For many of you, part of your new year plan was to make better food choices. Eating healthy is always a good plan, and sometimes unexpected events or a vacation can throw us off! I often travel for fun and have discovered a few great tips that have helped me stick to my goal.
Although vacation is a time to relax and enjoy your time, don’t get lost in food choices. You may think it is challenging to stick to healthy eating, but I am here to show you it is easier than you think!
The easiest way to make eating healthy while on vacation is being prepared.
Find out what is included in your accommodations, such as meals or appliances like a small fridge, kitchenette, or microwave in your room will be essential to know so that you can pack the proper food items and tools. I typically stay in boutique hotels or Airbnb’s, which usually have a small fridge and microwave along with a daily breakfast included in the package.
A road trip gives you much more flexibility in sticking to healthy eating as you can bring it along with you in the car. I find that where you get challenged here is at convenience store stops along the way. It is very tempting to grab a bag of chips or candy as well as a sugary drink. If you need to step inside a convenience store to use the restroom, try not to wonder about the store. Take a stroll in the parking lot or around your vehicle. Head back to your car and select a healthy snack and drink that you have already packed.
Staying hydrated is the most important in battling hunger, pain, and jetlag. Drinking more water during your travel is crucial for you to sleep better and have the energy to enjoy your vacation.
If traveling by airplane, bring along a collapsible water bottle. Once you have checked in through security, fill your bottle with water. If you don’t like drinking plain water, bring along some flavoring. My favorite is Mio Sweet Tea flavoring.
If you’re going to be doing physical activities, then be sure to bring along your drinking container to stay hydrated.
If you find yourself challenged to drink enough water, set an alarm clock on your phone to remind you. I find that carrying my water bottle in my hand while sightseeing reminds me to drink more.
AVOID drinking soft drinks or diet drinks as these are more likely to dehydrate you! Alcohol will also dehydrate you. Although you’re on vacation, limit your alcohol intake as much as possible.
I know you have heard of the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” That’s true! Breakfast is an even more important meal while traveling. This meal gives you the energy you will need while sightseeing, walking, hiking, etc.
Don’t skip breakfast! If your hotel offers free breakfast, make sure to select healthy options. This is a great place to eat your carbohydrates that will energize you for the day. A mixed protein selection (eggs, bacon, sausage), fruits or vegetables, and toast is an excellent choice.
A great breakfast to pack with you is dried-oatmeal, boiled-egg, dried meats, fruit, or veggies. If you love eggs, boiling a few ahead of time to store into a container to bring along is another excellent option.
Experiencing local cuisine is part of the enjoyment of traveling. We travel throughout the world, and trying new dishes is part of our vacation experience. I have learned that if you stick to native cuisine, you will find them to be a healthy option.
When dining at a sit-down restaurant, look for an entrée that offers vegetables (stay away from bread, potato, or rice) as a part of the sides. Try to start your meal with a small salad (limit the dressing), as this will give you fiber and curb your desire to eat more starchy foods. If a potato comes with the meal, eat it plain. Stay away from loading calories on your plate with butter, sour cream, ketchup, and salad dressing.
If you are eating at a diner or fast-food restaurant, you can still make good choices on the menu. Select a salad topped with meat is a great option. If you plan to eat a burger or sandwich, remove the bun (make sure you have asked for extra veggies).
- My husband and I typically order a side salad and share an entrée when eating at a restaurant. We find that the entrees are a bit large for one person to eat. If you are watching your budget, this is also a great way to reduce your food expenses.
Packing snacks has been the key to helping me stay on track of eating healthy. I find that when I get hungry, I tend to make bad choices in eating. Snacks that are healthy and help satisfy you make for a better vacation.
Depending on your type of travel (airplane or car) will vary in the kind of snacks to take along on your trip. If you plan to fly to your destination, I suggest upon arrival that you make a stop at a nearby grocery store and pick up a few snack items to have during your stay.
Traveling with food is not as difficult as it seems. Keeping food safe and temperature requirements is essential.
If traveling on an airplane, I recommend you bring along a collapsible cooler. A cooler is handy once you arrive to keep in the hotel room (if no refrigerator is available) and easy to pack in your luggage. If you want to bring food onto the airplane (especially on overseas flights) in an insulated carry-on-bag is an excellent choice.
An insulated backpack is another great option to have while sightseeing. They are designed to keep your food cool and have side-pockets for other things that you may need while traveling.
For road trips, one of my favorite finds is the electric heat/cool plugin coolers. Although the cooler-size is small, they are great to place in the middle of the backseat for easy reach.
Make sure to pack reusable icepacks/dry ice. Packets will reduce space and limit the need for ice.
One other item to consider is an insulated lunch bag. Packing a simple lunch or snack that can be stored in your backpack is an excellent option while traveling.
Food Travel Gadgets
I love gadgets! When traveling, you want gadgets that help you make your trip go more smoothly. Things that you may not have thought about when dealing with food are essential to bringing along.
- Multi-Tool: A Leatherman or any multipurpose tool is great to have while traveling. Most come with a small knife, scissors, and other gadgets that help with opening cans.
- Ziploc Bags: Storing snacks in small Ziploc bags that are spill-proof and keep foods fresh is an easy way to pack in your backpack.
- Coffee Maker: A stainless steel travel coffee and tea press are useful if you don’t have a coffee maker available within your accommodations. I like the design of this press as it can then be utilized as a coffee mug.
- Hot Pot/Tea Pot: Having the ability to heat water to prepare hot drinks or make certain foods. This collapsible electric kettle is portable and easy to use.
- Leakless Bottles: Packing things like salad dressing or liquid condiments can be tricky. Storing in leak-proof bottles makes them easy to travel and use while on the road.
- Spices: A lightweight spice modular for camping or traveling is easy and travels well on long trips.
- Food Containers: Collapsible food containers are handy and make traveling with food manageable. Once the container is empty, it can be collapsible flat for easy storage.
When you stop at the local grocery store to pick up food items, grab some dishware/silverware, or bring along environmentally friendly reusable dishware.
The airlines while not allow some travel gadgets to be in your carry-on, so please pack them in your check-in luggage. If you are a budget traveler, reducing your food expense will help you stay on track with a more economical trip and eat healthier.
I would love to hear from you about any gadgets that you have found useful while traveling and share.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.
Inshallah (God willing!)