I’ve mentioned before that I do a lot of travel for my job. For the time being, most of that travel is around the state, so I’m able to drive to where I need to go. The advantage of having a car is that I can track down a local grocery and picnic in my hotel room, thus better controlling what I eat and at least making some efforts to being healthy. It also gives me a chance to try out various small servings of wine.
I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked up as I’ve been doing this over the last few months.
First off, if you can find a Trader Joe’s, so much the better. They have great salads and a good selection of affordable wine, particularly in smaller sizes. The Underwood wine is a good wine for being in a can: I liked the Rose but was especially fond of the Pinot Gris, as it had a nice fruity, grapefruit tone. Here are pics of both:
I also like the Bota Minis – this is pretty standard wine and will do in a pinch:
I wasn’t trying to be particularly classy here with my plastic wine glass – I just didn’t particularly trust the glassware in the hotel I was in.
I usually aim for comfort food for my entree for my hotel meals. I think it is because I don’t actually like traveling all that much – I miss my nightly routine that involves snuggling with a dog, being walked over by several cats, talking with my husband, and watching TV shows on Netflix and Hulu. I gravitate toward Amy’s entrees – as you can see in these photos, I especially like the mac and cheese. The pesto tortellini in the photo below is Trader Joe’s brand and I didn’t like it – the pesto just wasn’t flavorful. I also like Evol’s Truffle Parmesan Mac and Cheese.
I always, always aim for having a salad with dinner. Most grocery stores will have some sort of basic salad, and I’ve found that health food stores or Trader Joe’s tend to have a better selection. Top left photo was a mozzarella and tomato salad from Fred Meyer. Top right was a spinach salad, also from Fred Meyer, that came with bacon, cheese, and dried cranberries. I’d already had a turkey wrap for lunch that day, and decided to keep the spinach and cheese, skip the bacon, cranberries and salad dressing, and add raspberries. Bottom left was a green salad with beets and apples and the bottom right was a kale salad with edamame, tomatoes, and green onion.
I confess that I also always seek out dessert when I’m having a hotel meal. It’s a comfort thing – since we don’t usually eat dessert at home, it’s a little change that makes traveling a bit better.
As far as hotels go, I usually check first to make sure that the hotel I’ll be in has a mini-fridge and a microwave. I’ve had good luck with Holiday Inn Express and Suites as well as with Comfort Inn.
So to sum up – good wine, comfort food, a salad and dessert are great ways to make a business hotel stay fun.