Going away with your family, or even just a spouse, is exciting! Fun!! Adventurous! The best thing ever! Changes of scenery are wonderful, and we feel lucky that we are blessed with the opportunity!
But also, they are overwhelming.
You never know what to pack (how can you know what you want to wear next Wednesday, now), and if you need to bring your own food, it entails another level of preparation that takes time and strategy. Thankfully, we spoke to someone who has done it all, and more. Jetsetter extraordinaire, Naomi Nachman, shares with us some crucial tips for traveling right, so you can go in with the proper excitement level and a bright smile on your face.
Kosherdotcom: What are some must-have products for traveling?
Naomi Nachman: In my knapsack, I have all the chargers, headphones, and a collapsible washing cup. (I actually need to order myself a few new ones since my children stole mine! It is a great product!)
I also always travel with a hoodie because airplanes and airports get chilly. You can either wear it or use it as a blanket!
For cooking and food prep, I bring one suitcase full of food, my two Betty Crockers, a can opener, 2 knives, 2 cutting boards, 2 wooden spoons, a mini spatula, and some paper goods (including forks and knives).
Other must-have products are band aids and ziplock bags. You never know when you will need them!
KDC: Out of all your travels, what is the most underratedly wonderful place to visit by car?
NN: AMERICA! There is no need to run overseas. America is a beautiful country! I especially loved New Mexico, and down south – Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia are both amazing.
(To see more about Naomi’s incredible road trip down south, check out her saved highlights on her Instagram page, @naominachman.)
KDC: What about somewhere overseas? Where would you recommend?
NN: People are always running to Italy, but Scotland and Ireland are beautiful, with so much to do! And you have kosher food right around!
KDC: Okay- let’s talk food. What are a few necessary grocery items?
NN: I never go anywhere without Gefen noodle soups!
We also bring an assortment of kosher cheeses, packs of tuna, and lots of deli. Mini condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup are also great to bring along, and it eliminates the need to shlep around any heavy jars or bottles.
KDC: What is a great meal that people don’t think about but is easy and delicious to make on the road?
NN: I make a big batch of meat sauce at home before our trip. Then I freeze it. Before we leave on our trip, I put it in the cooler and let it defrost slowly during the day. Or you can put it in the freezer of your hotel room for a later day. Then, I heat it up in a Betty Crocker and I throw in a package of Tuscanini gnocchi to cook at the same time. There’s no draining needed, and you get a wholesome, hot, and homemade meal in a matter of moments.
KDC: Any words of advice for those who want to travel?
NN: Go in as organized as you can but expect the unexpected. I really believe that everything comes from Hashem. I’ve been to over 30 countries and to 48 states in the United States, and every great trip I’ve had has been a gift from Hashem. It is not in our control!
I try to stick to the plan, but sometimes you need to add or cut something out. Sometimes, you have to wing it. You can’t travel around if you don’t go in with a chilled mindset. If you can’t be accommodating and flexible, don’t travel. It just doesn’t work.
When we went to Iceland, our plane got delayed. We arrived very late to our hotel, we ended up oversleeping, and we missed the boarding call for an ice cave tour we were planning on attending. It was very annoying and disappointing, but it ended up being a really nice day regardless, because Iceland is beautiful!
Do YOU have any veteran traveling tips that you can share with our readers? Feel free to comment below!