Whether you're heading out for a business trip or vacation with your family, your diet might take a dive. Between fast food stops, huge restaurant meals, and a general "I-can-eat-whatever" attitude, the result is often vacation pudge that lasts longer than you want.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. We have a few tips for healthier eating while on the road.
Travel Tips for Healthy Eating
Pre-planning your accommodations can help!
When you are planning to travel it can be easy to pick the hotel that has the best price or is closest to where you are going each day. While that is important, making choices about your accommodations should also include another important factor.
When looking for a place to stay, look for something that will help you to keep up with your food goals. Don’t let this add stress to your planning. Here are a few tips to make the most of choosing your accommodations:
- Check into continental breakfast offerings - When traveling, free breakfast can be a great incentive for choosing a hotel. However, most places offer breakfast items that don’t line up with your food goals. Talk to the location to find out what options will be available and whether they will line up with your needs.
- Make sure there is a way to store food items you need - Not every hotel/resort will have a refrigerator on site. When picking out your accommodations, make sure to ask about a place to safely store food items so you can prepare yourself if needed.
- Ask about coffee makers - Not all rooms offer coffee makers in the room anymore. If you are wanting to bring your Amla Green Hibiscus tea, you will need a way to boil your water for your morning tea. Inquire about coffee makers and whether one can be added to your room when you check in.
Research the surrounding area
When booking a reservation, it can help to spend some time on researching the area. Visiting somewhere new can be a great adventure. However, it can also leave you far from stores you know sell items you need.
Spending a bit of time on research in advance can help you to make the most of your vacation without working against your food goals.
Here are a few things to consider:
- How far away are grocery stores/specialty shops? - If you are developing new eating habits, you may have to buy some of your food items when you arrive. It can help to spend some time looking for locations that sell items you will need. While you may be able to find certain items near home, they may not be as readily available in another area.
- Which delivery services are in the area? - Services such as Amazon same day and Instacart are heavily relied upon by travelers. These services may be easily accessible close to your home but hard to find in an area you are visiting. Take some time to look into which services you might rely on.
- Are there restaurants in the area that meet your needs? - Not every area will have the same food options but you can sometimes find hidden gems when visiting new places. Take some time to research restaurants in the area to find places that will have a menu that will either deliver foods you enjoy or serve foods in house you can enjoy.
Buy before you travel
Not all items will be available where you are visiting. This is a good time to prepare a handful of items you will need to take with you.
While fresh produce might not be easily transported, there are many non-perishable options you can pack with you. Taking the time to pack the items you need before traveling can save you time and help you stay the course when traveling.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Buy Amla Green - One of the best ways to add a boost of nutrition to your meals while traveling is to include a scoop of Amla Green. Buy your Amla Green products before traveling to make sure you have them on hand when you are on the go.
- Pick up small convenience items - Do you eat smoothies/smoothie bowls every morning? Are you a huge fan of overnight oats? Does chia seed pudding offer you a treat you can enjoy? Pick up items such as small travel blenders, mason jars, or travel measuring cups and bowls to pack in your luggage.
- Buy non-perishable staples - There are many recipes you can make after visiting a local farmer’s market or grocery store. Instead of worrying about finding specialty items on vacation, purchase them in advance and bring them with you in your luggage. Items such as dried fruits can be perfect for snacks while out enjoying a variety of attractions.
- Plan for snacks - When traveling, many will plan for meals and forget to plan for snacking. If you include snacks in your eating habits, you will want to make a plan for these items. This might mean making home-made trail mix before going or planning to purchase items you know you can eat. Stick with non-perishable items when possible to avoid carrying extra bags/coolers.
Healthy eating starts where you stop
If you’re on the road and stop at a fast-food joint, your food choices will be limited to fast food.
But if you stop at a grocery store that offers whole or healthy foods—fruits, bagged carrots, nuts, hummus—or a supermarket that features a salad bar, you quickly expand your choices (and reduce junk-food temptations).
Drink lots of water
Yes, water is an important part of your diet. The body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking plenty of water will flush your body of toxins, keep your skin fresh, and help you eat less.
It will also help you avoid travel lag, symptoms of overexposure to the heat or sun, and junk-food cravings. Believe it or not, many of the unhealthy cravings we experience on the road can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of pure water. And don’t forget your reusable water bottle - that way you have no excuses for not getting enough H2O!
Back off booze
Whether you're at a business trip dinner with clients, a conference reception, or alone in your hotel room, limit your alcohol intake. You don't think clearly with a buzz, so you're more likely to stuff yourself with a tray of apps, and the combination will tank the good habits you have been establishing.
Be gentle with yourself
It’s okay if you run out of options while on the road. It happens to all of us. We forgot to pack travel food and a gas station became our only option. Don’t let one episode turn your food habits inside out.
Just settle yourself and plan your next step. It’s the small habits that are going to add up to the big life changes. You got this!