Traveling on GT

Posted on February 3, 2014 by

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jakeI take many short trips for work- some for a day, some for three days- each one has its own unique challenges- but I have found a way to avoid messing up my food due to a trip!  Even traveling with carry on only!

I prefer not checking bags- they get lost, require you to wait at baggage claims, get placed in the cold, depressurized cargo area and they cost money!

Did you know that you can take food with you through airport security?  The main limiting factor regarding carry-on baggage is liquids.  I typically don’t carry any liquids with me, but I have previously carried the small sample bottle of balsamic vinegar through security (just make sure it’s in a sealable plastic bag).

On short trips I typically take my work laptop bag and my oversize lunchbox.  For longer trips, I pack my lunchbox inside of a normal carry-on roller bag (still carrying my work laptop bag).

Don’t be scared if security re-runs your bag.  They’re just doing their job- after all, it’s difficult to tell the difference from a large bag of fresh cut pineapple and a liquid!

A couple of things that work best for me:

  • Pack your first meal in a microwave safe, sealable container.  Pack the rest in plastic bags.  This way your return trip packing takes less space and you’ll have something to reheat with.
  • Once you get through security, buy the biggest bottle of water you can find.  So far the biggest I have found is 1 liter.  If you’re on a budget, it is acceptable to carry an empty water bottle through security, but then you’re subject to the local water quality.
  • If you need an extra layer where you’re going- wear it on the plane.  This frees up luggage space and there won’t be complaints if you remove it and place it with your carryon (just not in your carryon).
  • Another space saver- if you have larger items that can attach to your luggage with a clip or carabineer.  I always use this for my hard hat.  This works well for water bottles, too.
  •  Pack hot and cold meals.  Most hotels have a microwave available even if it’s not located in your room.
  • If you’re going out to dinner, eat before you leave.  Always order something- I typically ask anyone if they want to try an appetizer and request it be delivered with the meal.
  • As for food- don’t pack food that requires cutting- cut anything up beforehand so there’s no requirement for knives.
  • I like to pack scrambled egg cups.  (scrambled eggs baked in a cupcake pan, add anything to the eggs for a complete on the go breakfast or snack).
  • I also like to chop up apples and chicken and put them together with olive oil and cinnamon.  This is an easy travelling cold meal.
  • I make a double meal the night before I leave, so that supper is ready for everyone and I can pack the remaining for the trip.
  • Pack a few extra apples ‘just in case.’
  • Take some dish soap in a small plastic container to wash out your microwavable container.  You’ll need it to wash out any olive oils or fats left in your container.  This needs to be in a sealable plastic bag as well.

If you happen to be travelling by car, you’ve got it made!  Pack a whole cooler! Don’t short yourself.  Here are some things that I have learned when travelling over the road:

  • Buy a crate of water.  The plastic wrap contains any bottles from roaming in the car.  You can never have too much water.
  • Pack at least one table setting of silverware, one good plate and bowl and a small cutting board.
  • Pack a small container of dish soap.
  • If you’re using shakes/smoothies/protein powder, pack a bullet blender.  When on family trips we take our regular blender right out of the kitchen.
  • I like to pack an electric frying pan.  Many hotels have rules against these- so check ahead and be smart about it.  Pack any utensils you may need for it.
  • Pack a sharp knife (in a sheath of course).
  • Take additional whole foods with you, like apples and potatoes.  They don’t require refrigeration so they can be packed loose.
  • Do not pack salad in a cooler with ice.  Every time I do it wilts quickly.  Pack it separately with freezer packs or buy it in sealed packaging.
  • Again, pack things in disposable or collapsible containers for easier packing on the return trip.

Good luck and safe travels GT!

Jake Zimmerman

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