I love to travel. Tell me I get to plan a family vacation, and I’m in heaven! I love the sightseeing, the change in schedule, and the chance to see new things and meet new people.
However, I’ve discovered that since my family has changed our eating habits, the differences in eating while traveling can do a real number on me. If I’m not careful I end up feeling awful and that is no way to enjoy a long-anticipated trip!
Throughout the years of family road trips and weekend getaways, I’ve come up with several solutions. Today I thought I’d share with you some of my best. Follow these and you’ll ensure you eat well (and stay healthy) while you travel.
1. Plan Ahead
This is definitely the number one tip. Before I take a trip, I spend at least a half hour doing a little research to find great places to eat, places to shop, and even farmer’s markets to purchase fresh local produce.
Make sure you write down names, addresses, and phone numbers – nothing is more frustrating than knowing you found something but not remembering where (been there, done that) I’ll usually check the following sites:
- Local Harvest – great site for finding farmer’s markets, pick your own farms, restaurants, etc.
- Google search – simply type in the location and “healthy restaurants” and see what pops up
- Yelp and/or UrbanSpoon (I love the farm-to-table option at Urban Spoon – that’s MY kinda food!)
2. Don’t eat every meal at a restaurant
If you can, try to eat at least two meals a day in your condo or hotel room, or even as a picnic (by picking up some healthy grocery items ). You’ll save money, and calories and feel so much better eating fresher, simply prepared food versus heavy restaurant food.
When we travel, we almost always get a condo and eat breakfast and lunch or dinner there. Anything you eat at home can easily be prepared in a condo kitchen! Need some ideas? How about omelets for breakfast, a salad and simple sandwiches for lunch, or even homemade pizza, Mexican food, or grilling for dinner?
Even if you are in a normal chain hotel, the odds are good these days that you have a mini-fridge and microwave. There are plenty of easy and filling breakfasts and light lunches you can make with just those two appliances.
You’ll still enjoy restaurant meals most days, so you’re not missing out on anything – just setting yourself up for feeling so much better the entire trip.
👉 I love Amazon Prime for delivering groceries to my room! It’s easy and affordable and I don’t waste precious vacation time shopping.
3. Load up on veggies and fruits
You won’t feel bad by eating lots of fruits and veggies. But I know it can be hard to find them when you are traveling. That’s why I start most mornings on vacation with my favorite green smoothie.
I pack a cooler full of fruit and veggies to keep on hand for snacks, plus, every time we go to dinner at a restaurant, I’ll add a side of sautéed spinach or grilled veggies just to up my veggie total for the day!
4. Bring some food with you
Think about what you eat on a regular basis at home that makes you feel great, and bring it along. I’ll typically bring a little bag of snacks for the car ride (carrot sticks, fruit, honey peanut balls, water), my favorite coffee, and ingredients for some of my easy yet healthy meals – especially the ingredients I know I’ll use but might be more expensive or hard to find somewhere else.
Breakfast and lunch foods are very easy to pack for a road trip, and we’ve even used a small cooler as a carry-on when we’ve flown before. You’ll be amazed how much you can pack into a small cooler that will make your life easier!
5. Remember it IS vacation
If you follow these tips and stay active, even with a few cocktail or dessert splurges, you’ll feel great all week and not suffer from the dreaded vacation eating guilt! I like to follow the eighty-twenty rule and eat well 80% of the time so I don’t have to worry about those special extras!
Conclusion: Finding Healthy Food While Traveling
Eating well while traveling doesn’t have to be a chore. With some planning and a few adjustments, you can enjoy all the flavors of your destination without compromising your health or energy.
Remember, it’s all about balance. Plan ahead, opt for homemade meals when you can, load up on fruits and veggies, bring some familiar foods from home, and give yourself permission to indulge a bit. This way, you can savor your vacation to the fullest, feeling great physically and emotionally. Bon voyage and happy eating!