How to Eat Healthy When Travelling

Easy hacks to help you eat (and drink) better when you’re away from home

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Nuts and dried fruit

When you travel, you’re exploring new lands, sights, smells, sounds and tastes – it’s a multi-sensory journey. There’s nothing quite like eating fresh hummus in Tel Aviv, a pastel de nata in Lisbon or a pasty in Cornwall…

Eating plays a big part in travelling, and as much as you want to enjoy the local delicacies, it doesn’t mean that your well-developed healthy eating habits have to be derailed completely. Here are some tips from us here at Plum Guide on how to eat healthy when travelling abroad or away from home… Trust us, your digestive system will thank you for it (and your wallet will too).

Pack a reusable coffee cup and water bottle

Keep a reusable water bottle to hand while you travel and you’re not only likely to drink more (it’s a great visual reminder to take another sip), but it’ll also stop you needing to buy wasteful plastic bottles while you’re out. Bonus points. Most public places have water fountains and restaurants, and coffee shops fill up bottles for free, so there's no excuse. A lot of places offer discounts to those who use their own coffee cup too, so you’ll be saving the environment as well as a few pounds.

Bring your own plane meal

If you’re getting on a plane, a train or some other mode of transport to reach your destination, to stop yourself from loading up on too many awful high-salt foods that are usually served up, why not bring your own porridge or soup cup – all the flight or train attendant will need to do is fill it with some hot water and you’re good to go. Or, for something simpler, make or buy a healthy sandwich or salad ahead of the journey and eat it when you’re feeling hungry. You might also want to pack a few snacks like rice cakes, nuts and seeds, energy bars and dried or fresh fruit like an apple – an easy way to eat healthy when travelling.

Book a nice place with a kitchen

You’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen somewhere to stay that’s fit for the destination and your needs – whether that’s a bed in the city centre, an apartment fit for a family of four or even a home with a four-poster bed.

Take advantage of the well-equipped kitchen in your abode to pull together a quick packed lunch if you’re heading out sightseeing for the day, or to quickly rustle up a healthy breakfast before you go. This will not only save you spending money on overpriced but underwhelming meal options when you’re out, but they're a good way to make sure you’re not just fuelling yourself with indulgences from morning to midnight.

Scope out the healthy spots

Before you travel or on the journey there, why not do some research to find your nearest healthy food options or best local grocery store near your Plum Guide home? Perhaps ‘pin’ them on Google Maps or keep a list handy on your phone so finding the nutritious stuff will be easy when you arrive at your destination.

Head to the local supermarket

Not only is it rather thrilling to browse foreign aisles to hunt down the weird and wonderful things that locals eat – but it’s also a fun way to learn a new language and rub shoulders with the locals up the wrong way. Towards the end of your trip, the supermarket is also a good place to find souvenirs to bring home for colleagues and family. (Well, the ones you don't really like…)

Opt to stay at a Plum Guide home just a short walk away from your nearest supermarket, and once you've arrived, head out to pick up a few basics like bread, butter, fruit and cheese to see you through breakfast and a picnic (and a trolley full of other things you definitely don't need too).

Eat mindfully

When you’re eating out, a clever hack is to try and make sure at least half of your plate is loaded with vegetables. (No excuses, it can be done.) When you order a burger, for example, you could ask to replace the bun for salad or another side like grilled vegetables. An easy way to make sure you don’t overeat is to avoid buffets at all costs. Experiencing local cuisine should be a great experience, so make sure to savour it whilst being mindful of what makes you feel healthy too.

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