One of the negatives of going away on vacation is missing out on your healthy eating habits. Consider taking along a portable bender for travel, and you will be able to whip up your delicious smoothies anywhere!
As a family, we are always super excited to plan a weekend camping trip away from home. We also look forward to longer school breaks when we can explore new destinations. One of the problems I find is that we miss out on the healthy smoothies, soups, dips, and fresh juices that I make in my kitchen at home. I have discovered, to my delight, that there is a range of portable blenders explicitly made for travel. They are compact, light, easy to transport, and easy to use. How fabulous is that? I can make smoothies in a jiffy away from home. They are also ideal for taking along to the office to make a quick lunch. How about using a portable blender at a sports event to give the kids an instant energy boost during the break-in a ball game? For those of you who are not familiar with portable blenders – read on for more info. I will discuss in detail the pros and cons of small blenders for travel that were tested. You can then make an informed decision on which one is best for your needs.
What is a Portable Blender?A blender is a kitchen appliance that will mix, crush, blend, stir, grind, liquefy, chop, grate, and more. They are ideal for making nutritious, healthy drinks, milkshakes, and smoothies. To use a blender, you fill it with fruits, veggies, and other ingredients of your choice like nuts and grains. Choose your setting, turn on, and the blades work at high speeds to chop up the ingredients. The result – you have a thick mixture that is commonly known as a smoothie. You can also get creative and prepare soups, dips, sauces, juices and even batter mixes for waffles and pancakes. So, what is a portable blender? It is a blender that is smaller, lighter, and more compact than a traditional blender that you would stand on a shelf in your kitchen. They are perfect for packing into a case or backpack. Many operate on reduced power. Some even work on batteries or USB power, eliminating the need for a power source – perfect for an away-from-civilization camping trip. Portable blenders will allow you to whip up the healthy mixtures you make at home but in smaller quantities.
What to consider when choosing the best travel blender for making smoothies on-the-go?What I discovered when looking for the right small travel blender is that you cannot merely choose any blender. It has to be specifically designed for easy packing and transporting. Otherwise, you may as well lug along your current kitchen appliance! So let’s consider the following main issues
WHAT you plan on BLENDING?Blending can cover a variety of ingredients from soft fruits to hard nuts and even ice. You need to decide on what you are planning on blending when away from home. You may want to settle on healthy fruit juices. You may want to make more complex meals like chunky soups, especially if you are away in cold weather and sleeping in a tent. The strength, power, and functions of the machine you choose will determine the type of ingredients that you can blend.
SIZE and WEIGHT are importantFor travel, lightweight, small, and compact are best. The physical size is also essential. You don’t want to use up valuable packing space, and you certainly want it to fit comfortably into your luggage. Look for a size that will fit into your check-in suitcase. You won’t be able to carry your blender onto a plane as it has blades that fall under the prohibited section. If you are setting out on a hiking or camping adventure, a blender that fits into a backpack is the ideal choice. Likewise, ensure that your blender fits into your gym, Pilates, yoga, or dance bag.
The POWER of the MOTORMotor power determines what type of ingredients you can blend. For traveling, you can go for a blender with lesser motor power. Kitchen blenders that are top of the range will average above 700 wattages. For your travel blender, you can get away with a less powerful machine, even dropping down to as low as 125 wattages. Remember that the less power, the less strength, so if you are determined to crush nuts or ice, you will need the ability to do that.
What POWER SOURCE should I consider – battery or corded?One of the best perks I found were blenders that do not need power – absolutely awesome. They work off battery power. Now, there are two types of battery power which you need to check. The first is a standard battery with a life-span that will stop working once used up. You will need to replace it – which is fine, as long as you have extra batteries on hand. Getting stranded mid-blend with no power is not what you want. Some blenders have rechargeable battery packs and can blend multiple times before you need to recharge them. This also saves on having to buy loads of batteries and works out to be more cost-effective in the long run. Many travel blenders are easily charged by plugging into your laptop USB port. Have you ever thought how fabulous this is for people who work late and want to whip a smoothie without leaving their desks? Or, for the teens who game and cannot be away from their screens for more than a minute? There are also travel blenders with standard power cords. If you are going to be in a hotel, resort, or vacation self-cater lodge, power will be available. A blender with a standard power cord will then be ideal for you. Plug it in where your accommodation has a coffee corner, and you are set.
TRAVEL JAR or BOTTLEBest blenders for travel are ideal if they come with a travel jar or bottle. You blend, remove the jar, snap on the lid, and you have a healthy smoothie to take along. This is perfect for campers, hikers, and outdoor adventure seekers. The con is that they mostly cater to one portion, so unless you buy additional containers, you are limited to a single serving. Take into account the size of the jar. A 14oz serving is ideal for a single person on-the-go. For a family, this may be a little too small, and you should look for a jar that holds 24oz or even 32oz
ACCESSORIES may be extra troubleHaving loads of accessories to attach to your blender in your home kitchen is excellent as you have the space to store them. I don’t want to travel with a blender and a lot of extra fussy bits and pieces. I would worry that I would lose them! Accessories can take the form of extra cups, extra lids, extractor blades, and funnels. Decide which ones you need before packing too many.
