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The Best Foods for Road Trips and Traveling On-the-go

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Best Road Trip Tips for Kids

as you know, me, my husband and my kids are constantly on-the-go. we LOVE to travel…especially on road trips, and i often get asked how i handle traveling with kids on the road, including things like; how do i keep them entertained, how often do we stop, and what do we do when it comes to meals. often parents dread traveling for long stretches of time on the road with kids because the unknown can be scary. you never know when a child will have a meltdown or someone needs to use the bathroom. if you have multiple children, you will find that there will always be one kid who’s hungry, and stopping for food might not be an option.

well, here are some tips for the eating part of a long road trip, as eating too much fast food to can get tiring….and just thinking about it makes might stomach turn. when my family is traveling, i crave healthy, home-cooked food which is not an option. so i have learned what to pack that will satisfy hungry kids, hungry parents, travels well and won’t make a gigantic mess in the car. chips and popcorn make gigantic messes, and anything gooey or sticky is a definite no no. i don’t often pack sandwiches because they can get squished in our full-of-luggage vehicle, so i turn to pre-wrapped, easy to eat, no crumb snacks to get us from point A to point B. i make sure to pack a variety of sweet and savory, as well as a treat…you just can’t get around giving the kids a sweet treat when they have been on the road for such a long time.

below, i am sharing “The Best Foods for Road Trips and Traveling On-the-go.” plus, a couple of items that help the experience be more enjoyable and mess free, check them out…

Best Foods for Road Trips

1) String Cheese – i love string cheese because it travels well, all my kids like it, and it has protein and calcium which my kids need. plus its pre-packaged and doesn’t make a mess.

2) Fruit Snacks – you are going to need something sweet to give the kiddies while your on the road, especially if they are used to having that dessert bribe to finish their food. fruit snacks are easy and non-messy. healthy versions of them can even be bought and the kids won’t know the difference.

3) Water Bottles – i often ONLY bring water to drink in the car with us when we are on road trips. anything else is usually too sugary and if it spills, leaves the car sticky and a big mess. water bottles have twist lids that can be opened and closed as needed. freeze a few to use as ice packs and then drinks after they defrost. i use the bribe of stopping for a cold sweet drink at the gas station or rest stop to keep my kids on their best behavior…and it works!!!

4) Hand Wipes – need i say more?  you are going to need them, so bring them!

5) Clementines or Tamgerines – these are the easiest kind of oranges to travel with. they provide great nourishment, give a quick boost of energy, and don’t make a huge mess. if you want to avoid peel all over the car, peel them before you get on the road and store them in a plastic storage food bin to keep them from getting squished.

6) Gum – if your kids are old enough to handle gum, and don’t swallow or drop it on the ground or stick it on the seats of you car, i suggest keeping the car stocked with it. not only does it tide over a hungry kid, it also is a great distraction for a whiner or can help with car sickness or altitude changes when driving in the mountains.

7) Veggies – Cut up vegetables that your kids like. they travel well, and add that crunch kids look for. if you think your kids can handle dip in the car, purchase some of those individual dips or peanut butter for dipping.

8) Crackers – you are going to need a couple of boxes of crackers for the kids to snack on like Honey Maid Go Bites, which are great to have on hand because kids AND moms like them. these particular Honey Maid GoBites are filled crackers with crispy pockets of filling. they have pro-tein and whole grains. it’s a snack they’ll love and you’ll feel good about. Honey Maid GoBites come in chocolate or vanilla flavors. as i said before, chips and popcorn make a huge mess, crackers are a much better choice. plus Honey Maid is a brand most of us have grown up on. it’s a snack that reminds us of our youth…and even today, kids still enjoy them. No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will. Honey Maid: everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is Wholesome.

9) Apples – this is the least juicy fruit and the fruit my kids love most. it also travels well if your kids eat them straight of the core. they won’t spoil if they aren’t eaten while you are traveling, thats a good thing. i can not tell you how much food goes in the trash after i leave in in bags after our trips. i really need to work on that.

10) Disposable Tubes of Yogurt or Apple Sauce – there are lots of different food products sold in disposable pounches, these are great because no utensils are needed.

111) Travel Tray – if your kids are younger, purchasing a travel tray can help out immensely when you are trying to eat on the road. i never like having to take my seatbelt off and turn around to find something my kids dropped on the floor and can’t reach. a travel tray keep the food in one place and out of your kids laps.

