A little planning is all it takes to eat well while traveling.

Mar 17, 2021

 by Beth Roberts

Making healthy nutrition choices while traveling can be challenging. I’m both a planner and what many would call “a picky eater” so I usually get ahead of the problem and do some research on my destination as well as prepare for long travel days.

When I say I’m a “picky eater” it sounds negative and high maintenance. I will own the high maintenance part of it to a point but I also take ownership and figure things out on my own. Simple little planning strategies allow me to adhere to my dietary restrictions. I have never been a “Oh, I’ll just grab some fast food at the airport” type of traveler. I pack almonds for my flights and travel with portioned packets of my superfoods powder.

I have found that staying on track with my nutrition goals while traveling creates a healthier experience all around. I’m much more likely to roll out my yoga mat when I start my day with lemon water and a cup of organic cold brew with oat milk.

Researching my destination helps as well.. The first leg of my current journey was in Orlando. When I arrived my first stop was to stock up on vegan dips, fruit, healthy snacks, oat milk and cold brew coffee from the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It was no mistake that my chosen hotel was in close proximity to both a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods. I chose this particular hotel mainly based on this location and the quality of the pool. My needs were simple for this part of my trip. I simply needed a workspace, room for my yoga mat, healthy food options nearby and a nice pool.

Lately I don’t eat out much at all due to the ongoing pandemic but I do order take out sometimes and I knew I’d want delivery during this stay. I was thrilled to find that the delivery options for vegan food were plentiful. This always surprises me although it shouldn’t when I’m traveling in a well populated city in Florida. I’ve gotten used to living in a small town in Vermont that has very limited options and I often forget what it is like to just pick up your phone and have a delicious meal delivered to you within an hour without even speaking to anyone. I ordered vegan delivery twice during my stay and both meals were fantastic.

Each day I ate mostly clean, whole foods, worked out and kept up with my superfoods supplement. It’s all about balance, with these habits in place I could feel better about sipping that beer by the pool in the late afternoon sun.

Next stop: my parents house. They are used to my quirky food habits that admittedly had changed again over the past year. I made the switch from pescatatrian back to vegan since they last saw me. I have always strived to be an easy house guest and arrive with at least some of my own supplies. I visited the same food stores enroute from the hotel to their home and took over a corner of the refrigerator and shelf in the pantry. Easy peasy. From high maintenance vegan daughter to self sufficient healthful eater in a flash! At least that’s what I tell myself.

With just the right amount of planning I didn’t have to worry about drinking terrible hotel room coffee and searching for a vending machine for empty calories to hold me over until I could find real food. These little hacks make me feel better while traveling and in the end I know it helps me mentally and physically, enhancing my time away.