If you’re like me, travel can really throw a wrench in your typical food routine. Add to that, the additional expenses and lack of a blender and sometimes it’s hard to stay on track and eat well.
Here are 8 hacks to help you stay healthy and budget friendly while you’re travelling:
1. Pack oatmeal in a Ziploc bag for breakfast – If you don’t know what you are going to eat for the rest of the day, or know it likely won’t be healthy choices, at least start the day right with healthy oatmeal. Whenever I am going away, I do enough servings of oatmeal for every day that I am gone by putting the oats in a Ziploc bag and adding hemp hearts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and whatever other healthy ingredients I have on hand. When I am on the road, I buy bananas and then make the oatmeal in the morning in a mug using hot water. Hits the spot and saves money from buying breakfast!
2. Make granola bars/energy bars/energy bites and take them with you – Wrap them up individually so that you can leave them in your hotel room unrefrigerated, and then just grab one each day on your way out. Makes a good snack or can be used for breakfast with some fruit if need be.
3. Go to the grocery store when you get there and stock up on fresh, non-perishable fruit – Choose things such as apples, oranges, bananas, and pears. These items don’t need to be refrigerated and all are a great source of energy for long days on your feet walking or sitting in conferences. Better yet, it saves you money from buying pre cut fruit at Starbucks or opting for a less healthy snack option when you get really hungry mid afternoon.
4. Carry green teabags with you – Sometimes you just need a hot drink to get you through the day or to carry around with you. Pack your own tea bags and then just stop at a coffee shop and ask for a cup of hot water and add your teabag. Not only is it cheaper to bring your own tea than to stop and buy it, but it will also mean that you will be less tempted to choose a Frappuccino or a sugary latte when you walk by Starbucks.
5. Hit the smoothie bars – 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. 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.
6. Bring a water bottle (bonus if it doubles as a travel mug for hot liquids) – If there’s one thing you need to stay on top of while you’re travelling, it’s drinking lots of water. It goes a long way in keeping your health on track, but also in keeping your body systems functioning properly in foreign cities and countries where you may be in a different time zone, in a different bed and eating different food. You’re way more likely to drink water if you have it with you and don’t have to buy it, so don’t forget to put a bottle in your suitcase!
7. Don’t eat out every night – 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. 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. Doing this a few nights on your trip will be something both your wallet and waistline thank you for!
8. Pack a lunch – 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 in seven above, packing your lunch for the day is a great idea. Sometimes it can be hard to find healthy food when you want it, from where you are, and lunch can sometimes come at a hefty price. Packing it yourself saves you money and time and also means it’s right there ready whenever you’re hungry!