· By Reva Hansen

The Art of Travel Snacks

I’ve been credited many times with being able to pick the perfect snacks. I never claimed to have this ability, but my impeccable track record speaks for itself.

If you’ve ever traveled much, you know that stopping at a gas station or truck stop after hours of sitting inside a vehicle, can be a real treat. It starts with the road sign. Sometimes you’re in the middle of nowhere and your options are limited. Sometimes you happen upon a plethora of delicious choices between a Sheetz and a Pilot. Let’s imagine the latter together.

The exit sign lays before us the many options we must choose between. We could hit up the McDonald’s, which is reliable, and the fries never disappoint. And we don’t have time for Waffle House. Nahhh. But then the second sign appears (because there’s so many options on this gold mine of an exit), and you see it. THE PERFECT STOP. It has delicious coffee, in case you really need your fifth cup of the day. It has the milkshake maker, or better yet, an ice cream center where you can add your own toppings. There’s fresh fruit for all the really boring people. We’re talking donuts, chicken tenders, big gulp area, slushies, and an array of candy that you never thought possible. A small gift shop is always a plus, just in case you want to pick a little something up for your significant other.

Now, the snack choice is vital. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the options in front of us, but we don’t panic. We’re better than that. Some questions we need to ask are - what time of day is it? What mood are we in? Do we need something sweet? Salty? Both? Many times it takes one to offset the other, but it’s a very delicate balance. I knew a guy who put himself in an infinite snack loop…it wasn’t pretty. What I like to do is take one slow lap to allow my brain to capture the content in front of me. Let my instincts begin to take over. Once I’ve honed in on a feeling, I begin to evaluate. How will this taste? How will this make me feel afterwards? Is it worth the risk? Now, don’t let all of this overwhelm you. The process becomes more natural with time and experience. Once you’ve chosen wisely on a couple hundred occasions, it becomes like second nature.

If you travel with someone you trust with snack choices, follow their lead. Choose as they choose. Watch their behavior. Study them. They may not always choose what you want, but it will payoff in the end. Once you have your legs under you, feel free to go it alone. Don’t be afraid to fail or make bad choices. It happens to the best of us.