pineapple with sunglasses and party hat - eat healthy while traveling

Struggling to eat healthy while traveling?  Whether you are on a short business trip or an extended vacation, eating healthy in places away from home is not an easy feat.  Normally traveling involves eating out rather than being in your own kitchen fixing your own meals.  Also, it is just difficult to find the time and energy to track down a local supermarket, collect a variety of ingredients, haul them all back to your hotel room or Airbnb accommodations, and then take time to fix your own meals. 

It is normal for my entire diet to be upended every time I travel.  Although planning ahead often helps, the best- laid plans often get sidetracked with all the activities involved in the travel.  I do like to control my budget and attempt to avoid completely turning my diet upside down.  So here are some recommendations that I have found that help me keep some normalcy during my time away from home.

Take More Snacks

Okay, I always pack my own snacks to help keep my diet on the normal track during my travels.  However, I quickly learned that I should always pack many more snacks than I think I should.  Stocking up on non-perishable snacks that are approved for airline travel is one way to keep the hunger pains away.  Things like nuts, dried fruits, jerky, and protein bars can provide a quick solution to flight hunger pains and are an easy solution to avoid any unhealthy options provided by the airline.  Also, eating a healthy snack every few hours will help settle your hunger so that when you do sit down for a full service meal you won’t be tempted to overeat.  It is a good idea to pack all your snacks into individual serving sizes.  That way, if you do end up with extra, you can save it for later in your trip.

Shop Locally

Another way to keep the hunger pains away is to visit a local supermarket or grocery store once you arrive at your destination.  This is a great way to refill your snack packs, see what the local scene offers and not have to worry about having all your snacks being TSA-approved.

Bring Your Own Food

On a special diet or just want to avoid the type of food served on airplanes?  A secret travel tip to avoid this is to simply bring your own food.  Oatmeal and soup cups are great options since they avoid the TSA liquid restrictions.  All you need is to have the flight attendant bring you some hot water and you are guaranteed to have a snack that you chose to chase away those hunger pains.  You will not have to pay those high prices for food offered by the airline either. 

Eat Breakfast

Always try to eat a good breakfast before you hit the road, regardless of your method of travel.  That way you get a good start with foods that you like rather than end up at the mercy of limited options at the airport or train station.  Plus, eating a good and nutritious breakfast will keep you awake, full of energy and attentive as you embark on your day’s activities. 

Take a Reusable Water Bottle

Bringing your own reusable water bottle is a perfect way to drink when you are thirsty rather than interrupting your travels or waiting for an airline attendant to serve you.  Staying hydrated is one way to feel good during the day.  Also, with your own reusable water bottle, you can avoid buying plastic-filled water bottles—saving on the expense and avoid producing all the extra garbage.  When flying you can empty the water bottle before entering the security area and refill it after passing through.  I have always found a place to refill my water bottle on the other side of security.  Most airports now provide filtered water filling stations, and they all have water fountains that can be used. 

Eat Your Veggies

Filling half of your plate with vegetables will provide a healthy option for food.  This tip is especially valuable at buffets where it is often tempting to pile up the greasy, fatty foods.  Be wise and watch your portions.  Filling up half your plate with veggies will still allow you to eat all the other offerings so you won’t miss out on something delicious.  At the same time, you won’t suffer from that stuffed, overeating feeling.

Cook Your Own

If you happen to end up on a place with a kitchen, you can easily do your own shopping at your destination, fill the cupboards with basic ingredients and enjoy healthy and cheap meals during your stay.  Maybe you only eat in for breakfast and lunch and enjoy a nice dinner out.  Whatever your budget allows, if you like to cook and have the facilities, this is a perfect way to eat healthy while traveling.

Plan Ahead

With a bit of planning, you will often find nearby restaurants with healthy and nutritious offerings.  It might be a health food counter, a local gym or supermarket deli, or even a fantastic full-service restaurant with healthy menu choices.  Finding these options ahead of time makes it easy to enjoy your travels and, come mealtime, stop at the preplanned location and enjoy the menu offerings you found ahead of time. 

With some advanced planning, you can make the most of snacks and meals during your travels.  Choosing to eat healthy while traveling will contribute to a much better travel experience than the alternative.