Traveling can be a lot of fun.
Beautiful places to see, new people to meet, and exciting adventures to be had.
Yet, if you have any food allergies or eat a certain type of way, traveling can also be a bit of a challenge. Finding healthy or dietary friendly foods can be hard to do. With just a little planning ahead though, it can be done.
I’m not a well-seasoned traveler by any means. My bucket list of places to see is still VERY long. Yet, through some trial and errors, I’ve learned some tips and tricks on how to not only enjoy a great vacation, but how to enjoy it and stay true to my healthy roots.
Plan Ahead – Set Up a Food Game Plan
Over the past couple years, as my diet has changed and as our traveling opportunities has increased, my husband has learned at least one thing.
I will have Food Game Plan all ready to go the moment we hit the tarmac.
Planning ahead, for me, takes a lot of the guessing game and frustration out of visiting a new place.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for spontaneity and enjoying the ride. I don’t like to plan out our actual day to day activities for that very reason. We like to venture out into the unknown and just see where the roads take us. Yet, they don’t always take us to healthy food options, so that’s where I like to be prepared.
Spend Some Quality Time with Google
Google and I have become very good friends. It’s amazing how much information you can get by just typing in a few simple words and location.
With pen and paper in hand (yes, I’m old school like that), I will sit down at my computer a few weeks before we leave and make notes of grocery stores, coffee shops (I love finding local roasters), and interesting restaurants we will want to check out.
Google Maps allows you to save places and their locations. This is great because it allows me to just pull maps up on my phone and I can see which places I saved and if they are close by. You can also create specific maps that you can save with routes, directions, and time frames.
This is one I’m working on for an upcoming trip to Utah.
I’ve also been able to just search words like ‘Coffee shops Utah‘ and get maps like this! Not only do you get to find cool places to stop, but you can read some of the reviews to find out more information about them.
First Stop – The Grocery Store
Depending on what time our flight gets in, our first major stop, after picking up the rental car, is finding a grocery store. Whether it be fresh fruit & veggies, liquids or cold items, this is a great way to stock up on things that we will need for our trip. It also saves us some money by not having to buy it at gift shops or gas stations.
What Do I Buy
I won’t take a lot of time with this part, but I basically stock up on anything organic I can find. Fruits, veggies, and healthy snacks. I will also always pick up a travel pack of Silk Almond Milk. Even though I like to visit local coffee shops, I’m never sure if they will have non-dairy creamer available, so having the almond milk on hand is always nice.
We will also grab a cheap styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice to keep all the cold items, well, cold.
I don’t really plan any major meals beyond possible sandwiches here or there because we do like to venture out and find fun, local places to eat.
Find Local, Healthy Places to Eat
These days it seems like there are more and more small, unique places to eat popping up all over the place. Ones that are focusing on local, sustainable, and organic foods. This is a BIG deal for me. Not only do I love eating healthy, but I LOVE finding places to eat that are based on a passion for good food.
First let me say, when doing research, be careful what Google considers healthy. When doing my research for our Utah trip I typed in ‘healthy restaurants Utah‘ and this is what I got.
I don’t know about you, but these are not what I consider healthy.
Try to be more specific. Like ‘vegan’ or ‘gluten-free’. That will help narrow it down for you.
Another great resource is Instagram. Yup. I have searched different hashtags and have found some really cool places. Ones I may have never found otherwise.
Beyond All That – Have Fun
Yes, I am a foodie planner. Part of planning out all of this stuff is fun for me. Finding off the beaten road places or places I would have never known to look for is part of the whole experience for me.
Yet, like I said at the beginning, leave room for spontaneity and adventure.
See a sign that says ‘local, grass-fed burgers‘ and it’s not on your list.. stop anyway. Talk to the owners, taste the flavors around you.
Indulge a little or a lot.
In the end.. you’re traveling.. you’re on vacation.. have fun!
How About You?
Do you have any special tricks of the trade or tips on how you find healthy places to eat while you’re traveling? Leave me a comment and let me know.