Happy, Healthy Travel Hacks
While I was away visiting family this past weekend, I realized just how much easier it has become to find healthy food while traveling IF you know how! Nothing is worse than feeling great in your body, understanding what works for you and being in a place where you just cannot find it! Not to mention the resulting state of frustration that leads you to give up because you feel like you have no choice. But with a little time and prep ahead of time I can assure you that you DO have a choice. Now that we are getting closer to summer (YAY!!!), which may mean vacations, beach weekends and more, I thought I would share some of my travel healthy hacks with you!
Before you go, research is key!
Plan to spend an hour or so on the computer before you go away. Google is your best friend! I have used it to map out restaurant, café, supermarkets and farmers market options all over the US and abroad. Even in countries that have the reputation of being heavily meat based, I have found it easy to get what I want and need when I take the time to research before.
Search by location first and then for the types of food you are looking for. In my case, I look for vegan friendly options. Once I find places, I bookmark them, send them emails (if they are out of the country) or call if they are local in order to confirm that they can accommodate me. It’s remarkable how easy it is and how many places will accommodate. I look for different types of places too, casual lite fare as well as more elegant evening fare so that I can make choices depending on the circumstances.
I also look for markets that have organic, fresh or local food, so that I don’t have to search when I arrive. Apps like Waze work really well to help you find something close to where you are, too! I used it to find a restaurant in the Hungarian countryside a few months ago. It was remarkable.
I use key words like: “farm to table,” “organic,” “healthy,” “vegan,” “vegetarian” and “gluten free” to find the kinds of foods I am looking for.
Staying in a hotel? Ask for a refrigerator. Even in hotels that do not furnish them, most times they will accommodate at no charge. I find this especially helpful when I am not in control of what is being served to me. I can shop at a local market and eat something like a non-dairy yogurt before I go out. That way I am not starving when hor d’oeuvres are being served or if I have to wait a while before my meal.
Traveling by car?
The easiest thing you can do if you have the time is to pack a bag or two of your favorite foods, and a cooler. You can buy easy travel food or prep your own so that you will make it easier on yourself when you are on the road and also when you arrive at your destination.
If I am visiting friends or family, I always prepare a dish or two that I can share with my host(s) and that will provide me with something I want to eat while I figure out the rest of my stay. I also bring snacks like bars. If I have time I will make them at home, but if not, I buy them. If I am going on an extended trip I will often do both. I always carry a bag of trail mix, too, and protein powders and teas.
With a cooler in tow, I can make bring some of these items: chia pudding, a cold soup, a mason jar salad or two or even a smoothie like this one or this one. I might bring some of my favorite drinks as well, especially if I am not sure I will be able to easily get them where I am going.
Traveling by plane?
If you are checking a bag, you can pack non-refrigerated items in your checked bag. I always double bag them to be sure to protect my clothing in case something rips. Depending on where I am going, I will bring more of some things, like trail mix. I also always bring a pre-made meal for the flight. Sometimes I prepare it at home and other times I find a place to purchase before going to the airport. Traveling with healthy food makes the whole process so much easier.
Probiotics probiotics probiotics!
I also always travel with probiotics, no matter where I am going or how I am getting there. Most people benefit by taking them everyday, particularly when you travel and your food choices may be either restricted or different than what you are used to having. This is my probiotic of choice: Life Equals and ( you can use code SCH50 for 50% off subscription orders)
When you are on vacation or traveling for any reason at all, the last thing you want to do is spend your time researching to find a place to eat, or looking for something you can eat when you are already hungry. The key to healthy food success is a little planning ahead. Just like your weekly meal prep makes your whole week easier, travel prep will do the same thing and will free you up to do what you really want to be doing!
Happy, healthy travels!