A Traveler’s Guide to Eating Healthy

From calorie-loaded breakfast buffets and sodium-filled airplane snacks to stress eating and dehydration, travel can be detrimental to your nutrition. To prepare you for your next adventure, we’ve put together the following guide filled with tips to navigate the nutrition pitfalls that come with travel.

How to Eat Healthy at 30,000 Feet

Healthy habits are tough to practice when traveling by plane. Due to the airplane’s low humidity and high cabin pressure, many airlines load their snacks with sugar and salt to boost flavor. Toss in the stress of travel, the boredom that hits during long flights, and the dehydration-inducing atmosphere, and you have a recipe for disaster. As an example, the average British passenger consumes a whopping 3400 calories between takeoff and landing thanks to these sodium-filled snacks, high-calorie prepackaged meals, and beverage services emphasizing soft drinks and cocktails. This frightening statistic doesn’t account for any eating that occurs while waiting to board the plane or upon landing at your destination. Scary? We think so.

Your best bet for eating healthy on a plane is to prepare before boarding. Pack snacks such as whole fruit, unsalted nuts, vegetables, and string cheese, so you have nutrient-dense options to nibble on. Worst case scenario: Terminal food is better than cabin food. Stock up on these same snacks as you head to your gate or make a quick pitstop for vegetable soup, a whole-grain sandwich, or a lean protein source such as chicken or fish with a side of veggies.

Since the lower humidity in the cabin also makes dehydration a cause for concern, make sure to grab water or tea before boarding, and stick with water as the beverage cart rolls around.

Since the lower humidity in the cabin also makes dehydration a cause for concern, make sure to grab water or tea before boarding, and stick with water as the beverage cart rolls around. To further avoid headaches, fatigue, constipation, and other symptoms of poor nutrition and dehydration, skip the free snacks like chips and salted nuts, as well as alcoholic beverages and sodas.

To further avoid headaches, fatigue, constipation, and other symptoms of poor nutrition and dehydration, skip the free snacks like chips and salted nuts, as well as alcoholic beverages and sodas.

Making Healthy Choices at the Hotel

Those who travel for business for two weeks or more per month have higher rates of obesity compared to those who travel less often. Why? Hotels are notorious for carbohydrate-laden breakfast buffets and high-calorie room service options. A little preparation when selecting where you stay can go a long way. Start by choosing a hotel near a grocery store or market and a room that has a mini-fridge. Upon arrival, hit the store and load up on water, produce, and other perishable items that can be stored in the fridge. With healthy, convenient snacks nearby, you’ll control cravings and room service binges.  

As for the breakfast buffet, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, hard-boiled eggs, whole-grain cereal, fruit, and vegetables are your best options. Buffet staples like pancakes, waffles, donuts, and muffins are loaded with simple carbohydrates that dramatically impact your blood sugar, as well as fatty toppings like butter and syrup. As difficult as it may be, the best recommendation to stay healthy while traveling is to pass.

Tips for Eating Out While Traveling

Whether you’re hitting the road for a long getaway, or spending a weekend away from home, you’ll be eating out or exploring the room service menu at some point. Here are a few simple tips as you enjoy the local cuisine:

  • Skip the bread and butter. Filling up on white bread topped with butter is an easy way to down a ton of calories without giving your body any nutrients.

  • Swap fries and other sides for salads and vegetables. The fiber in vegetables and salads will leave you feeling full, and these nutrient-dense sides keep calories in check.

  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side. Many dressings are sneaky sources of calories, sodium, and sugar. Ask for them on the side and use as little as possible.

  • Stick with lean sources of protein. Fish, chicken, and turkey are excellent sources of lean protein. If you can order them grilled or baked, even better.

Take half of your entree to go. This is another opportunity to take advantage of your room’s mini-fridge. Order your entree to be cut in half and store the extra half in your fridge for a meal the next day.

International Travel Considerations

International travel has unique rules due to food safety concerns. Thanks to contaminated water, poor food production practices and food storage conditions, several destinations require extreme precautions. If you’re in an area known for these conditions, avoid tap water.

International travel has unique rules due to food safety concerns. Thanks to contaminated water, poor food production practices and food storage conditions, several destinations require extreme precautions. If you’re in an area known for these conditions, avoid tap water. Bottled water and canned drinks are free of contamination, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria, viruses, and parasites lurking in your drink.

International travel has unique rules due to food safety concerns. Thanks to contaminated water, poor food production practices and food storage conditions, several destinations require extreme precautions. If you’re in an area known for these conditions, avoid tap water. Bottled water and canned drinks are free of contamination, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria, viruses, and parasites lurking in your drink. Additionally, steer clear of raw produce like fruits and veggies, as they too can be contaminated from local water. Pack non-perishables like nuts, canned tuna, and dried fruit, and stick to well-cooked foods and safe food sources for the duration of your trip.  

Bottled water and canned drinks are free of contamination, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria, viruses, and parasites lurking in your drink. International travel has unique rules due to food safety concerns. Thanks to contaminated water, poor food production practices and food storage conditions, several destinations require extreme precautions. If you’re in an area known for these conditions, avoid tap water.

Healthy Supplements Worth Packing

Traveling with supplements is a great way to keep your body functioning properly and ensure you maintain your health. Here are a few suggested supplements and their benefits:

  • Melatonin: Restless on trips? Melatonin is a must. Whether battling jet lag or simply needing help falling asleep, this natural supplement will do the trick.

  • Probiotics: Keep your digestive system in check while you travel thanks to gut-healthy probiotics. Probiotics combat Traveler’s diarrhea and other digestion-related issues.

  • Magnesium: Magnesium helps sore and stiff muscles recover, promotes sleep, and boosts energy. It’s a safe supplement that boasts a variety of benefits.

Liquid I.V.: Hydration is a major concern when traveling. When you need an extra hydration boost, try a beverage high in electrolytes, like Liquid I.V., which helps you hydrate at a rapid pace.

Preparation Is Key for Eating Healthy While Traveling

The best way to stay healthy while traveling is to be informed, and plan ahead. Use the tips above to prepare for your next adventure and make the most of your time away. As always, safe travels!

Stay Hydrated This Summer
With Your
Liquid I.V. Travel Pack!

Includes:

  • 16-pack Original Lemon Lime
  • 16-pack Limited Edition Açai Berry
  • Liquid I.V. Stainless Steel Water Bottle (normally not available for purchase)
  • Liquid I.V. Snapback Hat (normally not available for purchase)

Stay Hydrated This Summer
With Your Liquid I.V. Travel Pack!

Includes:

  • 16-pack Original Lemon Lime
  • 16-pack Limited Edition Açai Berry
  • Liquid I.V. Stainless Steel Water Bottle (normally not available for purchase)
  • Liquid I.V. Snapback Hat (normally not available for purchase)