When traveling around Europe it’s often cheaper and easier to pack a picnic lunch rather than try to find a place that will make everyone happy (McDonald’s – gag – would please 5 of the 6 Hamricks). Autobahn-picnicking is a very common practice among those who are native to Europe. There are places on the side of the road simply put there to enjoy a snack while traveling.
Usually I throw all our food into two coolers: one that keeps items cold and one that holds all the other stuff. When we pull over to eat we usually just ask who wants what and to each his own. But this time I’m trying something new.
I’ve packed three “Snack” bags and three “Lunch” bags. The snack bags are packed and ready for me to open while we’re actually moving. You know… the moment when, not an hour outside of Wiesbaden the kids start asking for lunch. That moment. (Actually, it will be at that moment I give them a time to watch for and at that time they can have the snacks.) I know there will be three different times we will be on a long stretch of road so I’ve packed one for each of those times. Inside each snack bag I’ve placed: 6 packs of crackers; 6 snack-sized ziplock bags with 2 cookies; and 5 mini candy bars.
For the three times we plan to stop for lunch, I’ve prepared a bit differently. In each of these lunch bags I’ve placed: 4 fruit cups; 5 granola bars and 1 NutriGrain bar (for Parker); one packet of mayo; one packet of mustard; 2 knives; 3 juice boxes; 1 milk box and of course, 6 snack-sized ziplock baggies with 2 cookies. We will have our sandwich meat and bread (and any other toppings that need to be refrigerated) in a separate cooler. When it’s lunch time, I just need to grab a lunch bag and the cooler and we have lunch stuff already preportioned out!
I’m curious to see if this is worth it. I figure that this way at least we don’t have to pull out all the food at each stop… just those two bags. I’ll let you know how it goes!
One thing I also find very helpful is to place items that we don’t want crushed into plastic storage containers. Notice our extra juice boxes are in a round container and our poptarts are in a rectangular one. I always put our bananas and apples in containers, as well. That way they actually survive the travel and we can snack on them throughout the trip.
(I posted a review of this on the post titled Inn of Brugas. It turned out to be very convenient and I’ll definitely do it again. To read the review, scroll all the way to the bottom that post.)