Wanderlust Wellness: Maintaining a Healthy Diet While Traveling

By Robert C. L.

As a frequent traveler, I’ve learned a key tip from dietitian Jane: “Packing nutritious snacks ahead of time is vital for maintaining a healthy diet while on trips.”

From personal experience, I used to indulge in vacation treats that derailed my healthy habits.

But after some trial and error, I’ve found ways to stick to nutritious eating while exploring new places.

I always bring healthy snacks like trail mix, protein bars, and nut butters in my bag.

That way, I have good options if I can’t find a healthy restaurant.

I also ask for sauces and dressings on the side when eating out.

With some planning and flexibility, you can enjoy new cuisines and maintain a balanced diet on the road.

Who’s ready to keep healthy habits while traveling? There’s so much to learn!


Maitaining a healthy diet while traveling, what to know?

Prioritize whole foods and balanced meals to stay energized and nourished while traveling. 

Plan ahead, pack nutritious snacks, and explore local markets for fresh, healthy options on the go. (1)

Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

YouTube video

Source: Matt D’Avella

Stick to Regular Mealtimes

One of the TRICKIEST parts of HEALTHY EATING while traveling is maintaining a normal eating SCHEDULE.

However, it is one of the most critical.

As a fellow digital nomad, I find that people who SKIP MEALS are more likely… 

… to binge on FAST FOOD or make poor FOOD CHOICES out of hunger or impulse.

Plan ahead by identifying ideal meal times around your daily itinerary.

Pack simple, portable breakfasts and snacks so you aren’t RELIANT on…

… just whatever food options you come across.

Pack Healthy Snacks

In addition to regular meals, BRING NUTRITIOUS SNACKS like fresh or dried FRUITS…

… AND VEGETABLES, unsalted NUTS, protein bars, and single-serving nuts or seeds.

They provide lasting energy and keep you feeling FULL between meals.

I also recommend packing HEALTHY DIY SNACK KITS with small bags…

… or containers of ingredients like homemade…

… GRANOLA, hummus with veggies, yogurt and berries that travel easily.

Staying hydrated is also important, so fill reusable water bottles before setting out each day.

Rather than convenience, make HEALTH and NUTRITION the top PRIORITY…

… when choosing what to EAT while traveling.

Small adjustments can make a BIG difference to your well-being and enjoyment.

Stay Hydrated

Maintaining a Healthy Diet While Traveling

As a frequent business traveler, I’ve learned that staying HYDRATED is critical yet…

… challenging while on the GO.

Dehydration can easily set in given the VARIATION IN CLIMATES and LEVEL OF ACTIVITY during trips.

I make sure to pack a REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE…

… and fill it at the LOCAL GROCERY STORE before setting out each day.

Hotels charge insane prices per bottle, so this saves money too.

I also opt for WATER-RICH FOODS like fresh fruit to aid hydration.

Mindful Eating

Taking time to properly savor your food has mental AND physical benefits while traveling.

In busy hotel rooms or unfamiliar places, it’s easy to MINDLESSLY OVEREAT due to stress or lack of routine.

I practice MINDFUL EATING techniques like sitting down…

… to eat without devices, listening to hunger/fullness cues, and eating…

… at a LEISURELY PACE while paying attention to tastes, textures.

Portioning out single-serving snacks from my own TRAIL MIX or granola bars…

… further helps me MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT regardless of surrounding TEMPTATIONS.

Technology Assistance

While traveling, TECHNOLOGY can help you FIND HEALTHY options…

… near your location that FIT YOUR DIET.

Apps like Yelp provide reviews of LOCAL RESTAURANTS filtering…

… for keywords like “gluten-free” or “paleo”.

Google Maps allows seamless EXPLORATION OF CUISINE from different cultures in your destination.

I used these on a ROAD TRIP to California and easily found fresh, delicious places…

… aligned with my nutritional needs each day.

For long flights, the FlightAware app helps predict potential DELAYS…

… to better time your IN-FLIGHT SNACKS and MEALS.

Combatting Jet Lag

JET LAG from time zone changes can negatively impact your travel and diet.

I’ve found that including LEAN PROTEINS, FRESH PRODUCE and…

… COMPLEX CARBS with my pre-flight and first few meals helps minimize symptoms.

For example, prepared GREEK YORKURT PARFAITS with nut butter…

… and fruit provide filling SATIETY to aid restful sleep on red-eye flights.

Staying well HYDRATED is too important – I bring a refillable water bottle and…

… FLAVOR IT WITH lemon or mint to encourage drinking.

Melatonin supplements and avoiding screens before bed also help reset…

… my circadian rhythm faster in a new destination.

Starting your trip nourished sets the stage for fully enjoying your VACATION…

… without the groggy fog of jet lag putting a damper on healthy habits.

Pre-planning Before Travel

Maintaining a Healthy Diet While Traveling 2

As a fellow digital nomad, I stress the importance of PREPARATION…

… when it comes to healthy eating while traveling. (2)

When packing nutritious FOODS WITH CARE like FRESH FRUITS…

… AND VEGETABLES, choose options that don’t easily SPOIL and…

… are light to CARRY like bananas, apples, baby carrots.

I recommend bringing a PACKED COOLER with frozen WATER BOTTLES…

… to keep items like hard-boiled EGGS, nuts and seeds fresher longer.

Ensure all items are sealed TIGHTLY to prevent leaks.

This allows me to feel good about the choices available in my bag…

… regardless of what local grocery or airport stores offer.

Making Smart Food Choices

When dining OUT, I tend to choose restaurants advertising LOCAL CUISINE…

… and farm-to-table options indicative of FRESH INGREDIENTS.

