Making healthier choices can be a little trickier when travelling, as finding nutritious options can be challenging in certain destinations and situations. While being prepared can help make it easier to choose healthier alternatives in your regular day-to-day routine, it's also a great way to ensure you've got some good options available while you're travelling. Here are a few of my favourite travel tips:
Take Your Own Food
Taking your own food can not only help save some time and money, but is particularly handy if you're travelling with little ones. Make sure you take foods that have a long shelf life (no perishable foods such as dairy, meat or eggs). Homemade muesli bars, crispbread, muffins, and bliss balls travel well on shorter trips, and taking staples such as oats, nut butters, nuts and seeds can be handy to make porridge or snacks when you arrive.
In The Air
Airports and flights are notorious for their lack of healthier alternatives (although some are improving!), so I usually take food with me also when travelling by plane. I often take homemade bliss balls and fruit for snacks on board, and try to eat something either before going to the airport, or take a small meal with me. When we travelled with longhaul with Little SB I had a small cooler bag with homemade muesli bars, mini muffins, fruit, berries, banana pancakes and hummus for him. Many of these I freeze in advance so they thaw during the trip and last longer. I’ve also once pre-made porridge and asked for hot water on board the plane to stir in to heat it (sometimes you just need to get a little creative!).
‼️Note: If you’re travelling internationally be aware that some countries have restrictions (and penalties) for bringing in some foods - make sure you check this before you arrive and declare or throw out any food if you're in doubt.
Travelling to different places is a great opportunity to experiment and try new foods. If you have allergies or little ones though it can also be a bit tricky, and often kids' menus are based upon nutritionally-poor ultra-processed foods. You could try ordering a few sides or starters to put together a little tasting plate for kids, or ask if the restaurant can adapt something on the menu to suit - in my experience they're usually happy to help if they're able to.
At the Hotel
Breakfast buffets normally have at least some good options like eggs, fruit or yoghurt. In some hotels I've stayed in it's also been possible to pay a little extra to make a little lunch pack from the breakfast buffet.
If your room has a fridge you can use this to store any food you've brought with you, or you could buy a few things from a local supermarket so you can put together snacks or lunches to take for a day out.
If you're travelling internationally check advice regarding food safety to find out if the local water is safe to drink and what foods to avoid if foodborne illness is a problem at your destination. Your local food safety authority may have advice for travelling, or try a reputable travel website.
Don’t forget - holidays are a time to relax and it’s not always possible to eat exactly as you do at home. This is completely fine, especially if you normally eat a diet based mainly on whole, minimally-processed foods: it's what you do every day that impacts your health, not what you just do sometimes.