Unfortunately, you need to itemize deductions in order to claim them and you give up the first 2% of miscellaneous deductions (of which, travel expenses are). You are also only allowed to write off 80% of your actual expenses for meals or 80% of the per diem rate, if you choose this (most use the per diem).
In addition to meal expenses, all job related expense that you are not reimbursed for and pay out of your pocket are deductible as a miscellaneous deduction.
I will not go into all the details here. If you newbies are not familiar with all of this, I would really recommend consulting a professional tax preparer. If you are an over the road trucker, the available deductions can make a huge difference in your tax liability. Make sure to use a preparer that has familiarity with trucker deductions. Ask them first! I have had a sideline income tax preparation business for the past 17 years (Bridger’s Income Tax Service). If anyone has any specific questions, send me an email and I’ll be glad to respond.