Traveling and eating healthy? Wait, what? Yes! It is possible! Whether you are traveling for work or play, out of the country or within you the US, a road trip adventure or just a full day of errands, it’s possible to stick to healthy eating and snacking – I promise!
The stress of eating well while traveling can deter people from wanting to leave the comfort of home in the first place. FOOD should not be a determining factor in enjoying a trip away and exploring your world! Personally, being gluten free and diary free presents a real challenge, but I have had my fair share of experiences to know what works and what doesn’t. I have outlined some simple tools to eliminate the struggle of eating well while on the go, regardless of your dietary restrictions or needs.
Are you that person that goes on a trip and completely disregards your daily routine or eating habits? These tips are for you!
#1: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
- Check to see if your hotel, Airbnb or other place of stay has a refrigerator. This way you can plan ahead and bring or buy refrigerated items. Otherwise, I ALWAYS take a small cooler with me everywhere I go. If necessary you can use that in the hotel and refill it with ice from the vending machine every day. (pro tip: make sure the refrigerator is turned on and at appropriate temperature before putting all your food in, and bring plastic freezer bags for your ice)
- Take advantage of free breakfast buffets. The breakfast buffet presents unique temptations and challenges, but most hotels have basic eggs and fruit. The offerings may not live up to your quality standards, but they will work in a pinch.
- Google the area you will be staying and look up restaurants close by that will suit your dietary needs or wants. Personally, I Google gluten-free restaurants since that is a non-negotiable. If I am lucky, I can find gluten free and vegan options which will omit the dairy – I will let small amounts of dairy slide if absolutely necessary. While eating out I will typically try to find cuisines unique to the area I am visiting (eg. tacos, bbq, seafood etc.), but if that is not an option I will go to a typical pub or steak house. You can always find a salad with protein (omit the dressing and ask for some lemon and olive oil on the side), bun-less grass fed burger with sweet potato fries or a typical meat, starch, vegetable dish.
- Find some grocery stores near you. This is typically the first place I hit after getting to my destination. That way I can load up on things I may not have been able to bring (i.e., larger refrigerated items that did not fit in my carry on cooler).
#2 PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME
Take a little bit of time before your trip to prepare. You will never have to worry about a delay or set back if you prepare properly because you have prepared with appropriate food and snacks (and lets be honest, airport food is dangerous– well unless your in Portland or Denver).
- If your body is anything like mine it is very sensitive to change and foreign food. I pack my daily supplements and teas. I even go as far as to pack individual collagen packs and drinking bone broth! But this is a bit extreme and not necessary.
- Plan a couple weeks ahead of time to order online or pick up any non-perishable snacks you want to bring, some listed below and also refer to my products I love page here
- Dark Chocolate
- Bars eg. Lara Bars, Kind Bars, Epic Bars, Epic Jerky RX Bars
- Beef Jerky
- Nuts and Individual Nut Butters eg. Justin’s
- Jackson’s Honest Chips, Siete Chips, Terra Plantain Chips
- Dried fruits
If you plan on bringing cold items on the plane, pack a small cooler and make sure your containers are clear and visible for security. I have never had a problem bringing cold items on a plane ie. salads or meats as long as you are not traveling internationally. Some examples of cold items you can pack:
- Pre-made hard boiled eggs
- Carrots, broccoli and other veggies
- Dips ie salsa, guacamole, hummus
- Pre-cooks meats
- Overnight oats
International travel is a whole different ball game and you can not bring any perishable items on the plane but you can pack your non perishable items in your check in bag.
Other items I always like to bring:
- Individual packs of coconut oil This link is for ones you can get on Amazon but if you have a Trader Joes close by they sell them for cheaper. ( Also, no need to bring makeup remover, these are great for washing your face too)
- Small glass or BPA free spill proof plastic containers that you can throw in your purse to fill up with your own olive oil, balsamic Vinegar, pink himalayan salt, sugar, etc…
- Individual packs of coconut aminos because, sushi. These can also be bought at Whole Foods
- Re-usable water bottle I like to bring one that holds hot or cold water so I can have tea, coffee or water.
#3 RELAX, HAVE FUN & ENJOY
Don’t stress, and have fun! You can do your best but nobody is perfect, and you don’t have to be either! The stress of worrying about food options will far outweigh the benefits of staying squeaky clean while traveling, but having the options listed above and some simple prep time before your trip can reduce the stress and make it much more enjoyable. (Pro tip: try and stick to your same routine as much as possible. Yes, I still go to bed at 8:30 and wake up at 5:00 while traveling because I know my body functions best that way. If you are the type of person that knows lack of sleep or a change in routine can affect you, then make it a priority.) Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Hotel staff, airport staff and servers are there to help you!
And always remember: Take your packed snacks along with you when you head out on adventures or site-seeing. They don’t do much good sitting in your hotel room!
Do you have any questions about eating healthy while traveling? Leave them below or shoot me an email: email@example.com
Want more travel tips? I plan on sharing my upcoming travel experiences and tips through email and blog posts. Next stops: Utah, Banff/Jasper, Alberta, Canada. Sign up for my email list at the bottom of the page to get notified of new posts!