12) Trash Bags – bring some trash bags to help with the mess. this is my biggest issue and pet peeve of traveling. at the end of long road trips i always find my son who sits in the back seat of our minivan, sitting in a pile of trash. seriously. so having a trash bag to clean up between the meals is helpful to keeping the car trash to a minimum.

these are my most favorite items to take on road trips. honorable mentions go to rolled-up lunch meat, pre-peeled hard boiled eggs, and sandwich wraps…only because the prep time is a lot greater. the things i mentioned above are easy grabs, which is sometimes all you can do when you are out-of-town or on the road. bring a small cooler that fits between the car seats with a frozen gel pack to keep cold things cold. the rest of the food can go in a reusable grocery sack. hopefully this will give you some food inspiration for your next road trip. hopefully these will prove to be the best foods for road trips

Best Travel Tips

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: The Homestead Crater in Heber Valley

Homestead Resort Crater - Swim Inside a Crateri loved all the places that we visited on our road trip, however, Heber Valley captured my heart. Heber Valley is made up of a few small towns, Heber City, Midway and Daniel. All together, they are referred to as Heber Valley, and are located just south east of Salt Lake City, Utah, nestled in a valley among beautiful mountains. the towns have small town charm and the scenic landscapes are gorgeous. this is one place that i would love to further explore, as we only had one day of adventure there.

Homestead Resort

in the city of Midway, Utah, you will find The Homestead Resort, where the Homestead Crater can be located on the property. this Crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock. it took over 10,000 years for this Crater to be formed by melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains. the melted snow seeped deep within the earth, two miles below the surface where the earth’s interior heated the water. as the water was then percolated upward, it picked up minerals that were then deposited on the surface. eventually it formed this volcano-shaped limestone deposit called The Homestead Crater.

the Crater is open to the public, and for a small fee, you can swim inside of it. people of all ages, even babes can enjoy this experience. imagine, swimming inside a mountain under the ground. so cool. and since it is a natural warm spring, the water is hot and also has the smell of sulfur, but it isn’t too bad.

here is the entrance that leads you into the Crater.

Heber Valley - Homestead Crater EntranceHomestead Crater Entrancewhen you get inside, there are changing rooms and an area where you can get life jackets or rent scuba equipment. you can choose to either soak, swim, or snorkel in the warm 90º-96ºf  natural mineral water. certified divers can explore the warm waters of The Crater for a maximum of 35-minutes and a depth of 35-feet. the Crater’s water is about 60 feet deep.

Homestead Resort Cratermy husband and older son were most excited to jump right away into the water. it is dark within the crater (the do have dim lights on), which was a little creepy to my younger boys. my youngest son, Vann, decided he didn’t want to swim.Heber Valley - Utah Family Travelit took Kyle a little bit of time to get up the courage to jump in the water, but he finally made it in and had a blast. you have to be careful when entering the water because there could be scuba divers in the water below. you can not see down into the beautiful crystal clear blue water, is very dark below.
Swimming in the Homestead Craterthe little one and i watched the boys having fun and explored the inside of the Crater. it’s hard to describe how interesting it was to be underground, swimming in one of natures phenomenas, but it was soooo cool.Swimming in the Homestead Crater Utah

guests can also take a short hike up to the top of the Homestead Crater. there are stairs that lead you to the top. the hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air into the Crater while the interior stays heated by mineral water at a constant range of 90 – 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Homestead Crater Hikeat the top, you have a view of Heber Valley that is so beautiful. the mountains surrounding the towns, the blue sky and puffy white clouds are what made me fall in love with Heber Valley.

Best Places to Visit in Utah - Family Travel a small bridge takes you over the top of the Craters top hole. you can look down a see the swimmers below.Homestead Crater in Heber Valley Utahand here is what it looks like from the inside looking up.Heber Valley - Homestead Crater

the Crater’s naturally warm water is pumped out of the crater and down the side of the beehive shaped rock. if it wasn’t pumped out as the natural springs filled the crater up, the water would fill the crater to the top and spill out of the hole shown in the picture above. pumping the water out makes it possible to swim inside, and allows people to have an experience unlike any other.
Homestead Crater at Homestead Resortswimming and exploring The Homestead Crater was a great experience for our family, not only was it fun and interesting, it was also educational. we had a wonderful time and will definitely swim in the Crater again on our next visit to Heber Valley.
Homestead Resort Crater Swimming

