I went on a trip to visit family this past weekend and while on the plane I wrote up ten tips to eat healthy while traveling. Even though I don’t care for flying, I was smiling ear-to-ear for the entire flight. Why? I didn’t need a seatbelt extender. I have been using one for most of my adult life and this time I didn’t need one. Take my story and turn it into motivation for you to go be awesome and lose the weight you want and most importantly be healthy AND happy! Now on with the tips!
Tip #1 – Be Prepared
The first, and most important, lesson the nutritionist I worked with taught me was to “be prepared”. This is critical when you are traveling. When we aren’t prepared, we have a higher tendency to make poor food choices. This means preparing for your travel and having the right snacks or meals in your bag for the plane, train, bus, ship, etc. On this trip, I packed 2 bananas for each flight and that was a much better option than the cookies or pretzels the flight attendants offered me.
Tip #2 – Research The Destination
When I travel these days, I take a few minutes to research the destination to figure out how I can maintain my clean eating. For example, I look for where the Whole Foods or Traders Joes is at my destination. This way I can make a trip and get all my supplies to make my morning green smoothies and to have the right snacks on hand in the hotel. I also like to look for local shops and restaurants that provide healthy and clean eating options. It’s awesome to grab a green smoothie or green juice from a local merchant – these local shops can also help you with other restaurants to try while in town.
Tip #3 – Select Hotels That Meet Your Needs
Where possible and where the budget allows, make sure to select hotels that support your clean eating. It could be asking the hotel if they offer fruit during the morning breakfast buffets. Does the hotel restaurant have healthy options on the menu?
I try to stay in hotels that offer a fridge (either a mini or a full fridge). This way I can keep my water cold and my smoothie fruit frozen. Many times hotels that have small kitchenettes can be about the same price as a regular hotel room so check around. If the room doesn’t have a fridge, call the front desk. Generally they will have a fridge they can bring to your room to use during your stay.
Tip #4 – Bring Your Own Equipment
On this trip, I packed my travel blender (see picture below). A travel blender is about $16 and will allow you to make smoothies or other drinks in the hotel before you head out for the day. I don’t want to ever miss a day without a morning one-liter green smoothie and by bringing my blender, I know I will always be ready. It’s another way to make sure I am always prepared (see tip #1). A 5-minute trip to Trader Joes got me everything I needed for the weekend and then I was back to the fun times.
Tip #5 – Try Local Foods and Fruit/Veggies
When you visit a new city or country, take the chance to try something new. Maybe it’s a new fruit or vegetable or maybe it is a new dish. Ask the chefs for the recipes of any dishes you enjoy. You may just find something great to bring home to make for friends and family. Bringing back interesting recipes is a great conversation starter at your next dinner party.
Tip #6 – Check Menus Ahead of Time
Where possible, check the menus online for restaurants you want to try. This will give you a chance to review any recommendations you’ve received to make sure they have healthy food choices. This tip will save you time so that you can make alternate plans before you leave the hotel. Don’t be afraid to call a restaurant if they don’t have an online menu.
Tip # 7 – A Splurge is Ok!
I think it’s ok to have a splurge on a vacation – have something that might be more extravagant than you would normally have. There are also plenty of healthy food choices that could be considered a splurge.
Tip #8 – Transit Health
When you are traveling, make sure to take care of your health. Get good sleep each night, make sure to stretch and get up and walk around on the plane, etc. Drink lots of fluids during the flight and eat all the healthy snacks and/or meal you brought with you (see tip #1). Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you should forgo your healthy routine from home.
Tip #9 & Tip #10 – Have Fun!
I think this tip is so important it deserved two tips – have fun. It may take a moment more to find a healthy food choice at your destination than eating at some crap fast food chain but the moment will repay you as you will feel great and energized during your trip! And remember that taking care of yourself will let you have more fun on your next trip and every trip for the rest of your life.
I Want Your Tips! If you have a healthy travel tip – email it to me at allen-at-letstalkfitness-com – and I will add it to the post.