Every time I go on a trip, I always make sure to create some oatmeal packets. In individual Ziploc bags, I add oats, hemp hearts, ground flax, cinnamon, raisins, some spirulina, and a handful of sultanas or unsweetened dried cranberries. When it is breakfast time on my travels, while staying in the hotel, I simply go to the hotel restaurant or breakfast bar in the morning and ask for a mug of hot water. Add the oats to the mug, stir and cover for a few minutes while they cook. I typically pick up a bunch of bananas once I arrive as well, and between those and the oatmeal, I am set for healthy breakfast solutions for the entire trip. The best part? It’s a really filling breakfast, which means if I end up getting busy and not able to eat for a while, this will keep me satisfied and fueled for several hours.
Speaking of fruit, fresh fruit makes a quick and healthy snack option for when you are traveling. Not only can you pack it in your bag and take it with you in the morning so you are less likely to buy a bag of chips or an unhealthy pastry when you’re hungry later, but it also doesn’t require any preparation or utensils. Just open up your bag and dig in! Choose things such as apples, oranges, bananas, and pears, as another bonus is that these items do not need to be refrigerated. You can also buy pre-cut fruit cups at most grocery stores of more exotic fruits like pineapple and strawberries, but they aren’t as budget friendly, and won’t last as well in your bag if you are in hot climates.
When you’re playing tourist, traipsing around a new city for hours on end from dawn until dusk, it’s inevitable that you may get a little extra hungry and need some mid-day snacks. It’s also inevitable that if you don’t have anything with you, you’ll likely reach for the first thing you find, and that may not be the healthiest (or cheapest) option. Fix both of those things by preparing snacks before you leave that you can individually take with you. Think about things like granola bars, energy bites/balls, muffins, or quickbread. If you make a healthy version of these treats, packed with protein and whole grain carbohydrates, they’ll fill you up and not get in the way of your jam-packed day!
As tempting as it may be to eat out every night, restaurant meals are typically higher in calories and less nutrient-dense than their homemade counterparts. Over two weeks of travel, this can really add up – in both extra calories, and extra money! Instead, opt for an in room meal some nights and buy things such as raw veggies, whole grain bread, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, dried fruit and hummus and make a little snack plate that you can have for dinner. Think picnic style in your hotel, or if the weather is nice, pack it up and take it to a local park! Doing this a few nights on your trip will be something both your wallet and waistline will thank you for!
Along the same lines of limiting how often you eat out for dinner, try to pack a lunch whenever you can. Lunch choices at restaurants are often of a caloric value closer to that of dinner, and if you are doing that twice a day, every day of your trip, you may get a rude awakening when you get home and see your bank statement. Whether you make a sandwich in your room, make a cold salad with chickpeas, raw veggies and couscous, or take a bunch of snack foods like fruit, raw veggies and hummus and some of your homemade granola bars, packing your lunch for the day is a great idea. Furthermore, sometimes it can be hard to find healthy food when you want it, from where you are so packing it means you can have a healthy, satisfying meal whenever you get hungry!
When you need a healthy lunch or breakfast, find a smoothie bar! Most smoothie bars offer natural, healthy smoothie options that use real fruit and that you can have made dairy free as well. Drinking smoothies is a great way to pack in lots of nutrients and a few servings for fruits and vegetables all in one. If you have the option to have a green smoothie, with the added benefits of spinach or kale, this is definitely a great choice. Likewise other additions such as spirulina or superfood powders like baobab (a great source of magnesium) are an excellent option when offered. Just be sure to watch for hidden extras like ice cream or sorbet, and stay away from smoothies at popular chain restaurants. These ones are often just made from mixes or processed fruit, or are simply a glorified ice cream!