How to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits While Traveling

Maintaining a healthy routine while traveling and on-the-go can be a challenge. This past month I was activated in the Air National Guard to provide assistance in the fight against COVID-19. During this one month period I lived out of a hotel room, which hosted only a mini fridge and microwave. While many of the other military men and women I was working with lived off fast food and donations of chips, pop, and canned tuna, I was fortunate to be able to maintain an eating lifestyle similar to what I live at home. This is how I did it.

  1. Bring a reusable water bottle. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. To work. While running errands. And especially on road trips or when traveling (even on air planes). Constantly buying water can be expensive and wasteful, so I bring my own and refill it any chance I get. On a recent road trip, I brought my usual water bottle, and filled up two 32-oz mason jars of filtered water to store in the cooler for when my water bottle ran out. While living out of the hotel, the water bottle made it super convenient to refill at the beverage station in the lobby. Glass or stainless steel water bottles are best as plastic can leach chemicals into the water.
  2. Snag a crockpot. This was the single most beneficial tool I had while away. I was able to prepare simple, minimal ingredient meals that would last me several days and saved a ton of money in the process! After cooking the meal, I served a portion into a glass Tupperware container I also brought along. I not only used this to eat out of, but would also use it to bring some for lunch. I would then store the rest of the food in the ceramic insert of the crock pot. Some of the meals I made were chili, red curry, and pesto chicken with rice. Other helpful tools: small cutting board, knife, large spoon for mixing/serving, and a set of silverware.
  3. Stock up on healthy snacks. I purchased convenient foods like clementines, apples, raw nuts or trail mix (look for no added sugar), popcorn, plain oatmeal, and even hummus and guacamole with baby carrots. I kept them in my hotel room as snacks and brought them to work for healthy options during my 12-hour shifts.
  4. Dark chocolate and fruit is your friend. I am not one to ever tell you to avoid sweets at all costs for the rest of your life. However, I do believe there are more appropriate occasions than others, and eating Dunkin’ Doughnuts or Girl Scout cookies every day for breakfast is not one of them. This was a constant struggle during this time as coworkers and others wanting to donate and support us were constantly bringing goodies. To help curve any sweet tooth this would inevitably conjure up, I would bring some of my favorite dark chocolate (choose 70% cocoa or higher — the higher the percent, the lower the added sugar content) or fruit to eat instead. Need a recommendation? Eating Evolved coconut butter cups or Theo dark chocolate are two of my favorite options.
  5. Consider bringing a blender. This is not essential (I did not have one while activated), but I do think it would have been super beneficial. It would have also provided a great alternative to the crockpot meals on days when I wanted something light. Making your own smoothies is also much more cost effective that purchasing them. Simple Green Smoothies has a lot of great recipes if you need some inspiration! Something like this Magic Bullet is small, but will get the job done and is convenient for travel.
  6. Keep your vitamins organized. Medicine boxes aren’t just for people taking too many meds to count. They make taking and keeping track of your vitamins super simple! They also minimize the amount of containers you need to carry — less containers, less stuff to keep track of/potentially lose (I speak from experience….).

As we slowly progress back into normalcy, many will inevitably have that itch to travel and get a change of scenery. Use these tips to maintain healthy habits and save money while on the move!

What do you do to stay healthy while traveling? Share your tips below!

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