Frugal Foodies: 3 Gadgets to Bring On Your Next Road Trip

Taj Bates

One of the many things I love about a good ole fashioned road trip is that I don't have to strategically pack everything in a suitcase. I can just toss my hiking boots, snacks, ice cooler, coats, et. al., in the trunk of my car and be on my merry lil' way!

Something most of us don't think to bring along on a road trip—especially if we're traveling by car, truck, SUV or minivan—is a food gadget or two.

We tend to just rely on the microwave and coffeepot that may or may not be in our hotel room upon arrival; alongside a diet of fast food, junk food, continental pastries and cold or lukewarm sandwiches.

Yet, if you're a frugal foodie who wants to enjoy a quick, delicious and healthy meal during your next road trip, here are a few portable food gadgets you can bring along.


Smoothie Blender

What better way to start off your day than with a delicious smoothie made just the way you like it with a personal blender like the Oster My Blend.

Many hotels in the U.S. have an ice machine. So you just need ice, some fruit (fresh, canned or frozen) and a base like vanilla yogurt, coconut milk or OJ. And you can have a healthy and delicious breakfast on-the-go.

The best part? Drop in some milk and ice cream instead, and whip up cool and creamy milkshakes for all to enjoy. Talk about a win-win!


Waffle Maker

In the U.S. at least, some motels have a heavy-duty waffle maker you can use during breakfast service. Yet those waffles normally come out feeling and tasting like cardboard.

With your own, lightweight waffle maker, like the Presto FlipSide, you can bake waffles just the way you like 'em. All you need is pancake mix, water and a small bottle of syrup. You can even bring along jam or canned fruit to spread atop your waffle. The best part? None of these ingredients require refrigeration.

For a delectable twist, check out this easy cinnamon roll waffle recipe.


Panini Press

Long live whoever invented the panini! Just the thought of a hot-off-the-press panini never fails to make me happy.

Using a Hamilton Beach Panini Press or the like, you can make something as quick and simple as a panini with spinach, tomatoes and artisan cheese. Or you can carnivore it up by adding in pre-cooked ham, turkey or chicken slices.

Alternatively, you make toast; or warm up tortillas for a chicken Caesar wrap or the like. Or you can make some ooey-gooey quesadillas with your favorite ingredients stuffed inside.

IQ Tips

  • Bring a surge protector to plug your food gadgets into during use.

  • Be sure to unplug the gadgets before you leave the room.


Photo: Ken Hawkins