I have always wanted to eat healthily during my travels. And I started with a firm resolution when I embarked on my world trip, I promise! But when I realised that New Zealand bell peppers would cost me $3 each and a can of spaghetti 60c, I was seriously torn. Every now and then I try and buy a pack of (special sale) vegetables or visit farmers markets – among other ways to stay energised while travelling. But I asked my fellow blogger Corinne for help. She knows a lot about health and general wellbeing and is therefore much better equipped than I am to tell you how to eat healthily during your next trip.
The Trouble with Solo Travel and Healthy Eating
Eating healthily when travelling can be tricky, regardless of if you have a trip companion or you’re flying solo. With flight and train schedules, tourist attraction hours and hotel checkout times, finding a decent meal or snack can be a challenge.
Although some people may be fearful of the notion of sitting down at a café or restaurant alone – there’s a term for it: solomangarephobia – it actually makes the process of eating while on the road easier. With travelling on your own, you don’t need to negotiate another person’s preferences or dietary restrictions – you can simply go with your gut on where and what to eat.
How can you make sure to satisfy your hunger in a healthy way while travelling? Here are five food-for-thought tips:
1. Avoid the Minibar
Almost every hotel room has a little fridge stuffed with snacks and drinks. The food and bevies aren’t usually healthy or cheap. They are meant to get you through, if the pangs of hunger come to call and you don’t want to venture outside the comforts of your room.
If you can stay away from the temptations of the sweets and snacks on your own, good on ya. If you need a little bit of help, you can ask the hotel staff to remove the contents. The old adage out of sight, out of mind even applies to a hotel minibar.
2. Bring Along Healthy Snacks
To avoid being struck by hunger without healthy food options, pack healthy snacks for the road. Most fruits, nuts and veggies travel well and last without the need of refrigeration. Plus, eating five servings of fruits/vegetables a day is recommended for optimal health.
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need to ditch fruits, veggies and nuts when boarding an airplane due to restrictions in other countries. Just make sure to stock up once you’re at your destination.
3. Stay Near a Market or Grocery Store
Eating well can be a lot about proximity – what foods and restaurant choices are close by and in easy reach. Try to set yourself up for success by getting your accommodations near a grocery store or market. This will allow you easy access to fresh and nutritious meal and snack options.
Before confirming your hotel reservation, do a map search of the area surrounding it, and check out what grocery options will be available to you.
4. Book a Hotel Room With a Kitchenette
Eating out can be bad for your health. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that found when eating away from home, you consume an average of 200 more calories during each meal.
When possible, book accommodation with a kitchenette in your suite. This will allow you to prepare and cook your own meals (and eat healthily!), which will save you that unnecessary caloric intake. Plus, eating at restaurants and cafes tends to be more expensive than buying the ingredients and preparing meals on your own.
5. Plan Your Meals
One surefire way to eat poorly is to not have a plan. Yes, part of traveling is to get away from the schedules and routines of daily life, but waiting until your starving can make you choose unhealthy meal options.
When you’re setting your itinerary of sightseeing for the day, also look up top-rated eateries nearby. Get an idea of where you can find delicious and nutritious meal options.
Keeping yourself well fed by eating healthily while traveling will ensure you have the energy to see and do all you want. Use these five simple tips when planning and enjoying your trip, and you’re health won’t have to take a vacation just because you are.
Have you ever found it tricky as well to eat healthily when you travel? Let me know about your woes and possible tips in the comments.
Corinne Keating is a blogger and freelance writer who loves anything related to health, wellness, and travel. She loves coffee, a good hike, and writing for her blog www.whysowell.com.