Don’t let your excitement for a trip be an excuse to let your health and wellness fall by the wayside.
We’ve all been there – traveling to a hotel for the start of a highly anticipated trip that we’ve been waiting weeks, months, or even years to take. You get to the hotel, drop your bags, and as soon as you get settled, your stomach starts to rumble.
Before you pick up the phone next to your bed and order a pizza or some burgers, take a deep breath and slow down. You’re setting the tone for how you’re going to eat for the entire rest of your trip.
Just like it’s important to continue doing hotel room workouts on vacation so that your physical fitness isn’t forgotten on your trip, maintaining a healthy diet while you’re traveling is absolutely key if you want to Getaway Well.
Thankfully, all you have to do is a little bit of extra planning, and your hotel meals can be enjoyable as well as healthy.
Let’s talk about some great ideas on how to eat healthy when staying in a hotel the next time you’re away on a trip.
This is one of the smartest tips that we can give you for meal planning your next hotel stay.
Building a healthy hotel room grocery list not only saves you money that you would spend eating out three times a day, but it also allows you to create a healthy, well-balanced meal plan that will still leave you feeling satisfied and full.
Possibly the biggest factor to consider that applies specifically to hotel rooms is the lack of fridge space you’ll typically have available. While many hotel rooms do offer a mini-fridge in the room (stocks with high-calorie, sugar-heavy snacks), they don’t usually offer a lot of space for storing your food.
Luckily, many of the things that the hotel provides in the mini-fridge don’t need to stay in the fridge. As long as you feel confident that you can pull them out and put them somewhere – and then put them back before you leave, without eating them – you can use their spots to store some of your own refrigerated goodies.
Alternatively, we also suggest bringing a big cooler with you, which you can use to store most or all of your dairy, meats, and cheeses.
Hotels often have ice machines on every floor for the sake of convenience. Although it necessitates a daily reorganizing/draining of your cooler, you can at least rest assured that you’ll likely have access to plenty of free ice to keep your groceries cold.
Designing a healthy hotel room grocery list isn’t hard to do, you just have to put in some thought, choose ingredients that you’ll be able to use on your trip (based on access to cooking equipment), and always meal plan.
Sure, it’s fun to leave a couple of meals open for your trip, so that you can take advantage of local restaurants and cultures of food. But planning your whole trip around randomly eating whatever you feel like at any given time isn’t a recipe for good health.
Many fruits and veggies don’t need to be refrigerated. They can be cut ahead of time, and then packed in containers with water or wrapped in moist paper towels. These tricks will help keep them fresh until you’re ready to eat them.
Nuts and seeds also don’t need to stay cool, and they are a great source of proteins and fats that you can use to fuel all your adventures throughout your trip.
These ingredients are tasty on their own, or as healthy snacks to bring to a hotel (we’ll talk more about that shortly), but they’re also fantastic for creating delicious, hassle-free hotel meals.
Pre-wash some lettuce or spinach, pack some dressing, and you can easily throw together some lunchtime salads or dinner side dishes.
Make use of the hotel’s facilities. Countless hotel chains have a common cooking area outside, where you can access a grill or BBQ. Others may only have a microwave, or they could offer a full-sized stovetop oven, and these are great too.
It’s impossible to plan meals efficiently or create a healthy hotel room grocery list if you don’t know what cooking equipment you’ll be able to access.
Do your research before you go. Your reward will be delicious, home-cooked meals you can make anywhere.
Of course, we can’t always be cooking meals on vacation. Sometimes, there are just not enough hours in the day.
You won’t be left at the mercy of the hotel vending machines when you plan healthy snacks to bring to a hotel room. Just like your meal planning, you need to take snacks into consideration when you’re arranging food for your trip. Make sure you have good quality tupperware for these snacks.
Thankfully, not all good snacks need to be refrigerated. There are plenty of non-refrigerated healthy snacks that you can try – depending on your tastes, or the dietary restrictions you might need to follow.
A major benefit to bringing healthy snacks to a hotel room is that you’ll have them nearby when you’re planning your daily excursions and adventures.
Whether you’re going to be spending some time exploring the area, getting back in touch with nature, or even arranging to attend some local events or attractions, snacks can be a lifesaver.
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re out having fun, and you don’t want to suddenly be left with no choice but to eat some fast food or go hungry. Odds are hunger will win out in the end, and that’s only natural.
So, instead of leaving yourself at the mercy of local snack vendors and your own willpower, plan to bring some healthy snacks with you on your journeys. This way, you’ll always have a healthy way to refuel your body throughout the day.