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: The Real UP House

The Real Up House in Herrington Utah - Family Travelif you followed our road trip adventures last summer, you probably saw a few pictures from our photo shoot at The Real Up House. yes!!!! there is a real life UP House, a replica of Carl and Ellie’s colorful house from Disney’s movie UP. it is located in Herriman, Utah, just south west of Salt Lake City.

i had seen the The Real UP House in the news a few years back, and when our road trip route was planned to go through Utah, i was determined to have a family photo shoot there. i knew this would be a special opportunity and also a fun way to remember our road trip, so i made sure to bring Disney bound inspired clothing for the whole family to capture the moment perfectly.

The Up House - Family Travel Utah

seeing The Real Up House in person was magical. the architecture, every detail and the colors, are perfect. you feel like you are in the movie. just looking at it puts a smile on my face, it was such a fun and unique experience.

a family owns and lives in The Real UP House, so if you want to have a photo shoot at the home, you need to make an appointment and sign waivers. there is a small fee to use the outside of the house in your photos. it costs more money if you want to take photos on the inside…which is also decorated just like the movie….with Carl and Ellie’s furniture and decor! the homeowners also have props that you can rent to enhance your photos. if all that you want to do is drive by and snap a photo with your phone, there is no charge. but i highly recommend doing a photo shoot, even a mini shoot. you will be so glad you did. and DON’T FORGET TO BUY BALLOONS! you can’t take pictures at the Real UP House without balloons, they add so much to the photos….it is so worth it when you get adorable photos like these.

with the chaos of getting ready for our road trip, i was able to set up and book a photo shoot with The Real Up House, but unable to secure a photographer because i wasn’t certain what day we would be near Harriman. luckily, my brother was in Utah at the time, and him and Lynette (the home owner who is wonderful) were able to help capture photos of our family. the photos aren’t “professional”, but i love them and they are a fun memory of our popsicle adventure.

as you can see the boys had a blast reenacting the movie…Up House - Popsicle Blogas so did my husband and i.Up House - Best Places to Take Pictures in Utahwe took photos around every angle of the house, and got some great colorful shots.
The Up House - Family Travel
i couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to capture our family and the adventure we were on. the quote “Adventure is Out There” truly described this amazing road trip we were on.
Up House - Family TravelThe Real Up House - Family Traveli couldn’t leave without snapping a selfie with the UP House homeowner, Lynette. she is a wonderful person and we connected instantly. she has a wonderful story about how they became the owners of The Real UP House, and if you follow the Disney Blogs, you might recognized her as one of the Disney Mom panelists. also, be sure to check out her Disney inspired art pieces that she sells on The Real Up House website, they are pretty cool.The Real Up House in Herrington Utah - Leanneout of all the destinations on our trip, this was one of the ones i was most looking forward too. i love Disney so much, and the movie UP. also, i love bright colors, and have been dreaming of taking these photos for the longest time.Up House - Jill Parkin OC Mom Blogit was sad to leave when our photo shoot was over, but we had to continue our adventure. i know that the next time we drive though Utah, The Real UP House will be on out list of destinations. i hope that it is on your list too!
The Real Up House in Utah - Family Travel

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: Coral Pink Sand Dunes

coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utahduring our stay in Kanab, Utah, we really wanted to explore the area and find unique places to experience. one of the locals told us to check out the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, which is one of Utah’s State Parks. the Coral Pink Sand Dunes are located off a remote road between the east entrance of Zion National Park and a few miles west of Kanab.

we weren’t sure what to expect, and as we drove, we couldn’t see the sand dunes. we kept looking and looking, but they are nestled into the landscape. even when we arrived at the entrance, you couldn’t see how beautiful they were. it wasn’t until we walked down into them and started exploring that we realized how magnificent they were.

this is the area closest to the entrance. but this is just a small over look. once we started walking down into them, past the fences, towards the east where the dune buggies ride and then up one of the peaks….

coral_pink_sand_dunes

that is where we had such a breathtaking view.

coral_pink_sand_dunes_utah_state_parkit was so peaceful and quiet. no sounds of the city, not even sounds of nature. just the quiet lull of the wind. as we walked along the main peak, we could look out and see the beauty of the Kanab mountains all around us…it was surreal.coral_pink_sand_dunes_utah

we played, jumped and ran around in the sand. it was a different experience than any of us have ever had. almost magical.

