Integrative Nutrition Blog

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Traveling Made Easy

Dec 13, 2023 | All

Here’s the truth, traveling is not easy when you have food sensitivities. But is it impossible? No. It requires additional planning on your part, but you can successfully travel while sticking to your personalized eating plan.

Here are some tips to help take the burden off of traveling.

Tip 1: Pack Your Own Food

Whether you travel by car, train, or plane, your safest bet when it comes to eating is bringing your own food. When you pack your own meals and snacks, you are not relying on whatever random restaurant or food shop you come across. I’ve found that food options at airports and on the road are limited at best. Here are some tips for each mode of transportation:

Traveling by Plane

Airport food is getting better, but it still very much depends on where you are flying to and from. I always pack either a meal or a bunch of snacks to take with me on the plane. Because you can’t pack ice, I make any perishable foods the night before and store them in my cold bag in the refrigerator. It keeps the food colder for longer so it doesn’t run the risk of spoiling. When I arrive at the airport, I always scope out food options for the way back home if I am landing around a mealtime. I do the same when I land at my destination. As I walk through the terminal, I will actually stop and look at menus to see if there is anything that works for the ride home. If not, I’ll discuss what to do in my next tip.

Traveling by Car

Driving is a little easier because you can pack a cooler and bring plenty of snacks. I also check my route for restaurants, just in case I do want to eat something not homemade. It’s also easier to pack more food for your trip, but more on that in the next tip.

Traveling by Train

Traveling by train isn’t as common in the US but more common in other countries. Trains fall in between planes and cars. You are restricted on space, but not on liquids. I would pack a cold bag with ice to keep your meals cold. I’ve never been on a train that has any food acceptable for either anti-inflammatory, paleo or clean eating. So your best, and probably only, option is to pack your own food.

So whether you travel by plane, car, or train, it’s definitely in your best interest to pack your own food to avoid a food emergency.
Tip 2: Be Mindful of Where You Stay
Before you even think about booking accommodations, consider what your trip looks like in terms of meals. If this is a work trip, where will most of your meals be eaten? Are you on your own for any of your main meals? If this is vacation, what types of food are local to your destination? Will you have access to a grocery store or is it a resort where you don’t leave?
No matter what type of trip I am taking, I always make sure that I have access to a mini fridge and hot water maker, which are pretty standard now at all hotels. The fridge is helpful to keep perishable items, and hot water for making any ready-to-go meals or oatmeal for breakfast.
If you are planning on doing more cooking and renting a home, what types of grocery stores are nearby? Are they walkable if you don’t have a car?

Lastly, what restaurants are near your hotel or home? Are there options for each meal or will you need to be more strategic about packing breakfast and snacks? When I travel for work, I usually don’t rent a car. So I always compare my hotel options to what food is around the area and base my hotel booking on the best option for me.

Finding the right accommodations and the right locations for your nutritional needs might seem a bit over the top, but believe me, it will make your trip or vacation a lot less stressful.
Tip #3: Do Research Ahead of Time
In my last tip, I touched on doing research about restaurants. My final tip for traveling is to do a lot more research on where to eat. I always create a Google document on each city I visit with restaurant options and notes about their menu. In addition, I make dinner reservations so I know I’ve guaranteed a few meals that fit my needs.

In that same document, I’ll list out lunch spots, and breakfast options and think about what activities we are doing that day and what eating spots are around those locations.

The bottom line with traveling and food is to research, plan, and be prepared. If you need more help managing this, please contact me to schedule a free discovery call. You can also get more tips and tricks by following me on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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