Of course, if your hotel has a microwave or full oven, this can offer a whole new world of options for healthy hotel meal prep ideas.
Having access to this level of cooking equipment allows you to actually prepare full home-cooked meals before you leave. When you’re flying to a hotel, getting the meals there might be a bit of a challenge, but if you’re taking a road trip to your destination, this is easily the most cost-effective way to eat healthy at your hotel.
Pasta dishes, casseroles, potato or pasta salads, chili, soups, or stews are just a handful of popular health hotel meal prep ideas that will survive the journey, without suffering major quality loss and still give you a healthy, filling meal.
Making all of these meals ahead of time gives you the chance to purchase only the healthiest ingredients, as well as carefully control what you’re eating, including your portion sizes.
It’s great when you visit a restaurant, and when they bring you a massive pile of food on your plate, you feel like you’re getting value for your meal. However, this encourages a dangerous vacation habit that many of us fall into – overeating.
When you’re finding healthy hotel meal prep ideas, make sure that you’re also putting each meal in a single-serving portion container. Then just label the containers, stack them in a cooler, and pack them with ice. That’s it! You’re ready to get moving.
Using this method of meal planning, not only are you eating healthy, home-cooked meals but you’re also guaranteed to avoid some of those classic vacation overindulgences.
Overindulging can wreak havoc on weeks or months of sticking to a healthy diet and morning fitness routine.
Plan for your meals, and you’ll be set to Getaway Well.
We could talk forever about how to eat healthy when staying in a hotel room, but the reality is that you’re still going on vacation.
Most, if not all of us, are going to want to go out at least a handful of times throughout our trip and let loose a little bit. Soak up some of the local sights, sounds, and of course, their food cultures.
Since everyone deserves a cheat meal or cheat day on their diet occasionally, we’ve put together some useful tips for healthy eating out, which you can use on your next hotel stay.
Follow these tips for healthy eating out, and you can still go out and enjoy yourself, without completely neglecting your diet.
In much the same way that you can pre-plan home-cooked meals for your hotel stay, you can also somewhat pre-plan your meal when you’re eating out.
Virtually every restaurant has its menu posted online these days, so take advantage of that. Sit down with your travel companions before you leave and pick out a couple of options that you’re interested in from the menu.
Even if you don’t decide on a single meal that you’re going to enjoy before you leave, you can pick out a couple of healthier options from the menu to decide between once you’re at the restaurant.
This tactic saves you from some of the urge to see or smell something delicious once you’re at the restaurant, and then order that because it seems enticing at the time.
While this can be a fun way to order, it often disregards all health concerns instead of very literally following our guts.
Another tip for healthy eating out is to try and visit types of restaurants that you know are going to have healthy menu options available to you.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to skip places that you know are going to encourage you to make poor dietary choices.
Pub-Grub (burgers, greasy or deep-fried foods, etc.) don’t always have to be unhealthy. There are plenty of healthy homemade burger recipes you can try at home, but how often do you find these types of meals at restaurants? If you said ‘rarely’, you’d be correct.
Pub-style restaurants tend to prioritize high-calorie, rich foods over healthy alternatives. They may have a few health-conscious choices on their menus, but are you going to be able to resist the urge to splurge on something unhealthy?
Only you can answer that question, but we find it easier to avoid pub-style restaurants on trips. It helps encourage us to make healthier choices.
Unless, of course, it’s a cheat day. Then all bets are off, and we’ll be getting the bacon cheeseburger.
Instead of snacking all day, and then going out for a big dinner, try grabbing a bite out earlier in the day.
Many restaurants offer a half-sized menu for their lunch crowd. They know most people don’t want to eat a huge, heavy meal in the middle of the day.
Half-sandwiches, soups, and salads are commonly part of these lunch menus. This immediately encourages you to make healthier choices than you would when the same restaurant pushes two-pound entrees for dinner.
If you have a chance before your trip, take a look through both the lunch and dinner menus of any restaurants around the hotel that you might be interested in visiting.
This will allow you to plan strategically about how you want to eat throughout your trip, and it’ll take some of the stress off of you having to worry about what and where you’re going to eat each day.
You can spend the additional time you’ll save living your best life.
As you can see, preparation is absolutely key for healthy eating on vacation.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel room, or you need some healthy camping meals, eating healthy on vacation always benefits you, no matter where your journey takes you. Make sure you always travel with easy and convenient travel utensils.
As long as you start thinking about your food as more than just flavor, and start treating it as fuel for your adventures, you can truly start to Getaway Well.