Travel Tips: How to Eat Healthy When You Travel
Normally, I try to eat healthy. Rather than dieting, I try to listen to my body and eat only when I’m hungry or close to being hungry. Then, I try to eat a balanced diet with whole grains, protein, good fats, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, I have found a good mix of supplements that seem to work well with my body.
Like most people, I have a food vice. My weakness is sweets. I like my coffee with sugar and at night I usually indulge in some kind of sweet treat. Since I believe in balance, I try to keep healthier types of sweets in the house such as dark chocolate or chocolate-covered nuts, or peanut butter.
Overall, this seems to work for me. I feel like I have a good balance. But, this balance often gets thrown off during holidays and travel.
We have traveled a lot over the last few years and I have had regrets about my eating during some of those trips. Because I get excited to try new restaurants and foods, I often end up overeating and eating less healthy than at home. On travel days, it can be hard to eat well with limited access to healthy foods.
So that you don’t repeat many of my travel eating mistakes, I put together some tips to help you eat healthy when you travel.
How To Eat Healthy Traveling
Pack Healthy Snacks for Your Trip
On our most recent road trip, I didn’t have much prep time so I washed a bag of sweet peppers and then got bags of baby carrots and sugar snap peas. Then, I threw these is a cooler bag with a few ice packs and they stayed cold the whole 13-hr road trip. If you are flying or don’t have room for a cooler consider packing some nuts, jerky, dried fruit, and granola.
Airlines sometimes have healthy options for snacks, but I wouldn’t count on it. And, even if there is healthy food available in the air, it will most likely be expensive.
Limit The Times You Go Out for Healthy Eating During Travel
Not only will limiting the times dine out to save money, but you can also end up eating healthier as well. If your hotel or rental house has a refrigerator, buy foods for breakfasts and lunches to keep in the fridge. When we travel, we usually eat breakfast in our rooms. You can stock your fridge with yogurt, milk, or the other foods you would normally eat at home. Try to eat a similar breakfast to the ones you would typically eat at home.
Look For Healthy Menu Items While on Vacation
If you do go out to eat, look for healthy menu items. I often make substitutions such as a side salad instead of fries.
Many restaurants are adding healthier choices to their menus. See some of the new healthy menu items at Cheddar’s.
If you have to get fast food, most fast-food restaurants offer salads now or grilled options instead of fried. Occasionally, treat yourself to foods you don’t normally order. That’s part of the fun of traveling – trying new places and foods. Just be sure to do so in moderation.
Stay on Schedule While Traveling
As best as you can, try to stick to your normal eating schedule. Avoid late night dinners and snacks. If you normally eat 3 meals a day, try to eat 3 meals around the same size and time of day that you normally do.
Remember Your Vitamins and Supplements for Travel
If you normally take vitamins and supplements, then be sure to take them with you on your next trip. I have noticed that I don’t feel well if I don’t take my probiotics. If you do happen to forget your supplements, then try to replace them as best as you can with comparable foods and drinks. I often drink Kombucha when I travel to help with gut health even if I have remembered my probiotics.
Go Grocery Shopping to Stock Up Your Hotel Room or Rental Home with Healthy Foods
One of the first things we do when we arrive at our vacation destination is head to the grocery store. We stock up on our usual breakfast items, waters, and fruits and vegetables so that we don’t end up tempted to pick out junk from the convenience stores or (gasp!) minibar.
Find Healthy Places To Snack
Snacking is one of life’s great luxuries – and certainly something you’ll want to do while on holiday.
Snacking, however, can be both good and bad. Good snacking involves grabbing something low in calories, while bad snacking is fatty, sugary, and makes you put on weight.
Grabbing a coffee can be a snack in itself. It warms you up from the inside out, often getting rid of your immediate hunger pangs. Furthermore, many coffee shops now serve healthy foods, including vegan and gluten-free, letting you cut down on carbs and sugar while increasing fiber.
In a recent article on the 6 best coffee shops in Boston, The Dark Roast discusses the differences between various establishments. Find one in your location with the healthiest food and pay it a visit.
With these tips on ways to eat healthy while traveling, you will hopefully have a happy tummy on your next trip.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.