Eating healthily while traveling, particularly when you’re on a budget, can be challenging. With lots of time on the road, a sometimes hectic schedule, and often restricted access to cooking and shopping, it’s easy to end up eating things that are convenient but unhealthy. With a bit of planning ahead and know-how, however, you can eat healthily while staying within budget and enjoying your time somewhere new. Just make sure that you also take some time to sample local food!
Often you’re forced to eat something unhealthy when there just aren’t any other options. This could be when you’re stuck in an airport, on a bus terminal, or on a group tour. If you’re pressed for time and choice, you often end up eating something that’s not healthy or good. You can minimize this problem by planning ahead. If you’re traveling via plane, train, or car, you don’t have to get fast food at a rest stop or terminal. Instead, pack a meal and snacks ahead of time. Simple options like salad (in a container that won’t leak!), nuts, fruit, and healthy nutrition bars will travel well. Consider making or packing your own favorite salad dressings in to-go bottles to make the meal that much more appetizing!
Find a hotel near a grocery store.
Many travelers feel that they need to eat all their meals at restaurants, but you can save money and eat better by going shopping yourself. Do your homework and choose the hotel with a local grocery store. Look at it this way, you’ll burn some calories carrying a couple grocery bags before you indulge in a nice meal. Grab mostly non-perishable items or meats, and cheeses you’ll eat same day.
Make your own refrigerator
Now, if your hotel comes with a fridge, ask them to empty it to house your own groceries but when choices are limited opt for a cooler. You can buy a Styrofoam cooler for under $5 bucks at any grocery store. Bring it back to the hotel and stock it with ice & groceries. Anything from hummus to yogurt, it can make the difference and save you from splurging on big meal at a restaurant or worse the unhealthy fried foods from a fast food chain.
Allow for some flexibility
Eating healthily will help you to stay energized and feel great while traveling. However, don’t be afraid to splurge on something really delicious! Eating local foods is part of the traveling experience, so don’t feel bad about ordering pasta for dinner or stopping at a café to buy a pastry that called to you through the store window. As long as you have a foundation of healthy food, you should enjoy trying local specialties and finding new favorites.
Contributed by the 50 Plus Report Editorial Team