Do you travel a lot? Does your diet take the back seat when you do? Here are some tips and tricks for how to eat healthy while traveling!
It’s time to travel, how exciting! But what about your diet?!
Do you travel often, and when you do, your diet falls completely off the rails? Are you looking for alternatives to eating fast food while traveling?
Sticking to a healthy diet while traveling can be one of the most challenging things to figure out. I travel all the time (in fact, I live in my RV and travel around the country full-time!). So I’m always in a new place, looking for healthy places to eat out, and grocery stores that are well-stocked for my specific nutritional needs.
I’ve laid out some general tips below on how to stick to your specific diet while traveling, and then below I go into more depth depending on the mode of transportation you are using, since there are some key differences there as well.
- Bring snacks and meals with you, rather than being unprepared.
- Know what your options are in the area, so you can plan where you’ll eat ahead of time.
- Don’t wait until you’re starving to decide where to eat.
- Be lenient with yourself if the food options aren’t great. One “off plan” meal won’t ruin your diet. However, if you’re someone who tends to fall off the rails, don’t allow that one meal to turn into an “oh well” attitude, in which you eat “off plan” for the entire trip.
Traveling by car
Traveling by car on a road trip can be incredibly fun and rewarding, but depending on your route, you could find yourself in the middle of nowhere, with slim food options.
Rather than stopping at fast food places for every meal, look for grocery stores where there is a salad bar/hot food bar/deli section with premade salads, wraps, etc. These are a great alternative to the greasy, fried food options, especially for those with food sensitivites/allergies.
Plus, you can stock up on snacks and future meals at the grocery store, in case the salad bar wasn’t as filling as you’d hoped, or if your next stop is in the middle of nowhere. Bring a cooler if you plan to grab some meals to go!
Plan out your path/stops in advance so you’re not stuck with only McDonalds and Arbys as your only food options. Along that vein, if possible, look for alternate routes, or consider taking a slight detour to find better food options. In some cases, the time difference could be minimal.
If you do find a restaurant you think would be a good fit, but the menu isn’t clear online, don’t be afraid to call and ask about their ingredients. Better safe than sorry! Especially on a long road trip, stomach pain and digestive issues are no fun.
When planning your accommodations, use Airbnb or look for hotels with suites that have kitchens, so you can cook your own food, rather than eating out for every meal. It’s also much more affordable!
Traveling by plane
Plane trips are so fun, especially when you are going somewhere new and exciting. There is a lot that needs to be considered though, because airport food can be tricky for those eating healthy or with food sensitivities.
I definitely recommend bringing your own food in through security. Bringing food in is allowed, it’s only liquid that is not allowed. If you don’t like water, bring your own powdered drink mixes so you stay hydrated.
The only annoying thing about bringing meals with you, is that they can spoil if you’re not timing it carefully. Be sure to eat the food that needs refrigerating first, opting for snacks later on in the day/trip.
If bringing your own food is not a viable option, stick to the pre-made salads/fruit/etc from the delis in the terminal, rather than the fast food options. Usually, they post the ingredients on the packaging, so you shouldn’t have any surprises there.
If you’re sensitive to things like premade salad dressing, you can bring your own dressing through security, in a small container (less than 3.4 oz at the time I’m writing this).
Another tip is to bring your own snacks through security, rather than eating the bagged snacks in flight. Carrots and dip are much healthier than the chips they have on-board.
When you get to your destination, scope out the local grocery stores rather than eating out every meal. If your hotel has a suite with a kitchen, take advantage of this. The suites/Airbnbs are usually a bit more expensive, but usually you will make up for the cost with the money you save from eating out every meal.
Traveling by RV
Deciding to take a road trip by RV? You will love it, it’s SUPER fun! In fact, I live in an RV and travel the USA with my husband and our dog.
One of the best things about traveling in an RV is that you have a kitchen with you all the time. It may not have all the amenities/appliances that a full-size kitchen has, but usually you have more than enough to cook healthy meals.
If you’re renting an RV for a road trip, it should come stocked with the basic pots, pans and utensils.
All you have to do is buy your ingredients from the grocery store and cook them yourself as you would in a house!
There are a few things that you do need to be a bit more mindful of though, when it comes to cooking in an RV. The first is that your pots and pans are usually smaller, as is your fridge. More frequent trips to the grocery store and smaller meals may be needed, although we are able to fit a weeks worth of food for two people just fine in our RV’s 8 cubic foot refrigerator.
Another thing to be mindful of is that a lot of RV cabinets are tiny, and don’t have a lot of pantry space. Make sure you’re aware of the space you have before you go shopping, you don’t want to be tripping over lots of extra food items on the floor, when you run out of storage space!
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