My Travel Kitchen

Traveling this summer has been so great and we’ve done all of it (over 4000 miles) by car! We decided not to give our money to the airlines for our travel plans this year and what a good decision we made!

To prepare for our travels I decided to make a travel kitchen (well, that’s what I call it anyway). The purpose of my travel kitchen was to enable us to bring healthy snacks, meals, and coffee for our long journey.  This allowed us to save money and eat healthier.

I like to recycle, re-use, and re-purpose things, so I decided to transform a vintage Samsonite suitcase for this project.

I went right to work on the suitcase, ripping out the interior but saving the lining for taking measurements later. I have to admit, I didn’t have the next step planned; I was just excited to start the project! After taking out the lining, I disinfected the interior of the travel bag. Digging thru my fabric stash, I found some cute brown and white checked fabric that worked with the pale teal suitcase.

Next, I cut the fabric, using that old lining as a pattern. I traced the shape of the old side pockets onto cardboard, used spray adhesive to put the new lining in:  No sewing involved!  To spray the adhesive in the suitcase, and not get it everywhere, I used paper towels to protect adjacent areas from getting sprayed. After covering the cardboard, I sprayed the adhesive on the sides. After placing the cardboard inside, I used a piece of molding and clamps to keep them in place until the adhesive set.

Vintage suitcases feature a divider that can be secured so that when you open the suitcase, the contents from one half of the suitcase don’t spill out. As I racked my brain about recreating the divider without sewing – Voila! – a crocheted net made of pale teal yarn!  When I attached the net, I used cup hooks so that mugs can hang from them.  I also installed small hooks on the sides to further secure the net.  I wove the existing bar into the bottom of the net and it catches onto hooks at the bottom.

Here is a contents list for the car kitchen:

  • 2 plates

  • 2 spoons

  • 2 forks

  • 2 knives

  • 1 cutting knife

  • Cutting board

  • Dish soap & dishcloth

  • Dish towel

  • Tablecloth

  • Wine opener

  • Can opener

  • Straws

  • Coffee

  • Creamer

  • Tea bags

  • Honey

  • Snack bars

  • Energy drink packets

  • Popcorn & noodles (microwaves in the hotel rooms)

  • Napkins

  • Extra ziplock bags

  • 2 Tervis Tumblers with lids


We even took the travel kitchen camping and added a few more things, including a 9″ skillet – I love using the suitcase! Because of its square shape, it packs into the back of the car easily, doesn’t take up too much space and is nice and organized when you open it.

What would you add to this travel kitchen? I would love to hear your comments.

A Valentine’s Gift of Car Organization

For this week’s Tool Tuesday I thought I would showcase an awesome gift for your Valentine.  It’s the perfect trio-of-organization for that special someone’s vehicle!

Neat Seat Organizer ($17) – Features 5 roomy pockets, hangs from passenger seat head rest and swings from front to back of the car

No-Leak Litter Bag ($17) – Also attaches to headrest. Has a leakproof base.

Car Pocket ($9) – This handy pocket attaches to the car’s air vent and is perfect to store your phone, glasses, etc.

The entire trio is available in pink or brown.

Pair them with car wash gift certificates or an oil change and give your Valentine a practical gift! To see these products up close and to order online, visit

A “sweet” Valentine gift for someone you love!  … Or … maybe for you!?