I may have forgotten to mention that our family tends to have some of the worst traveler’s luck…this trip was no different! We decided to drive to Boston on Tuesday night for our Wednesday flight, that way we could keep our car in long term parking there. All was well and good until we arrived at the airport the next morning to find that my wallet, with my ID, was missing.
Let me tell you, those TSA people are serious about the ID thing. Luckily I am a nurse and just happened to have my hospital photo ID, that and an expired passport and some credit cards got me through. We boarded on time, taxied out to the runway…and turned around because the plane had a fuel lake. What followed was three hours of sitting on the plane while they tried to fix the problem, then they deplaned us, saying they couldn’t fix it…only to re-board three minutes later as they fixed it. I will say the JetBlue staff was very accommodating, and thanks to my steady diet of Ativan I managed to keep my panic at bay (I am TERRIFIED of flying).
We arrived in Denver in the late afternoon, hungry and tired and ready to crash…except our hotel was a NIGHTMARE. It was dirty and smelled of smoke and truly sketchy. They moved us to a different room…which was also smelly and dirty and had a constantly beeping fire alarm and was about 90 billion degrees. After a very terse conversation with Expedia we went and found our own hotel and are finally happily ensconced and enjoying our vacation. Whew! Which brings me to the real topic of this post, eating well on vacation.
One of the bright spots after our long trip was a lovely little burger place called Larkburger. They are a chain but are very sustainable, they use their used frying oil as automotive fuel, are 100% natural, and use recycled and compostable food packaging. They are also quite knowledgeable about gluten free products and have local gluten free buns made by Sweet Escape. It was a delicious meal, Iz had a turkey burger, Jaime had a regular burger and I had a a salad with tuna. They also have fries with truffle oil and parmesan…mmmmm.
While we enjoyed our dinner very much, one of the rules we tend to abide by when on vacation is to eat out as little as possible. There are two reasons for that; it’s expensive and often dangerous for Izzie as you are never quite sure what is safe and what is not. Here are some tips and tricks for frugal, healthy travel;
- rent a house or condo or stay at a hotel with a fridge and microwave or stove. This greatly increases your ability to prepare fresh healthy food. The prices are usually very comparable. For example, we rented a house in Cape Cod in the summer for one week for $1400, only $200 a night which at the peak of summer is unheard of. And it was within walking distance to the beach.
- before you go, do your research. Figure out if there are farmer’s markets or co-ops or good supermarkets. Our hotel has a Whole Foods right across the street, we were in heaven!
- when you shop for food, focus on food that is packable and easy. We purchased Justin’s nut butter in packets, rice cakes and crackers, fruit, baby carrots, hummus, dairy-free cheese and nuts and seeds. When we went to the Denver Zoo yesterday (which was awesome!) we brought a picnic lunch and saved a ton of money!
- ask a local, they are generally a wealth of information about good local places to eat.
- stay with friends and eat with friends! We had a lovely dinner with my friend Lara at her house last night, we made gluten free and dairy free pizza, drank wine and laughed…and we visited so much more than we would have had we been at a restaurant.
- pick some special places to eat when you do eat out, we can’t wait to try this place. Having a few special meals at local places is so much more enjoyable than spending tons of money eating at the same chains over and over.
- use the hotel breakfast! It’s free! Stock up on snacks there too, we too a few bananas and some dry cereal and tea bags for later.
What are your healthy tips for traveling?