Food is an essential part of every traveler’s sojourn. Whether you’re out on a business trip or taking a much-needed vacation from your mundane lives, you wouldn’t want to miss out on local cuisines and restaurants, as much as you wouldn’t want to spare popular locations on your destination. That being said, you need to exercise a greater caution about what you eat when you’re on the go, for your knowledge of food in a foreign land is limited to the reviews on a travel website or heresy from a peer who might have been there before you.
I’ve packed all the essential travel eating tips and hacks in here – because an upset stomach is the last thing you’d want to have when you’re out.
Prepare a Food Itinerary
Planning and streamlining your meals is an essential part of planning your trips. Not only do you end up saving a lot of precious time otherwise spent in scrutinizing restaurants and eateries, but you also lay the groundwork for a balance between healthy and cheat meals. Get to know the variety of food choices available and take a conscious decision based on your tastes and preferences. A food itinerary will allow you to enjoy the food of the land you’re visiting in an organized and planned manner.
BYOS – Bring Your Own Snack
Airline food is notorious for a reason. While on the plane, your food platter could have questionable results on your stomach. A very healthy and convenient way to stick to your meal schedules and avoid satiating random hunger pangs is carrying your own snack. Fresh fruits, salads with minimal dressing, nuts, dry fruits such as almonds, pistachios and dried apricot, wholegrain toasts, celery sticks, carrots, oatmeal and low-sugar cereals are a few food varieties you can conveniently carry in zip pouches. They would do well to help subdue untimely bouts of hunger and craving. It could also help prevent you from snatching a candy bar or a bag of chips from over-the-counter during transits.
Once you are on ground zero, make sure to take up lodging in places where you have proximity to fresh food and restaurants nearby.
Start Your Day with a Wholesome Breakfast
Some of the travel plans are so ad-hoc that the only thing you can be sure of is a having a healthy breakfast before you set out for the day. Opt for a protein and energy-rich breakfast such as fresh fruits, a boiled egg, and a bowl of cereal with hot water or milk. Follow a perfect breakfast routine with an on-time lunch and dinner. This is especially worth mentioning because the excitement of being on a trip might make us lose our appetites one moment and make us ravenous the next.
Check Where You Eat
Eating out in restaurants when traveling is a ball game of its own. Opt for independent cafes and restaurants rather than elegant hotels and fast-food chains. For one, most of the fast-food chains serve more or less the same calorific meal that you can find at every corner in your hometown. Secondly, restaurants owned by locals offer you an insight into their traditional tastes, in a local setting and ambiance. These restaurants would be more than happy to suggest dishes to suit your choice.
Order food in moderate portions to savor each bite rather than battling to finish it towards the end. Substitute oily side dishes such as fries with stir-fried veggies or salad. Avoid creamy desserts after a heavy meal and if you have the pleasure of dining with a companion, consider sharing the dessert rather than gorging an entire pastry on an already full stomach.
To be safe, try insisting on your food being served fresh. A sure way to ensure that without asking the waiter, is to simply look out for popular crowd-pulling restaurants. TripAdvisor could help you out in there.
Bonus Tip: Carry your water bottle with you and refill it from the hotel before you set out for the day. If your supply is down, try getting a bottle in a kiosk, rather than filling it up from obscure taps. Gulping down lots of water will help you steer clear of aerated and sweetened drinks that often leave you bloated. Avoid risking it out at road-side stalls that sell fast food.
Lastly, avoid binge eating at all costs. That insanely laden burger in front of you might look quite promising, but it isn’t advisable when you had a lot of greasy food all through the day.
Taking care of what you eat while traveling helps you steer clear of health issues, enjoy all aspects of the trip, and come back home refreshed – with a stack full of memorable stories to recall for days to come.