KEEPING IT CLEAN – self-cleaning makes your life so much easierFor me, washing up dishes and appliances at home is a bind, and I certainly don’t want to spend my vacation washing up anything I don’t need to. Many blenders come with a self-cleaning feature, and I would certainly want that when away from home.
PRICE – decide on your budget before buyingDecide on how much you want to spend and stay within your budget. Portable blenders range from very cost-effective models at around $20 to more expensive models up to $100.
WARRANTIES and TECH SUPPORT put your mind at easeI always look for a product that comes with a warranty. This puts my mind at ease, knowing that I will get support if something goes wrong. And, may even get a full replacement if necessary. The more extended the warranty, the more superior the product usually is. Another perk is a company that offers tech support after purchasing. This is great for those of us who may need help with the initial set-up and understanding the different functions of the machine.
TRY IT OUT AT HOME FIRSTBecause I am not very tech-savvy, I always like to try out any new portable appliance before I set -off on my trip. The worst experience will be to arrive and find that I cannot operate it, or there is a fault — total disappointment when you are miles from home. So, spend a bit of time, set up the machine, and give it a whiz. Once you are sure it works the way you expect, you are ready to pack it up with your baggage.
Benefits of owning a small portable blenderOwning a compact blender certainly offers a surprising number of benefits that I had not even considered. I can ensure that the family maintains a healthy diet on vacation –; Traveling does interfere with your regular eating habits. Apart from trying out all sorts of new foods, I find that we miss out on the essential healthy foods that we eat at home. Taking a small blender along with our luggage allows me to blend up fresh fruit and veggies during our trip. Stay healthy – blending smoothies is one of the easiest and simplest ways to get your daily fill of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and other vital components. I don’t have to follow fad diets, weigh ingredients, or eat bland food. I can choose from a vast range of exotic flavors, fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, and create delicious, nutritious meal replacements, and snacks in a jiffy. Portable mini blenders save money when away from home – after a tiring day of site-seeing in a new destination, the last thing we want to do as a family is rush around and find a restaurant for dinner. Shopping like a local is fun and makes you feel part of the city or town you are visiting. It also saves a load of money, as fresh produce is far cheaper than restaurant food. Small blenders with USB connections work anywhere! I have become quite the pro at making smoothies in blender in all sorts of venues. My office is first – before a hectic meeting or at lunchtime, I head for the kitchen, throw in some ingredients from my cooler bag and blend up a shake after a workout at the gym. I don’t need to drive home feeling exhausted. I relax and chat with friends and blend up a quick shake. They are always super impressed! Enjoy healthy drinks on picnics, barbecues, and outdoor excursions. I always used to pack soft drinks for our outings, despite knowing that they are loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar and chemicals. I couldn’t think of any other option, apart from water which didn’t excite the kids. It is so easy to pack a cooler bag of fresh fruits, leafy greens, and other healthy products. After we have explored the beach or the countryside, I quickly blend up a tasty drink for all of us. They are great for small kitchens! I have a friend who has a tiny kitchen but loves cooking. I was at a loss for a gift idea until I thought of a portable blender. Because they are compact, they take up minimal space. She was over the moon, as it fits neatly into a corner and does not need acres of space like most kitchen appliances. You feel great knowing that you can eat healthily and enjoy it – feeling relaxed and at ease goes a long way to maintaining both your mind and body health. Knowing that I can easily keep up a healthy diet is a great relief and stops me from opting for expensive and unhealthy fast-food take-outs. My mini blender is especially helpful when away from home on business, vacation, or after a hectic day when the last thing I want to do is worry about a meal. Get creative – try out new recipes and get creative in the kitchen. Make exciting soups, shakes, salsas, nut butters, waffle, and pancake batters. You can also mix and match fruit, veggies, grains, and seeds to create exotic and delicious summer drinks or heartwarming winter soups. Give it a go!
Which portable mini blender is right for your travel?When choosing the right portable blender, you should consider these key points.
- How much do you want to spend? Portable blenders range from very cost-effective at around $20 to expensive at about $100. Keep in mind that cheap is not always right, and high prices don’t always offer the value they claim.
- How big is your family? You will find that portable blenders are usually smaller than kitchen blenders. Some are only made for a single person. Others have more substantial containers, and some models come with extra containers.
- Will you have a power source at your destination? If not, you will have to choose a blender with a rechargeable battery.
- Strength of the machine? Are you planning on making shakes that require frozen or hard ingredients? You will then need a more powerful machine with sharp blades.