Everyone knows that eating healthy is easier to follow when you are in your normal daily routine. Making healthy food choices gets a lot harder when you are on vacation or traveling for work. Depending on where you’re traveling, you may not have many fresh food options. Additionally, if you stay in a hotel without a fridge or a mini-kitchen, you will most likely be eating out at restaurants all three meals a day.
While staying on track with your health can be more challenging when traveling, there are ways to create more balance in your travel routine. Instead of throwing all of your healthy habits out the window when you travel, it’s helpful to show up prepared so that you don’t have to constantly “get back on track” when you return home every time.
Maintaining some healthy eating habits when you travel will help to create more of a lifestyle approach instead of constantly being on a yo-yo schedule. Plus, you probably won’t feel as tired or bloated when you get back from vacation.
Here are some tips to boost your nutrition while you’re traveling and on-the-go:
Be Prepared With Snacks
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At airports and on airplanes, you’ll mostly find processed and packaged snack items. Stock up on some healthier snack options before you leave like:
- Raw trail mix (look for “raw nuts” that don’t have any added oils)
- Dried fruits or fresh fruit
- Kale chips
- Plantain chips
- Gluten-free crackers
- Dark chocolate (>70% with <5g sugar per serving)
You may even consider making yourself a meal to bring with you on the plane. Just don’t bring anything liquid with you because you won’t be able to travel with it. Some easy, packable meals include:
- Quinoa bowl with vegetables and avocado
- Overnight oats
- Veggie wrap
Set Yourself Up for Success With Accommodation
When looking for accommodation, consider staying at an Airbnb or renting an apartment for the week so that you have access to a kitchen. Even if you plan to be out and about all day, you can at least have a good quality breakfast to get your day started.
If you are staying at a hotel, call ahead to ask if your room has a mini-fridge. You can usually request a mini-fridge if your room doesn’t come with one.
Make Your First Stop the Grocery Store
Before you get to your destination, call your accommodation and ask where the closest grocery store or healthy food store is. Do your best to stop on your way from the airport or the first morning you get there to pick up items that you like to have on hand for breakfast/snack options. Some good fresh food options are:
- Fresh fruit (bananas, berries, and oranges)
- Cut-up vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers)
- Organic yogurt
- Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
Support Your Digestion
It’s not uncommon for your digestion to be slowed down when traveling. If you find that you get constipated, make sure to drink plenty of water and take a higher boost of probiotics to keep things moving. Another great supplement to bring with you while traveling is magnesium. Magnesium helps with constipation, and it can help you fall asleep at night as well.
Other Things to Keep in Mind While Traveling
In addition to the tips above, keep these things in mind while traveling:
- Eat a nourishing breakfast.Breakfast is more predictable than any other meal, and you will likely have the most control over what you eat at this time. Once you are out and about, it’s less likely that you will be able to find healthy options. Try to focus on having a good protein-based breakfast to help balance your blood sugar throughout the day.
- Load up on the veggies.Whenever possible, order a salad as your main dish or get a side salad. Fresh vegetables are often forgotten when eating on-the-go.
- Carry a snack at all times.Bring a snack with you in your bag during the day so that you don’t get overly hungry or experience low blood sugar. When traveling, your eating schedule is most likely going to be more unpredictable, so having a quick snack on hand can help prevent overeating at meals.
As you can see, being prepared is the key to success if you want to stay healthy while traveling. Remember to also enjoy the local cuisine and enjoy the food culture wherever you are headed. You may even find some new flavors and spices to bring back into your own kitchen when you get home.