You know the feeling. You finally get into the car with everything packed (and you didn't forget the phone charger!) or onto the plane juuuust in time after racing through the airport to make it to the gate... and you're HONGRY.
Airport food courts, in-flight meals, and gas station snacks leave us very few options for eating clean, real food. And travel can be stressful! (At least the getting-there part.) So all the more reason to put a little prep work in before you leave to make it easy to fuel yourself with real, nutritious food on your journey.
A few tips before you go:
- Fuel your body well in the days before and the morning of travel. Eat lots of immune-boosting items in the days leading up to travel, and lots of healthy fat just before you leave to keep you feeling full.
- Plan the amount of snacks to pack according to how long your actual road/flight trip is, plus a little extra for settling in once you get to the hotel, etc. You don't want to be freaking-out hungry once you actually get to a restaurant or store, or else you'll be more likely to make quick and poor decisions.
- Pack the extras: plastic or bamboo utensils, napkins, an extra baggie for trash.
- Consider taking a small insulated lunch bag for your snacks. You can transfer them to a hotel fridge or even a hotel ice-bucket when you get there for longer storage. On road trips, pack a cooler!
- Hydrate - especially for plane travel - early and often. Who cares if you have to get up to pee a lot, you'll get to move your legs!
Check out this list - My 16 trusted travel snacks (that have all made it through security!)
(Note: I am not an affiliate for anything listed here with a brand name; I just like these particular brands. You can find others that work as well!)
1. Dried Mango Slices. Like candy! Check the label for only mango - no added sulfites or sugar.
2. Macadamia nuts and coconut flakes. My favorite simple mix, full of healthy fats.
3. Salad in a mason jar. I like to prep a little salad of kale and whatever greens you have on-hand, with a simple dressing like my sesame-ginger dressing. Plus, you'll have your mason jar when you get there to use for drinking! #havemasonjarwilltravel
4. Fermented Kraut. This is a DO-NOT-OPEN in the plane or car item! But so necessary for me to feel like I'm keeping my immune system running well on trips. I don't mind leaving mine unrefrigerated for a day or two, until I get to a fridge.
5. Bare Snacks Apple Chips. These are crunchy and ridiculously good, and most flavors are only one ingredient - organic apples! The green apple variety is a Sugar Detox approved item!
6. Gone Nuts nut blends. My favorite is the garlic/rosemary flavor - tastes like Thanksgiving. Only real food ingredients!
7. Hardboiled eggs. Eggs are pretty much a superfood in my eyes. This one might be another DO-NOT-OPEN in confined spaces snack, but I love to have these for when you arrive.
8. Snap peas & carrots. Because, veggies.
9. Artisana Nut Butters. Raw delicious nut butters in single serving packets - Walnut, Macadamia, Cashew, Almond, and my favorite - Coconut Butter! Eat them with your carrots or straight outta the packet.
10. Kali Parmesan Crisps. Perfect crunchy snack; best served with #13 below.
11. Krave Beef and Turkey Jerky. From Pasture-raised animals.
12. 85% Dark Chocolate. Find a quality, 2-3 ingredient chocolate like this Alter-Eco 85% dark. Half-a bar contains only 5 grams of sugar.
13. Salami & pepperoni slices. Yummy protein! Look for a brand like Applegate or an artisan batch from a local farmer to ensure humane animal treatment, as well as only real ingredients like no added preservatives.
14. Hail Merry's Macaroons. Pretty low sugar in most flavors. So yummy.
15. Apple. A vehicle for your nut butters.
16. Fish in a Tin. Possibly a DO-NOT-OPEN on the plane item, but then again, if it was a long flight, I wouldn't hesitate to open it while people are eating their preservative-laden weird smelling food trays. Favorites, in order of least-fishy-smelling to most: Baby clams, kipper snacks, smoked oysters, salmon, sardines in tomato sauce, tuna. Make sure your tin can be opened without a can-opener!
Once You Arrive
If you're staying anywhere for a few days or more, scout out the locations of the nearest health-food store or Whole Foods. Look for local Farmer's Markets. Google "paleo" "grass-fed" "craft" and "health-food" restaurants to find the best options for eating out.
Finally, enjoy it! If you are on a business trip or a frequent business traveler, using these tips will help you feel more empowered as you stay on track no matter where you are.
But if you're on vacation, let go a little! Enjoy yourself without freaking out about food rules! When I travel I love nothing more than to have my sauerkraut in the mini-fridge, a green drink for breakfast, and still eat fairly clean at most meals... but I will also not hesitate to lick the bowl clean on a sea-salt carmel budino at the hot new craft restaurant. (that happened.)