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If you’re wondering how to eat healthy while traveling, we’ve got a great list of smart tips to take with you on your travels.
Eating healthy while traveling can be a challenge. When on the road, we usually eat out because we rarely have access to a kitchen. Even if we have a kitchen, we’re often too tired to go to the local supermarket, find the right food in an unfamiliar country or language, and return to our place to cook our own meals.
Whether we’re taking a vacation or business trip, we can easily fall off our nutrition game. We’re tempted to do much and eat too much without paying enough attention to our health.
With so many fast-food restaurants and large portions served, we think we can eat whatever we want. However, this mindset can end up working against us, leaving us irritable, bloated, and tired.
Luckily, a little know-how and planning can help you eat healthier while traveling. Here are our tips for how to eat healthy while traveling and stay happy and energized when you’re out on the road.
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
1 – Pack Your Own Snacks
To start with, pack your own healthy snacks that will not only keep you energized but that will also save you money. For example, you can take some fruit-and-nut bars, homemade trail mix, and pre-cut vegetables with you.
Best Packable Snacks
Some of our favorite packable snacks include:
- Kind Bars
- Natural Nut Blends
- Almond Butter
- Keto-Friendly and Paleo-Friendly Trail Mix
- Smoothie Packs
Best Snack Foods to Eat While Traveling in a Vehicle
The luxury of traveling in a vehicle rather than flying is that you have a lot more space and flexibility on what snacks and food to pack. In addition to the packable snacks, you can also bring veggies, fruit, and salad. You can pack some healthier options, such as:
- Homemade sandwiches
- Baby carrots
- Greek Yogurt
- Quinoa black bean salad
- Hard-boiled eggs
Best Healthy Snack Alternatives on the Plane
Instead of buying expensive junk food onboard the plane or salty fast food at the airport, plan ahead and take some healthy protein sources with you, such as:
- Rice cakes with almond butter
- Whole fruit
- Protein bars
- Homemade trail mix (pumpkin seeds, raisins, almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts)
Pack ‘Liquid’ Snacks in 3.4-oz Containers
One thing that may surprise you is that certain snacks such as applesauce, yogurt, almond butter, and similar creamy snacks are regarded as liquids when going through airport security.
You can check what foods TSA considers to be liquids on the TSA’s list of prohibited items. If the snacks you want to bring are considered ‘liquids,’ see if you can find them packed in snack-size containers smaller than 3.4 ounces. Another option is to pack your own creamy snacks in 3.4-oz leakproof containers.
Do you love cinnamon, hemp seeds, or almond butter as a topping for your oatmeal or Greek yogurt? Well, instead of finding your favorite mix-ins in an airport shop, pack your own and bring them with you.
2 – Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is really important to keep you healthy and energized throughout your entire trip. You can pack an empty water bottle in your travel bag and fill it with water once you pass through security. You can also pack a water filter or water purifier.
You can also pack tea bags and make your own tea while on the road. (PSA: Don’t drink the airplane coffee or tea). Fruits like strawberries, oranges, and pears are extremely hydrating as well.
3 – Have Lunch and Dinner in the Terminal Instead of on the Plane
Generally, the lunch and dinner options in the terminal are healthier than those on the plane. They are often more customizable and you get healthier food such as salads, fresh fruit, and yogurt.
If you have airport lounge access, you can get usually get good food options there. If your flight is longer than a couple of hours, you’ll likely have to eat the airplane meals (unless you pack some healthy snacks).
In that case, consider pre-ordering a special meal, such as vegan or vegetarian, as they tend to be healthier than the regular meal offered.
4 – Book an Airbnb with a Kitchen
Your place may or may not include a kitchen. Many Airbnbs and modern vacation rentals provide you with all the necessary kitchen amenities. The bonus is that it’s often a cheaper accommodation option than a hotel.
Having access to a kitchen allows you to buy and cook your own food, and this, in turn, lets you make healthier choices and saves you a lot of money. Some great choices for dining that are really quick to prepare include wholegrain pasta, brown rice, steamed vegetables, egg salad, and tofu.
In your own Airbnb, you can also cook some delicious recipes, such as a whipped feta garlic dip, and serve them with celery sticks or radishes instead of pita chips for a healthier alternative.
5 – Find a Supermarket near your Airbnb or Hotel
Nowadays, you can find a supermarket almost everywhere. So, find one near your Airbnb or hotel and purchase bread, milk, wholegrain cereal, and pre-cut veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, and carrots. That way, you’ll always have a healthy snack on hand without spending much of your valuable time and money.
In some places, it’s a bit more difficult to find good fruit and veggies at the supermarket. Instead, people usually buy them from fruit and veggie stands.
This is often the case in places like Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Jeju, South Korea. The fruit and veggie stands are often cash-only, so be sure to carry some with you.
6 – Research Healthy Restaurant Options Before Booking Your Hotel
If you’d rather stay at a hotel than at an Airbnb, be sure to do your research ahead of time. If you don’t have access to a kitchen or kitchenette at the hotel, try to find healthy restaurants near your hotel using Google Maps or Trip Advisor.
7 – Try Oatmeal
This is a really good go-to breakfast you can find in most places while traveling, including in Starbucks, located in many terminals. They often come with a brown sugar packet, including dried cherries and cranberries, sweetened with a little sugar.
Add the packet of nuts and a bit of cinnamon. You can also swap the dried fruit for fresh fruit, such as bananas or blueberries. You can also carry your own oatmeal packets for a quick, healthy-ish meal.
8 – Travel with a Portable Blender
Take a look at our guide to some of the best portable blenders on the market for travel. With a portable blender on hand, you can whip up smoothies, juices, and protein shakes using local produce with relative ease when you’re feeling hungry.
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling Summary
Traveling doesn’t mean you have to eat fast food and sugar-laden snacks most of the time. You can eat healthy as long as you make a plan and stick to it. Try some of these tips for how to eat healthy while traveling to keep your energy up and enjoy every step of your journey.
- Pack Your Own Snacks
- Stay Hydrated
- Have Lunch and Dinner in the Terminal Instead of on the Plane
- Book an Airbnb with a Kitchen
- Find a Supermarket near your Airbnb
- Research Healthy Restaurant Options Before Booking Your Hotel
- Try Oatmeal
- Travel with a Portable Blender
Save and Pin for Later
Did you find this article about how to eat healthy when traveling useful, and want to keep it for reference for when you next travel? Be sure to save it and pin it to one of your Pinterest boards, so that you can find it again when you’re next about to travel.