utah_state_parkcoral_pink_sand_dunes_southern_utahcoral_pink_sand_dunes_southern_utah_landmark it had to be one of the more special moments that we had as a family. just us. together. enjoying natures beauty and wonder.coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utah_landmark

of course by the end of our visit, our shoes were filled to the brim with coral pink sand. a small price to pay to experience the beauty of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utah_state_park

tips for visiting the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, Utah
• bring a water bottle
• bring snacks and drinks as there are located in a remote area.
• wear sun screen/sun hat
• if you bring a camera, make sure it is protected in a case or bag. flying sand will damage the lens.
• there is a small entrance fee (approx. $8)

 

and to read more about our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah 

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: The Historic Parry Lodge

famous-parry-lodge-utah-kanab-hotelcontinuing with our road trip, after our time in Zion National Park, we headed east to the little town of Kanab. i wrote a little bit about Kanab here…which i am still dreaming about its beautiful scenery and unique mountainous landscape. i now want to share about the motel we stayed in during our time there.

we stayed at the historic Parry Lodge Motel. back in the days when the old westerns and the movie industry did a lot of filming in Kanab, it was known as the “Home of the Stars” in Utah’s little Hollywood. Parry Lodge is where the movie stars stayed when they filmed the movies.

parry-lodge-budget-hotelinside the Parry Lodge lobby, you can take a look at all the historic movie memorabilia, most of which is from the 20’s – 70’s. it was really cool to see the old vintage photos, and newspaper articles.
ronald-regan-parry-lodge-movies
to see a fun list of all the stars who stayed at the Parry Lodge, and a list of the movies made in Kanab, click here.parry-lodge-movie-star-historythe Parry Lodge has a coffee shop where you can get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee…..

parry-lodge-kanab-utah-coffee-shopand also a restaurant, where you can get the buffet breakfast before enjoying the sites around Kanab.

Breakfast: from April 1st to October 31st, a full breakfast Buffet is available 7 days a week 6:30 am to 9:30 am, $6.99 for guests; from November 1st to March 31st, a free continental breakfast is available in our coffee shop. here is a menu available from 6:30am to noon. Lunch: offered Monday through Friday 11:00 am to 2:00 p.m.

parry-lodge-motel-kanab-utah-dining

the layout of the motel is open, so you can park right outside your room.

parry-lodge-motel-rooms-kanab-utahwhat is really cool about this motel, is that the names of the movie stars that have stayed in each room are displayed above each of the doors. you could get to stay in the very same room as Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. how cool is that!parry-lodge-kanab-ronald-reganduring our stay, we stayed in the same room Gregory Peck stayed in. he starred in movies such as “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” “Moby Dick,” and “Cape Fear.”parry-lodge-gregory-peckthe rooms themselves are quaint and vintage. you feel like you are going back in time. our room was had two queen sized beds and a twin.parry-lodge-motel-reviewparry-lodge-bathroomparry-lodge-kanab-roomthere was also a kitchenette located in one of the rooms which made it easy to prepare our picnic lunch and late evening snacks.parry-lodge-kanab-utah-kitchen

other amenities of the Parry Lodge include landery facilities, a pool to swim in….

parry-lodge-kanab-pool and best of all….The Old Barn Play House.  an old barn where each evening, you can sit back and relax while watching one of the old western movies that were filmed in Kanab. the boys were very excited to see the scenic landscape surrounding our motel, in the very movie they were watching. parry-lodge-motel-kanab-utah-old-barnparry-lodge-kanab-old-time-barn-movieparry-lodge-kanab-utah-old-time-barn
the Parry Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now owned by Kanab native Steve Heaton. it is centrally located to many Utah attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) National Recreations Area, Grand Staircase – Escalante and Pipe Springs National Monuments. these incredible natural wonders are all just a 90 minute drive or less from Kanab. they form a grand circle with Parry Lodge as its hub, which make the Parry Lodge a great place to stay when you want to visit these places.

we personally really enjoyed our stay at the historic Parry Lodge. being able to share in some old time history was pretty cool….and something we will always remember.parry-lodge-motel-rocking-chairs

 

and to read more about our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah

{ Disclosure: We received our stay at the Parry Lodge complimentary. As always, all thoughts and opinions are a bazillion times my own. }