Road trips and Happy Meals are usually synonymous – but they don’t have to be. With careful planning it is still possible to enjoy family meals on the road in route to or from your vacation destination.
I travel with picky eaters, namely my 6 year-old son, 4 year-old daughter and 2 year-old son. When we road trip, there is always a strong temptation to hit the drive-thru for every meal!
However, when we recently traveled down to Deer Valley, AZ for the Country Inns & Suites spring campaign, I decided to try mixing it up a little, in hopes of giving my husband and I a french-fry break!
Our meals on the road and how each worked for us:
- We chose one local restaurant that would give us a feel for the culture of the area we were visiting.
- We chose one reliable family-favorite chain that we knew we could depend on for delicious fresh food and a fun, casual atmosphere.
- We stayed-in one night and had a home-cooked meal.
- We picnicked at a local park.
A Local Restaurant
Our first night in town we were anxious to get a taste of Arizona so we headed straight for the Old Town Tortilla Factory where our kiddos were dazzled by the twinkling lights of outdoor dining while my husband and I enjoyed a fabulous authentic southwestern meal.
I had exposed my finicky eaters to basic southwestern foods like quesadillas before we went on vacation so there would be something they recognized on the menu.
A Reliable Chain
The next evening we relaxed at a familiar and friendly restaurant, Chilis. As a mom, I was grateful to know I could depend on their fresh, healthy meal options and stress-free atmosphere. My picky kiddos were also happy to find some familiarity in their favorite chain.
A Homemade Meal
By dinnertime our third day we were exhausted by all the site-seeing fun and welcomed an evening of dining in. We bought a few basics at a grocery store and made a fun family night out of dinner, movies & games at the hotel. The value of having a kitchenette in our room gave us the ability to eat when/what we wanted – even feeding the kids ahead of time and enjoying a romantic late-night meal after they went to bed!
For our last night in Phoenix we picked up southwestern take-out and picnicked at a local park. Enjoying the local cuisine while watching the sun set over behind the Arizona hills was the perfect way to say farewell to the city we’d quickly fallen in love with. The kids were so anxious to hit the slides & swings that they gobbled up their meals with hardly a murmur!
As you can see, it is possible to enjoy meals on the road sans drive through. What suggestions do you have for eating on vacation? Leave them in the comments!