Healthy eating when traveling is not always easy. Airport food, chaotic schedules and the delicious local cuisine each provide their own particular challenges.
Plus, traveling with baby in tow adds its own level of difficulty to this task!
In this article, I share five easy tips I personally rely on to continue eating well when away from home.
I’ve also filmed a video on the topic for those who, like me, generally prefer to get information through this medium.
Here it is!
But for those who prefer to read, simply keep scrolling for the full article below!
1. Book the Right Accomodation
I don’t know about you, but when on vacation, everything tends to take five times longer than usual. And even more so now that I travel with a baby.
That’s why I find it super handy to have nutritious food on hand to hold me over until we get out of the door and to a restaurant! And to help make this easier, I always try to book an accommodation with a kitchen or, at the very least, a mini-fridge.
This is definitely one of my main staples for healthy eating when traveling!
Even if you’re not a fan of cooking while on vacation, having access to a kitchen or a refrigerator gives you some extra flexibility when it comes to your meals snacks.
On my recent trip to Ibiza, the fridge helped keep fruit, veggies and smoothies cold and the kitchen was particularly handy for days when our baby was too tired to sit through a restaurant meal.
In sum: For most flexibility and easy healthy-eating opportunities, try booking an accommodation with a kitchen and a refrigerator.
2. Pack Some Healthy Food for the Road
Planes and airports are certainly not renowned for their healthy food options.
So instead of resigning myself to whatever they have to offer, I prefer bringing my own food. To keep this task as simple as possible and pack just the right amount of food, I always keep my travel times in mind.
For instance, we flew to Ibiza around lunchtime so we had breakfast at home and packed some wraps, hummus and veggies for on the plane.
I also brought nut bars and fruit rolls to hold us over in case of delays and between the time we landed and our arrival to our hotel.
On the way back, we flew around dinner time. So I packed a meal salad to eat while waiting to board and fresh fruit and trail mix to snack on.
What you can bring on a plane may vary based on where you’re located and whether you are taking a domestic or international flight.
That said, I’ve never encountered any problems regardless of the type of food I brought along as long as I finished eating it before stepping out of the plane.
In sum: Packing your own meals is ideal for healthy eating when traveling by plane! Extra snacks are also useful for unplanned delays.
3. Locate a Good Supermarket
Once at our destination, one of the very first things I do is try to locate a supermarket close to our accommodation. Then, I make a quick trip stack up on fresh produce, bread or crackers and more snacks.
As a general rule, I aim to prep at least one of the day’s meals myself — be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is not only easier on the budget but also helps us ensure I have at the very least one fresh, nutrient-rich eating moment each day.
Even if you’re not planning on cooking at all, supermarkets are a prime way to discover local foods you can pack as snacks to help you stay energized between the day’s activities.
In sum: Locating a supermarket is one of my personal staples for healthy eating when traveling. It’s a handy way to add some nutrient-rich meals to your holiday diet.
4. Add Veggies to Your Restaurant Meals
People often think that restaurant meals are a no-go when it comes to healthy eating when traveling. But trying out local cuisine is one of the things I enjoy most when abroad.
While it’s true that eating out can sometimes pose a challenge, there are ways to work around it.
You can start by picking the right restaurant. I personally love to use apps to locate restaurants which offer tried and tested plant-based meal options. My favorite two are trip advisor and happy cow.
Another challenge with restaurant meals is that they tend to contain more fat and salt yet less fiber, vitamins and minerals than home-cooked meals. To somewhat counter this, I try to make sure that I fill at least half of my plate with veggies.
This helps me feel fuller for longer which reduces the chance I’ll overeat. It also ensures I don’t skip out of vitamins and minerals when on the road despite indulging in the delicious local cuisine!
In ibiza, there weren’t many veggie options to choose from. In this case, I find that simply asking the chef to create something for you based on local fruits and vegetables works best.
Then, add your own source of protein to it. Carrying around nuts or roasted chickpeas tends to work best for this.
In sum: Filling half of your plate with veggies at each meal is a cornerstone of healthy eating when traveling. It keeps you nourished and prevents overeating despite indulging in the local cuisine.
5. Stick to a Schedule
When on holiday, it’s easy to get carried away by all the excitement and end-up skipping meals or simply forgetting to eat.
A different sleeping schedule can also make it challenging to follow the same eating routine as you do at home.
I know that when I skip a meal, my energy levels drop and I tend to get overly hungry before the next meal. Both of these make it much more challenging to make nutritious eating choices.
I also end up feeling cranky which makes it more difficult for me to fully enjoy the time spent with my family or the beauty of the surrounding environment.
If you feel the same, I suggest you try eating at regular time intervals, even if these vary from the times you’re usually accustomed to.
For instance, it’s no problem to have breakfast later if you’re planning on sleeping in. But to avoid this from turning a skipped lunch, try shifting all your remaining meals and snacks to a couple of hours later than usual.
Another option that works well is to combine your breakfast and lunch together into a bigger brunch. Then follow it by one or two snacks spread out over the rest of the day to hold you over until dinner.
And if you plan to go to bed much later than usual, try remembering that an extra evening snacks may be in order!
In sum: Sticking to a regular eating schedule while traveling can help you fend off hunger, maintain better energy levels and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
To Sum It Up
Traveling doesn’t have to rhyme with poor eating habits. And that holds true even if restaurant meals are on your radar or if you’re planning to travel with your baby in tow.
The five tips above are my personal favorites for healthy eating when traveling. I hope you find them as useful as I do.
Now let’s get talking! How do you manage to keep eating well when away from home? I’d love to hear your tips so let’s chat about them in the comments below.