HomeNutritionSummer Travels – 10 tips for Healthy Eating on the Move

Summer Travels – 10 tips for Healthy Eating on the Move

When I think of summer, I think of the sea, adventures, sunshine and road trips. Having said that, there is always a challenge that shows up each summer, keeping my healthy habits whilst on the go. Anyone else? Thing is, whether you are flying, driving or sailing, planning your nutrition ahead of travelling can really make a difference, helping you to stay energized throughout your summer adventures.
Let’s start from the basics – Pre-Travel Prep

1. Research your Destination – Get stuck into a travel guide for your destination of choice, and find out about the local restaurants and markets offering the most nutritious options. I am one of those people who gets excited in advance, looking at menus ahead of time so I will always know if I have the option of ordering some veggies as a side to my meal, or if there are plant-based meals, or fresh fish etc…

2. Smart Snacks for the win – We have all stopped on the highway at some point, looking for a snack to keep us going. Or looked for something at the airport or train station am I right? Rarely I have found cheap and healthy options. By all means sometimes you can, it’s like finding a unicorn. Extremely exciting. Nevertheless, my safest choice has always been bringing my own snacks. My favourites? Homemade trailmix, crudites’ or oatcakes with hummus, a piece of fruit or two, a chia pudding or mixed seeds.

3. Keep the hydration going – Dehydration has been associated to a decline in cognitive function. And trust me, you want your focus, attention and memory to be in tip top shape if you have to catch a plane, a train or driving through an unknown country. A golden rule of travelling is making sure you have a reusable bottle with you, ensuring you regularly drink throughout the day. Herbal teas still count, and you can top up hydration levels with refreshing fruits or veggies such as watermelon, cucumber or celery.
Eating on the go

4. Start your day with a balanced breakfast: Get the right fuel in the tank to keep your energy up throughout your adventures! Simple and delicious options providing you with protein and fibre that should be easy to find on the road or in hotels are yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts/seeds, or a veggie packed omelette. Simple and effective.

5. Portable Protein- protein is key to keep your energy up throughout the day, wherever you are. Think about having portable protein sources with you so you can easily add them to meals that may not be as nourishing otherwise: hard boiled eggs, chicken strips or single serving packs of nut butter are all excellent choices.

6. Smart Dining – Eating out tonight? Choose grilled, baked or steamed options rather than fried. And remember you can always ask for modifications if necessary, such as dressing on the side or extra vegetables. I am not a huge fan of complicated premade dressings, so I often just ask to have a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or even just apple cider vinegar) on the side.
Take care of your digestive health

7. Probiotics and gut health- We have all been there. Sometimes the thrill of exploring exotic places can be shortly followed by the less thrilling night on the toilet, courtesy of our previous street food dinner. It happens. Incorporating probiotics before and during your trip (either supplements or through food), can help support your beneficial bacteria during your culinary adventures. Probiotic foods examples are kefir, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. Give it a shot.

8. Exercise to support your gut – Research has suggested that exercise can enrich microflora diversity and enhance the number of beneficial bacteria in our gut. Travelling is a great opportunity to make the most of walks, cycles, swims, hikes and any other type of movement to get you exploring new locations and enjoying your time off, whilst supporting your digestive health.
Safety First

10. Special Requests: Do you have any allergies or specific dietary restrictions? It may be wise to prep in advance and study a few key phrases in the local language, to easily allow you to explain your needs. Make sure to also carry appropriate snacks or meal replacements with you, just in case.

9. Food Safety – Keep an eye out for food safety practices, especially if travelling in areas that may have different sanitation standards. You may want to choose cooked foods over raw, drink bottled water over tap and avoid street food if possible.

Summer travels can be a wonderful time to explore exciting places, create new memories and recharge. With a little planning and some smart choices, you can make sure to still enjoy a nourishing diet and lifestyle, to help you feel great throughout your trip.

Buon Viaggio!

Written by

  • Valentina Cartago

    Valentina is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, trained at The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London. She is a member of both BANT and CNHC. She is based in London where she runs her own practice The Italian Nutritionist, supporting her 1-1 clients and delivering corporate and community talks on various health topics both in person and online. Her background includes Head Nutritionist at LMS Wellness,where she worked alongside functional doctors and Clinical Nutritionist at the Hevolution Global Healthspan in Riyadh. She is fluent in both English and Italian.

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