1. We make all of our food for the road ahead of time. Not only do we not want to waste time sitting down to eat in a restaurant but we find it cheaper to make our food ahead of time. I will pack a snack bag with junk food, trail mix, fruit and waters. In our ice chest we will have sandwiches and yogurts and sodas for the road. One of my daughter's has the responsibility to make us all our sandwiches. While we are packing the car and getting ready to leave, she is preparing lunch and writing everyone's names on their sandwiches. Easiest way to find whose is what in the ice chest. We stop only for gas and to stretch our legs and maybe an ice cream to get us through the last couple of hours of the trip. It helps pass the time too to have munchies.
2. Some of our stay will be in a hotel and we always choose one that serves some sort of breakfast. That is a huge savings and we manage to stay free as well because of all of hubby's travel for work.
3. If our hotel does not have a refrigerator in the room, we keep our ice chest iced up for drinks and snacks, fresh fruit, yogurts and sandwich makings. We will take our lunch if we are heading out for the day for sight seeing. We usually plan a couple of meals out but really pre-planning is what helps me to save. I know we will eat out this day or have dinner out one night. Mostly we are eating with family but will have a meal or two out.
I keep an itinerary of our trip and what we want to do each day. I will usually fit in a run to the market to have food for the trip home.
4. Sometimes I take my small crockpot with us. Yes I do. I can throw some dinner fixins in there before we leave and when we come back from a day of sightseeing, our meal is hot. A couple cans of chili and some turkey dogs heat up nicely and are ready when we get back but usually I will have a frozen meal in our ice chest that I can put in the crockpot and have hot by the time we get back. I can slice up a melon and serve the chili and dogs on some buns and have dinner very cheaply or bring out some carrots and ranch dip to add to other meals. Here is a good recipe for travel. Freezes well and heats up nicely. Plus we are tired and just getting back to the room so kids can swim and relax is my goal at the end of the day.