in mushroom sauce
- Cheesy Lasagna
- Creamy Pasta with chicken
- Strawberry granola crunch
- Apple cinnamon cereal
Related products you might be interested in, available through Amazon;
Food Supply Depot 2 person 72 hour Food Kit. NO MSG.
Wise Company 72-Hour Emergency Food Supply
Wise Foods Company Favorites 72 Hour Cook-in-Pouch Meal Kit