Healthy eating can be difficult when you’re home, but if can often seem impossible while you’re traveling. You can run into situation after situation where you feel like you have no options. A lovely Instagram follower asked if I had a post about how to maintain healthy eating while you’re traveling the other day. I don’t know why I’d never thought of it before!
That comment happened to correspond with us preparing for our longest trip yet. A month in Thailand. While I realize a lot of trips aren’t quite that long, and we will obviously be buying most of our food after we arrive, I still wanted to share some tips and tricks to stay healthy when you’re not at home.
I do make a few linked recommendations in this post but none are affiliate links – just products I like.
So, to begin with, I’ll share what we’re taking to Thailand and our food plans for the month:
- One unopened large jar of PB2
- Tea Bags (~10)
- Granola Bars
- 1 jar whole, unsalted cashews
- Ziplock bag 1/2 full of almonds and 1/2 full of walnuts
- Ziplock bag about 1/3 full of pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- Small ziplock bag of chia seeds
- 1 box Rotini Pasta
- 1 bottle Italian salad dressing
We’re also taking a collapsible cooler to use once we get there. As some background, we’re staying a very quite part of Thailand in a cottage with a fully equipped kitchen. There are a few restaurants and we’ll have lunch or dinner out occasionally but we’re planning to primarily make our own food.
So, the PB2 will be used to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as on fruit, rice cakes, and anything else I find to put it on. If you’re not familiar with PB2, it’s a powdered peanut butter and you can read about my love affair with it here and here and here. Kyle chose the granola bars for his breakfast while I’m taking the granola. I’ll add pepitas and chia seeds to my granola. The pasta and salad dressing are for making pasta salad – a recipe I’ll be adding to the blog soon (sign up for posts via email if you’re interested)!
We are expecting to find so.much.fresh.produce in Thailand. I don’t know if I’m more excited for fresh fruit, the beach, or the beer! It’s honestly a 3-way tie! So, day 1 we’ll be hitting the market to see what we can find. Fruit and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will be thrown in the cooler for beach picnics almost daily!
Here’s a more inclusive list of a lot of the healthier options I’ve either used or heard of before that travel really well:
- Seeds (sunflower, chia, hemp, pumpkin, etc)
- Peanut Butter (Justin’s makes convenient travel packs, and I love PB2!)
- Granola Bars (Cliff and Larabars were go-to’s in the States)
- Tea Bags
- Refillable water bottle (just make sure it’s empty until you get through security)
- Salad (I haven’t tried it but heard you can get salad w/ dressing through security perfectly fine)
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruit (citrus fruits travel really well)
- Protein Powder (these are great containers)
If you’re staying in hotels, look for one with a mini-fridge and microwave. These two things open up lots of options for you.
If you are able to score both or even one of these here are some options:
- Overnight oatmeal or healthy instant oatmeal packets (ie not the Quaker ones packed with sugar)
- Steamed veggies
- Microwaved potatoes
- Pre-cut fruits
- Milk of choice
- Hummus and veggies
- Turkey sandwiches
- Hard boiled eggs – Try this weird way to make them in your room from Buzzfeed, or buy pre-boiled at the store
- If you try to make them in room please let me know how it goes!
One of my fav podcasters, Rich Roll, says he goes straight to a grocery store from the airport to pick up his staples. Better safe than starving! Check the map for a store on your route from airport to hotel or chose a hotel near a grocery store.
I also heard about the Happy Cow app from Rich Roll. If you happen to prefer plant-based foods, you should definitely check it out! The app shows you where all of the vegan restaurants are in any city you happen to find yourself in. I thought it was a great idea when I heard about it but didn’t look more into because I didn’t think Kuwait would be included – but we are! We have 3 whole restaurants on the map in the entire country. But that’s better than zero, so I’ll take it.
If you’re going on a road trip, don’t forget your cooler. You can stop at grocery stores as often as you need to along the way. Many grocery stores have salad bars now, so that can be a great way to get some fresh food on the road.
But what about traveling to countries with questionable food safety, like say – India? Drink only bottled water, and I highly recommend eating only vegetarian food. I’ve never had any issues with food while traveling. Even in India. My carnivorous husband, on the other hand, cannot say the same.
Obviously you’re not going to eat all 3 meals a day in your hotel room, but whatever you do make yourself can be a healthy alternative to eating out. You are on vacation after all, so you don’t want to be stressing about where your next meal is coming from. If you travel often for business though, making your own foods as often as you can will really help you stay on top of your health.
What are your favorite foods to travel with and healthy travel hacks??