Of course, I’m going to stick behind my tips of carrying healthy snacks (apples and almonds are my favorites) and never showing up to an airport hungry, but there are other ways to plan your entire trip with the goal of eating well the whole time. And I mean well like indulgent, fresh, savory, and delicious, as well as fresh, local, and healthy.
Staying in hotels severely limits your food choices to the continental breakfast and the hotel bar, and while there are some great hotels with some amazing restaurants, you still won’t have much control over what you have to choose from.
Instead, and I’ve done this a few times with great success, consider a vacation rental (where you basically rent someone’s open house, apartment, condo, or room) and get full access to a kitchen. This way, you can balance your dining out experiences with some at-home health kicks. Don’t think of it as missing out on buying food somewhere; think of it as a great way to eat like a local.
Just for fun, and to get you started, here are some ideas for taking food matters into your own hands while you’re thousands of miles from home.
Break the Fast | Green Smoothie
If you have access to a blender (or want to pack your Magic Bullet, which I am not above doing at all), smoothies are great ways to get a healthy jumpstart on the day without compromising with quick and easily accessible muffins and pastries.
My favorite power juice is a green juice, and is literally this easy:
- Kale (about a handful)
- 1 apple or a handful of blueberries (pictured here)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 8 oz milk of choice
Layer the kale, fuit, and chia seeds. Top with milk. Blend until smooth, and add ice if you’d like.
Lunchtime | Keep it Light
For lunch, make it easy to make a salad or a wrap. If you have to buy things already chopped and ready to throw together, go for it! Make it as simple as you can. Otherwise, carve out about an hour or so of your time upon arrival to chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives for an easy Greek salad. Or, layer turkey breast and spinach on a wrap with hummus and/or olive oil, salt, and pepper for a wrap you can stash in your bag and take with you.
Dinner | Bring Local Goodness to You
The whole reason I started this blog was because I was traveling a lot, and the best part of traveling for me was the food. You can tell a lot about a place by its relationship to food, and it’s so fun and delicious to seek out the things that that place is known for.
Take Napa for instance. Obviously, Napa’s known for world-class wines, and as I learned when I visited last summer, it’s also a prime growing spot for olives (olive oil!), Meyer Lemons, and fruit and nut orchards. Even if wine is the shining star of its agricultural focus, the food scene there is fresh and vibrant. Starting in May, you can browse the Napa Farmers Market for fresh and local goodness. Pick one night of your visit, grab the bounty of the harvest and a [few] bottle[s] of local wines, and make a night of staying in and cooking and drinking fresh and local favorites.
Obviously, this works well wherever you’re traveling. Start with this list of Foodie Destinations, find the local farmers’ market, grab your morning juice and lunchtime staples, and plan a dinner around the region’s best and freshest offerings. FlipKey’s properties around the world (including here in Oregon!) come with a full kitchen which allows travelers to cook and eat like a local during their visit.
And when you do, call me? Because this sounds like a dream vacation.