Whether it be for business or pleasure, traveling can create both an excitement or a sense of monotony. Traveling is one of my favourite things to do, be it an awesome family vacay, or a biz building/personal development getaway. Give me a weekend of soul-filling education and I'm on cloud nine. However the beach, nature, outdoors, and sunshine are my BFF's. No matter what I do, or where I go, some things are a given...we all gotta EAT (and drink!). Travel, as glamorous as it sounds, can wreak havoc with your normal dietary routines. Partly by choice, the holidays are often excuse laden with the old "I'm on holiday" line throwing all the good habits, and potentially your waistline, out of whack! But fear not friends, because with some foresight and planning, you can have the best of both worlds. Check out these 10 helpful tips to set you up on your next trip away:
ONE Book With Eating In Mind
In trying to stay faithful to your well ingrained habits, it's important to ensure you have as much home comforts as required. Okay, so a bed, toilet, and shower, go without saying....but a kitchen or kitchen facilities are often overlooked. Having a kitchen makes it far more likely, and cost effective, to cook and eat your own meals. When booking, look for condos, apartments, or hotel rooms with a kitchen to set you up. Airbnb is another option that we use often for those seeking a feeling that's closer to home. I'm certainly not against eating out and sampling the local cuisine and ambience, but having the option to eat-in or make-and-take, provides peace of mind!
TWO Find a Grocery Store
Now, while in the booking process, you can find what your looking for near a grocery store then you are all set! However, at the very least, seek out your nearest grocery stores and markets to make your shopping both easy and accessible.
THREE Plan Ahead
In today's world, travel has become so easy and accessible. No longer are we reliant on travel agents and tour guides but rather all information can now be searched, accessed, screenshot and downloaded at the touch of a button. So knowing that, almost all aspects of travel can be pre-planned. Know what airline you are flying with and what they offer. Almost all flights offer food and drink, but many budget flights require payment for those....including water!!! Think about the times of travel and when your stops or layovers may be. Do they align with your normal mealtime routines? What about the time difference? Your body will naturally remind you when meal or snack times are approaching. Finally, search the airports you are traveling through for food options. Most airports have more health conscious options but finding them in the moment can sometimes be a challenge!
FOUR Pack Snacks
It might seem obvious, but your fave snacks can be far cheaper outside of an airport. So like you would if you are going to the movie theatre (yes, don't lie!), shop ahead with some calorie dense and nutritious snacks that will satisfy hunger or even provide a meal replacement in a pinch. Nuts, dried fruit, nut butters, energy bites or bars, homemade muffins, wholegrain or seeded crackers with dip, raw vegetables and fresh fruit. These are great to sustain and satisfy hunger through long and unpredictable travel plans. It also is a great habit to have on holiday, or business trip, on a day-to-day basis. Always having something nutritious to eat that's readily available, prevents any unnecessary or uncharacteristic snacking!! Another handy tip is to pack a few of your own fave tea bags. Ask the flight attendants for a cup of boiling water then DIY it! Lastly, remember to always carry a water bottle. Yes it needs to be emptied before passing security, but refill at a water fountain or ask at a cafe/bar, so you are staying hydrated throughout.
FIVE Bring Utensils
Okay, so this may be a little OTT, but believe me you won't regret it! Bring a set of your own utensils, I'm talking fork, knife and spoon. If traveling and you have brought your own food, then there's a chance you may need to use something! The alternative is to kindly scour and steal a plastic set from the nearest fast food establishment...but that's just not good for the environment! Be kind, pack your own! Heard of a Spork? It's a spoon and fork in one. Some even have a serrated edge to act as a knife. You can find them in most outdoors and camping stores!
SIX Stay Consistent
If you are used to eating a certain way, then it's important to stay consistent. If you've applied some of the first steps then you will be set up to maintain a fairly regular diet. Now I'm a big advocate for trying local cuisine, and experimenting with new, fresh, exotic herbs, fruits, and vegetables. However, too big a change in too short a time can cause serious digestive discomfort. Eat out, eat in, try something new, cook something familiar. Create a sense of balance, and enjoy the process!
SEVEN Avoid Temptations
Okay, so if you like a holiday splurge, then chances are that this blog ain't for you!! If you are conscious of eating healthy, and maintaining consistency then pay close attention to these 'devil-on-your-shoulder' directives such as "go on, I'm on holiday", "yeah, I'll have some more!", "I'll work it off when I get home" and "just this once". It's easy to abandon good habits that have become somewhat ingrained, by being on holiday and letting go. Even on business trips, oftentimes meals are eaten nightly at hotel bars, followed by the inevitable continental breakfast buffet! Stay true to your beliefs. Avoid dessert EVERY night, and the obligatory pitcher of beer/sangria. Remain conscious of your choices, but remember to also enjoy yourself! You are not a robot!!
EIGHT Stock Up
If you've opted for a hotel stay then there are certainly plenty of healthier food options to choose from and remain relatively consistent. Usually, every morning serves up a continental breakfast. Some now serve alternative milks and yoghurts that are vegetarian/vegan friendly but you may have to ask! My tip here is to stock up on provisions such as fresh fruit, breakfast bars, and dry cereal for snacking during the day! Eat a good breakfast, take some to go, then you are prepared for the day ahead!
NINE Delivered To Your Door
On a recent trip, my wife and her friends decided to seek out a local Juice Bar that provided a delivery service. A weeks worth of awesome fresh, delicious, and highly nutritious Juices were sent which were then stored in the fridge ready for consumption. Their group stayed in a hotel so they asked the hotel to clear out the mini-bar fridge in order to have space. If you have no intention using the mini-bar then have the front desk arrange for it to be cleared for use. If you take out and hide the items you WILL be charged! You get the idea though....you can find local Juice Bars, Sandwich Shops and Cafe's that deliver. If you download Daily Deal Apps such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and Amazon Local, you can also find great deals on nearby food and drink venues.
TEN Happy Cow
Speaking of Apps, Happy Cow is a must-have for any healthy eating fanatic. Using the App, or from the website, you can search any location around the world and it will show the nearest cafe's, restaurants, and health food stores that cater to vegetarian and vegan choices. For non-veggie/vegans, they also provide plenty other food joints that accommodate for all. It's been a fun little tool for us as now on several trips we've sought out some new and exciting food establishment. It's our very own taste tantalizing foodie adventure!!
So there you have it! With a little planning, travel can become as hassle free and as seamless as it's designed to be. Take away any unnecessary worries by planning ahead. Your travel can now take on a new lease of life, as an extension of your own day to day habits and routines. The scary thing is just how normal it all can feel while bronzing in the gorgeous sunshine that you may never want to go back! Happy travels ;-)