One complaint many travelers have is that it can be a challenge to avoid junk food while on the road. But with a little planning that concern can be completely eliminated. Yes, it is entirely possible to travel, have fun and enjoy yourself while eating healthful foods. Like anything else that’s good for you, though, you need to make a bit of an effort to get the best results. Here are some tried-and-true ways that experienced travelers make sure they don’t overdo it on cruise-ship freebies, tourist food bars, beach-side kiosks and other tempting sources of calorie-rich, nutritionally nil repasts.
Stock Up on Whole-Wheat Tortillas
You can either make your own tortillas or buy some of the whole-wheat versions at the grocery store. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Not only are tortillas nutritious but they store and pack easily. If you seal them well, they won’t go stale during a short trip. The real beauty of whole-wheat tortillas is that they can be used in place of bread for sandwiches, salads and stand-alone snacks. Gardein products like plant-based chicken and other high-protein options pair well with tortillas on trips.
Bring Trail Mix and Granola
Travelers who know their stuff usually pack a container or two of homemade trail mix and granola when they venture far from home. Why? Both are high in nutrients, easily digestible and taste great. When you make your own before traveling, you can add your own favorite ingredients. Trail mix makes a decent meal substitute when you’re stuck in a train station or airport, and granola is the ideal on-the-go cereal ingredient. All you need is a bit of milk and maybe a few pieces of fresh fruit and you’re good to go.
Pack Nutritious, “Dense” Foods
Travel gurus advise packing foods that are nutritionally dense. Avoid bulky, airy items like loaves of bread, lightweight breakfast cereals and popcorn. The denser the better and that means things like granola, protein bars, raisins, jerky meats, canned tuna and other healthful choices that don’t take up much room in a suitcase or backpack.
Plan Meals Before Traveling
A key part of the food-and-travel equation is planning. A week before your trip, begin making up some daily menus for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that meet the requirements listed above. Look for nutrition, density, no need for refrigeration and high protein content when possible. Ready-made foods that require no cooking are smart choices too, as well as meals that include everything but the water.
Don’t Spend Money at the Airport
Seasoned travelers have a secret rule: they don’t spend money on food or drinks at airports. Not only can you save a chunk of change by adhering to this rule but you’ll also tend to eat more healthful meals. Savvy tourists often pack one or two special “airport meals” that are ideally designed for consuming while waiting for flights. There’s really no reason to purchase food at airports so make use of this clever rule the next time your travel.