Summer is almost here! Longer days, busier schedules, and maybe some big trips planned for vacation! Either way, most people are busier during the summer, or traveling a whole lot more and this could make things challenging when it comes to sticking to your diet and/or healthy eating.
As I write this piece, I am sitting in a hotel room next to my mini fridge and travel cooler packed full of food! Personally, I travel A LOT for work and for pleasure, and even more so in the summer. But, I will manage to stick to my diet for the most part. Sure, it may not sound possible (or fun), but with these tips and a little practice, the daunting task becomes totally manageable!
First, know your requirements
I don’t really mean your exact macros here (though that might be your jam). What do you typically consume in a day? How long is your trip? From there, it’s simple arithmetic! Multiply the number of meals you need in a day by the number of days you’ll be on the road. Make sure to factor in meals that you might like to eat out on your trip by subtracting those meals. Perhaps it is dinner with coworkers or the best taco spot on the beach during vacation. I try to pack just enough, not extra because I hate throwing out food!
Second, prepping the food
Here’s the tip I found most useful and the best time saver. When you’re cooking meals for yourself, friends, or family, just make plenty extra for your upcoming travel commitments. This way, you don’t have to set aside an entire day of pre-cooking meals! It only adds a few extra minutes and doesn’t generate any extra dishes. It’s really that simple. Then, you just need to make sure you have enough travel containers to pack the food in!
Third, packing the food for travel
Make sure your cooler or insulated bag is big enough! Don’t have one, you’ll need to get one. I personally use a combination of an insulated luggage cooler bag and an old school cooler. If my travel day is just a car ride, then it’s the cooler. If it involves a flight, I freeze the meals the day before in plastic bags and then place them in the luggage cooler bag and take them as a carry on for the flight. This is never an issue with security (they typically search the bag and then look at me with a funny face, but it always passes). You can ensure the food stays cold by adding in frozen water bottles to your luggage cooler bag (also not an issue as a carry on as long as it’s totally frozen).
Fourth, the hotel
By the time you get to your hotel, your food should still undoubtedly be cold. But, sometimes a mini fridge won’t cut it! Start off by jamming your mini fridge full of your food and maxing it out! Second, get ice for your cooler and store the food in there. Don’t want to deal with ice and your cooler? No worries – the hotel will accommodate – just ask! They’ll either give you another mini fridge, or store it in their refrigerator. Again, you might get a funny look but they always oblige.
Fifth, have a back-up plan
1.) Pack Supplements – NutraBio travel packs are a life-saver here. I always have travel protein powder on hand and ready to go. This makes a great meal to hold you over on a flight.
2.) Use meal prep companies – you can find and buy them on the road or buy before you go. Only downside, they are a bit more expensive and may not exactly meet your dietary needs.
3.) Research restaurant options – there may be more healthy dine-out options than you think! If you ask, most restaurants will be able to accommodate your dietary needs. I personally like Zoe’s Kitchen, Mission BBQ, Whole Foods, and MOD pizza, but there are plenty more you can MAKE work!
There you have it. With these travel tips, sticking to your diet and nutrition while on the road should be simpler than ever before!