FOOD AND MEALS
We eat really well while travelling and nothing has changed since we left home and embarked on our travels. We eat the same foods and prepare the same meals as if we were living back in our home. Moving into our caravan hasn't been a hindrance at all as we have all the comforts of home right in our van!
Our first tip is; if you’ve got a big freezer you’re sorted! Being able to bulk freeze pre prepared meals is so important. You're able to pull a meal out of the freezer and have the kids fed in minutes. Having ready prepared meals to pop into the microwave after a big day exploring, definitely makes for a stress free dinner.
"It’s a must to have a Barbie on board and it keeps your husband busy while enjoying a beer."
We typically make up a big batch of Pasta bake and Zucchini Slice and pop it into the freezer. It’s a total winner in our household as the kids love it and devour it in seconds. We only have two cereals to chose from - Weetbix and Quick Oats, these are cheap and fill little tummy's as well as ours. They're also at every grocery store, city or remote. We stick to wraps and sandwiches for our family of five. Bread can be sourced anywhere and its an easy, cheap meal to prepare when pulled up in that truck stop or down swimming at the beach. As for snacks, we keep these healthy as no one wants a toddler with a sugar high while driving a 500km day.
We pack meals into zip lock bags so they lay flat and this maximizes room in the freezer. This saves on bulky containers stacked in your freezer, due to limited storage, endless containers isn't really an option.
Generally speaking we eat very healthy, so storing fruit and vegetables is essential. We have never have a drama with this as most towns you go through will have a supermarket. So, doing a large shop isn’t really necessary at times. However, if you're heading out to a remote spot for a week or two, stocking up on frozen goods will help get you through. We love our meats and fish and typically freeze it, so having a decent size freezer for your family means you can grab a bargain and pack it away without any storage issues.
While driving long distances, food is key! We make up a snack and lunch bag for all. This eliminates the urge to buy garbage food at the servo and swinging through McDonalds. It's expensive to eat takeaway while travelling and you wouldn't believe the money some family's spend in a month (crazy right!) This can be avoided by making you're own lunch on the road. So, stick with a sanga and some fruit!
Our BBQ gets a workout. We cook fish, roast meat, steak, snags, homemade chips and even vegetables. It’s a must to have a Barbie on board and it keeps the husband busy and enjoying a beer. Our BBQ is a swift stainless marine BBQ and it sits on slides that fit in the front hatch. Under the hotplate is a couple of burners, so you can use it as a stovetop as well as a BBQ. So, cooking all your meals outside is easy and very handy when you're free camping with no power.
Our Jurgens Narooma caravan has loads of room to store food, so if we are off the grid for a week or so there is plenty to munch on!
Keeping healthy while travelling is extremely important! No one wants to pick up a vomiting bug and have it go through your whole family!
Drinking bottled water in remote areas is vital as there is many water borne bacteria about. A 24 pack of bottled water from Woolworths is as little as $6, so we recommend keeping this on hand. We can speak from experience, having picked ups nasty bug that had us unwell for 4 weeks, it wasn't pleasant!If you find you do become unwell and need a doctor, you can always hit up the local hospital. They are very accomodating with travellers as they know its near impossible to get into a doctor as a 'new patient'. Not to mention the fee...
Talking of fees, we are all on a travellers budget. Trying to find an affordable doctor can be an arduous task. I stumbled across this awesome website called 1800bulkbill.com.au you can pop in your current suburb and it will list all the bulk billing doctors in your area, or free call 1800bulkbill (285524). Winning!
We keep a box of medications on hand as well as a first aid kit. An absolute must when travelling in remote areas. Be mindful of what you eat and drink and get into a doctor if you're feeling under the weather. Most Importantly make sure you have AMBULANCE COVER and it covers you Australia wide. It's very affordable and you can pay a yearly upfront fee with your state. Alternatively if you have health cover, most include ambulance cover.
We had an incident where Justin had an appendicitis while in Byron Bay. We were so thankful to the ambulance service and the doctors and nurses at Tweed Hospital.
We are often asked how we manage to maintain our fitness and be active while we travel. As much as we'd love to be hitting the gym a few times a week, they generally aren't readily available and can be expensive at $20 per session for a casual visit.
Other than keeping up with 3 kids, hiking, swimming and bike riding. We make time to workout a couple of times a week. Justin and I tag team a run and we make use of playgrounds. Justin will do chin ups while I lunge (I hate chin ups)! Not only is it a way to keep fit but it's great for us mentally. We love to take time out to go for a run or do some stairs, as we always come back fresher! It's always a great escape from the kids too😜 Plus, it's teaching them the importance of exercise!
However, we're often unable to exercise when in remote locations, cause no one wants to run up a barron dirt track, inhale bull dust and jump over snakes. So we make do by setting up a workout under our awning - lunges, sit ups, dips, bicep curls, and skipping. We use resistance bands for strength and conditioning as this mimics the free weight exercises we'd be doing in a gym. PLUS they're lightweight and take up no room in our van.
I hope this gives you some ideas you mightn't of thought of while on the road.