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It can be difficult to eat healthy when you’re travelling. Between long airport delays, unfamiliar food options and eating out every night, it’s easy to end up eating unhealthy meals and snacks. But it doesn’t have to be the case! We share our best tips for how to choose healthy meals while travelling plus some of our favourite healthy travel snacks too!
When you’re on the road, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy diet. But with a little planning and some creativity, eating healthy while travelling is definitely possible!
It can be so easy to fall into bad food choices when travelling when it’s more convenient to rely on fast food and wanting to try all the different things instead of choosing healthier alternatives. Not only can it be bad for our health, especially when travelling with kids, but it’s also really harsh on the bank account too!
So we wanted to help you to eat well while travelling with some tips that we often put into place when we travel as a family.
And even if you are travelling solo or without kids, these tips are going to help you save money and eat better!
Travelling well is all about planning ahead and that is absolutely the case when it comes to making good food choices while travelling too! Affording travel is a big enough expense on its own before you even begin to account for all the extra costs, such as entertainment and meals during your trip.
And the last thing you want to be doing is counting your pennies for the duration of your trip when you could have already pre-planned for most of those expenses.
It can also save loads of time when you have an idea of what and where you will be eating to avoid those moments where you’re wandering aimlessly trying to find something everyone agrees on!
So planning ahead not only helps you feel organised and less stressed in preparation for your trip, but it also means saving you money and time as well!
Planning ahead can work in two ways: Knowing what and where you will eat or coming prepared with your own meals and snacks.
Choose the Right Accommodation
Depending on the type of trip you are taking, putting in the extra effort to do your research on the facilities available is going to make your travel mealtimes much easier!
If you want to keep your costs down and have full control over the food you will be eating while travelling, stay somewhere that gives you access to cooking facilities so that you can make your own meals each day.
This doesn’t always work so well if you’re planning to travel off the grid unless you are travelling in a self-contained caravan or camper van with your own cooking facilities, however in most cases, you will have access to some sort of kitchenette or even the gas-operated camping hot plates. And this is all you really need!
For short stays, we don’t mind relying on restaurants and cafes for the majority of our trip, but for longer stays, this is expensive and likely includes far too many unhealthy meals! This is why we always stay in a self-contained apartment or book a holiday home with a kitchen. This way we can prepare our own meals and save money too!
Even a basic kitchenette can make a difference! There is a lot you can do with a microwave or a hot plate. So long as you have the facilities to heat, you can get very creative with the type of meals you have while travelling! Even a BBQ can result in an endless array of meal options!
If cooking meals from scratch isn’t your thing or you’re short on time, there are some other options you can consider that will still help you to eat healthy while travelling.
A hotel with breakfast included can mean filling up on a big healthy breakfast at the start of the day so you don’t need a big lunch!
TIP: Always bring a reusable shopping bag when you travel!
If you are travelling overseas or by plane, or simply do not want to take food with you, make sure you plan your accommodation somewhere that will have easy access to a supermarket.
You want to be able to buy fresh food so that you can prepare healthy meals and snacks. If you are staying somewhere that is a little out of the way, make sure you factor in how much time and money it will cost you to get to and from a supermarket.
We always try and stay as close to a supermarket as possible when we are travelling overseas so that we can buy fresh food and save money by cooking some of our own meals.
It’s fun exploring international supermarkets too because you never know what you might find!
And if you are lucky, you may even be able to shop fresh from the local markets. Yum!
Healthy Snacks for Travelling
We all know how easy it is to get hangry when travelling (that feeling when you are so hungry you become angry). This is especially true when you are travelling with kids! And there is nothing worse than hangry kids!
To avoid this, make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand at all times. This will help to keep your energy levels up and your tummy from growling too!
Of course, you should try that freshly made gelato by the beach if that’s what you’re craving, but when it comes to general snacking while travelling, go prepared!
Some of our favourite healthy snacks for travelling include:
Fresh fruit or vegetable sticks
Protein bars or balls
Nuts and seeds
Whole grain crackers
Cheese and dip
We always pack kid-friendly snacks that will keep our kids satisfied during transit and long days of exploring.
Keep some snacks in your day bag if you are out and about so you won’t end up having to buy something along the way, or having to deal with meltdowns because your kids are suddenly starving and you’ve got nothing on hand! Yes… that’s how it feels to a hungry kid travelling!
You aren’t likely to cook every meal during your travels. And there’s a chance you don’t plan on cooking any at all! That’s okay. It’s still more than possible to eat healthy while travelling and still enjoy dining out.
We are massive foodies when we travel, so even though we do try and cook some of our own meals, there is no way we are missing out on the chance to try local food and restaurants.
Here are some tips for healthy meals when you’re dining out:
Stick to lean protein like grilled chicken or fish, tofu, and legumes.
Avoid fried foods.
Choose healthier sides such as steamed, baked or grilled vegetables or salad over fries or potatoes.
Look for whole grain options like brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat pasta.
Start with soup or salad to help you feel full faster.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Share meals since many restaurant portions are larger than we need.
Look for meals with lots of fresh ingredients.
Share desserts to avoid overindulging.
It Is All About Balance
You are on holiday and sometimes you just want to indulge! And that’s okay.
Just remember to balance it out with some healthy meals and snacks so you don’t feel guilty or regret ‘ruining’ your healthy eating habits.
Whenever we travel, we make a point of seeking out the best local restaurants and cafes. We love trying new foods and flavours. One of our favourite places in the world is Poland and we love Polish food, even though it sure isn’t great on the waistline!
But we also make sure to have some healthy meals and snacks along the way. We also try and do a lot of walking when we travel. This tends to happen naturally when you are sightseeing and exploring and it can help reduce the impact of those splurge meals!
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
The most important thing is to enjoy your travels and not to be too hard on yourself if you don’t eat perfectly healthy the whole time.
Tomorrow is a new day! Even today, there is a chance to turn your bad choices around by adding an extra walk after dinner or choosing a light dinner after a heavy, indulgent lunch!
If you’ve fallen off the healthy eating bandwagon for a few days, you can always get back on track! You’ve done it before and you can do it again!
So there you have it – our tips for how to eat healthy while travelling. Just remember, it is all about balance and moderation. And of course, enjoy the local food! After all, that is one of the best parts about travelling! It all comes down to making smarter food choices and making sure you are looking after yourself while you’re out enjoying the world! Food and travel go hand in hand, so make sure you are enjoying the foods you have while you travel, whether you are making meals yourself or eating out!
Check out more tips for healthy and happy travels: