I’m currently flying back to Washington D.C. from Italy, so I would like to share my final vacation guest post! Today’s guest post comes from my friend and running buddy, Emily, about how to stay healthy while traveling. Very appropriate, considering I’ve just been in Europe for nearly two weeks Take it away, Emily!
Hi fANNEtastic food readers! I’m Emily from Daily Garnish (which used to be called The Front Burner). On my blog I share delicious, healthy vegetarian recipes, along with running recaps and other healthy activities.
Since Anne is off exploring Europe, and so many of us have been traveling for the holidays, I thought it might be good timing for this particular topic…
Staying Healthy on Vacation
I just got back from eight days in Ohio visiting family and celebrating holidays and birthdays. Since eating healthy is important to me, it’s always a little daunting going into a big trip, knowing there will be a lot of eating out and heavy meals. The best thing you can do in getting ready to go out of town is be prepared.
Whether you have a basic hotel room or a house with a full kitchen, you can make healthy eating much easier by just packing a few key things. Whenever we go on road trips, we pack a tote bag with snacks and fruit that are easy to grab in the car.
On the road, it’s nice to have things like crackers, hummus, rice cakes, and carrot sticks — easy to eat with little mess or cleanup.
Since road-trips tend to be somewhat carb-heavy, packing a few tubs of hummus is a nice way to add fat and protein to your meals, so that you still feel balanced and not weighed down at the end of the trip.
In addition to car food, I also always bring breakfast. When we are traveling and visiting family, we expect to eat out a lot for lunches and dinners — but for me, eating out for breakfast every day is just too much. For this trip, we took a tub of oats, bag of almonds, apple butter, peanut butter, and a loaf of bread. Once we got into town, we swung through Whole Foods to grab some almond milk, which meant that we had delicious breakfasts and snacks all week long. Healthy and cheap.
If you are staying in a hotel room, or won’t have access to a full kitchen, throw a few bowls, plates, and pieces of flatware into your tote! An easy, healthy breakfast helps you get your day started quickly — so that you can get on with all the fun in store while you’re on vacation!
If you’re flying instead of driving, search for the closest grocery store and plan to make a stop when you land. Even spending $50 on snacks and breakfast food at the store will be much cheaper than eating out for every meal — those checks add up fast!
Eating out is part of the fun of traveling, and I highly recommend scouting out the local food scene before you even hit the road. But if you’re going to be away for a week or more, it’s nice to mix in some lighter home-cooking along with the heavier restaurant meals. Before I travel, I usually pack a few baggies of my favorite grains, nuts, and spices — and throw them in a bag for quick and healthy dinners.
My family enjoyed a delicious red quinoa salad on Christmas Eve, mixed with walnuts, raisins, and a delicious vinaigrette dressing! If you are staying in a hotel, you may want to consider the price difference between a kitchenette and a standard hotel room. While a kitchenette may be a tiny bump up in the hotel rate, it still may come out less expensive than eating out for every meal.
The last thing to remember is that traveling is temporary — don’t freak out if you overindulge or eat too many Christmas cookies. At the end of the week, you’ll head back home ready to head back to the gym and re-stock your fridge with greens. But if you set yourself up for a healthy, successful trip — you’ll feel a lot better when you suddenly see the bottom of the cookie tin.
Thanks, Emily! Great tips. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my strategy during this nearly 2 week long vacation in Europe was:
- Keep breakfast healthy
- Get a TON of exercise
Keeping breakfast healthy and getting a lot of exercise both kept me feeling fit AND gave me a bit more wiggle room in terms of trying local favorites, like German sausage!
In Germany, we were lucky enough to have a gym in our hotel, so I hit that almost every morning except on the days we went skiing. Between the gym, skiing, hiking, sledding, and walking, we kept things quite active!
For breakfast each day, I stuck with some variation of oatmeal or cereal, milk or yogurt, and lots of fruit, with the occasional over easy egg or two for some extra protein on skiing days Yum!
Emily’s tips about planning ahead are especially key — for this trip, I packed a bunch of snacks (granola bars, dried fruit, almond butter packets, nuts, etc.) to have in the afternoons and in place of breakfast just in case. Anytime I travel longer term within the U.S., I also always try to hit a grocery store to pick up some healthy lunch fixings — saves money and is healthier, too! I love going out to dinner, though, so that always stays as a special treat
For more of my thoughts, check out this post I wrote last summer on Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling!
Catch you guys later from back in the U.S.!
How did you stay healthy while traveling this holiday season?