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I'm hoping to get some information from the veterans. This is the first season for 2013 and our family with travel ball.

We'll travel to college campuses in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, ranging 2-3 hours away from home. Eight tournaments, each Thursday - Sunday.

So, our last name is not Trump, and we'll be dishing out about $400 a week in hotels, and let's not even talk about the gas pump. Each hotel offers a continental breakfast (thanks, Coach!), but we cannot eat out for dinner every night.

If anyone has recommendations on cooler-friendly meal ideas, we would love to hear them. Obviously sandwiches, fruits, and veggie trays will be part of the plan, but we would really appreciate more ideas from folks who've been there.

Thanks everyone!
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2013 Parent,
My comment isn't about the details of a summer spent eating out or staying in hotels. What it is about is enjoying every second of time you spend watching your child's team play the game they love. Like so many posters on here, our journey through travel ball holds countless memories. Some highs, some lows. But always, priceless memories of time spent with our son! The Mothers Day card I received this year says it all. "Thanks, Mom, for all you have done to help me continue to do what I love." I can't even type that without tearing up! Of course, this came from a 19 year old who never made that kind of remark when he was young. As he got older we received numerous invites to showcases. At first, we didn't even show them to him because we knew we couldn't afford to take him. As he got older and we began to let him in on the invites, he realized which ones were just money makers for the organizers and which ones were worth the cost. Incidentally, the college he now attends spotted him as a 15 year old playing on an 18U team at East Cobb. We never even knew they were following him until the summer before his senior year.

Now, more to the point of your question. We always tried to stay in places with a substantial continental breakfast, preferably one which had a nice loyalty program also.

We always carried a cooler with water, Gatorade, and just a few sodas. Trail mix and prepackaged peanut butter and crackers filled in during the day.
We would eat a nice (not necessarily expensive) hot meal at the end of the day. Not the best time for mom and dad to eat a big meal but it worked for son! Son ate burgers or chicken sandwiches from the concession stand between games. We figured he was burning off the extra calories and fat during the games.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the time spent with your family this summer. In a way, I'm jealous. Our son will spend his summer playing in Collegiate Wooden Bat League several states away.
Great ideas, everyone. Thank you.

We are very much looking forward to this experience. Our son is very, very grateful for the opportunity, as well. He knows that it's a financial challenge for our family, and we hold no delusions that this will pay off in major league signing bonuses some day.

He wants to play "as long as he can" and he tells us often how grateful he is that we are doing what we can to support him.

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