Menus with clear nutritional data are also useful.

When that’s lacking, I look out for wording implying…

… HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVES – grilled protein over fried, soups and salads…

… incorporating WHOLE GRAINS and VEGETABLES.

When in doubt, ask servers knowledgeable suggestions for…

… low-sodium, gluten-free or other special requests.

Portioning snacks from my cooler into the meal also helps achieve…

… a BALANCED DIET traveling anywhere in the world.

Advance preparation pays off!

Utilizing Local Markets

When traveling, exploring the LOCAL GROCERY STORE or FARMER’S MARKET…

… is a rewarding way to experience REGIONAL SPECIALTIES…

… and find FRESH PRODUCE essential for healthy meals.

Not only do local markets give you a TASTE OF AUTHENTIC DISHES, but ingredients…

… are often cheaper than chain stores and support surrounding SMALL FARMS.

While in Mexico, I enjoyed ingredients like jicama and chayote squash that…

… I incorporated into SALADS back at the rental home.

Look for low-sodium varieties of canned beans and fish too if cooking yourself.

Eating THIS WAY exposed me to new FLAVOR PROFILES and satisfied my diet.

Prioritizing Protein

As a frequent traveler, I always PRIORITIZE getting HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN…

… to aid MUSCLE REPAIR from hauling my luggage and MENTAL CLARITY during busy trips.

Hard-boiled EGGS packed with the shells intact are perfect for breakfast or snacks on the go.

I also like GRAIN CRACKERS paired with nut butters…

… like almond or sunflower butter which are RICH IN GOOD FATS, vitamins and minerals too.

Pre-portioning food into bags ensures easy GRAB-AND-GO options when time is LIMITED.

For sit-down meals, opting vegetarian or fish when possible provides…

… beneficial plant compounds or OMEGA-3S too without the heaviness that red meat sometimes brings.

Mindful Indulgence

Maintaining a Healthy Diet While Traveling 3

While traveling presents many temptations, it’s possible to EAT INDULGENTLY…

… without derailing completely from good nutrition habits.

As a digital nomad, I practice MODERATION and seek BALANCE as opposed…

… to depriving myself entirely from special treats outdoors.

Before giving in to CRAVINGS, I “check in” with my body’s needs – am I truly hungry or thirsty? 

If indulging, I portion a SMALL AMOUNT and commit to nutritious choices at the next meal or snack.

Opting for THINGS LIKE gelato or a single serving of fries paired with water still hits the spot!

I also enjoy cooking in my HOTEL ROOM with wholesome ingredients, like pre-portioned…

… NUT BUTTER and dried fruits mixed into TRAIL MIX.

Foraging the LOCAL GROCERY STORE broadens options.

Ultimately, I feel best staying HYDRATED and nourished most of the time, rather…

… than being extremely restrictive which isn’t sustainable long-term.

The key is BALANCING your choices and LISTENING TO YOUR BODY’S SIGNALS rather than impulse.

That way your diet supports well-being and enjoyment of every experience travel brings!

Fitness and Wellness Tips While Traveling

Incorporating Physical Activity

Making time to MOVE YOUR BODY is especially important when your SCHEDULE is disrupted.

I love exploring destinations through WALKING versus car/taxi, which lets me…

… experience neighborhoods up close.

Hotel GYMS offer cardio machines and weights to maintain routine.

If they’re unavailable, check community centers or download WORKOUT VIDEOS…

… to follow along to in your room.

Even a 30-minute walk each day aids circulation when your body adjusts to new TIMEZONES.

Managing Jet Lag and Fatigue

Combat JET LAG through staying HYDRATED, limiting CAFFEINE…

… after midday, and EXPOSURE TO NATURAL LIGHT in your destination during prime daylight hours.

Gentle exercise like yoga or walking eases your body into the…

… new schedule, as does avoiding HEAVY MEALS before bed.


… throughout the day keeps my ENERGY STABLE on trips.

With self-care, you can explore destinations feeling REFRESHED.

Overall Wellness on the Road

When traveling constantly, remember that WELLNESS depends on…

… BALANCE across areas like NUTRITION, EXERCISE, SLEEP, and downtime.

I pack EASY-TO-PREPARE HEALTHY FOODS, schedule fitness into…

… each itinerary, and protect sufficient REST.

Multi-tasking wellness into trips ensures I return from adventures…

… FEELING REJUVENATED rather than run-down.

Your body and mind will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I eat healthy while traveling?

There are several tips for eating healthy while traveling.

Some ideas include choosing dried fruit, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter or greek yogurt…

… as snacks that do not need refrigeration.

You can also pack snacks from home like these to enjoy during your trip.

Be sure to seek out grocery stores to purchase lean protein, healthy snacks and…

… ingredients to make your own meals while on the road.

What are some tips for eating well when traveling for work?

When traveling for work, it’s important to stay on track with your regular eating habits and choices.

Be sure to plan ahead by packing healthy breakfast options…

… like hard boiled eggs or non-perishable snacks like trail mix.

You can also look up grocery stores near your destination ahead of time…

… to find healthy food options and prepare some meals.

Staying hydrated with water and portion control at meals are also good tips to help you stay healthy.

How can I enjoy my vacation while still eating healthy?

You can still enjoy your vacation and eat healthy at the same time with some planning.

Pack snacks like dried fruit, nuts or peanut butter to enjoy throughout the day.

Look for grocery stores to pick up ingredients for meals during your trip as well as lean protein options.

Don’t forget to watch your portion sizes at meals so you don’t over indulge.

It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes too, so enjoy local cuisine in moderation.

Staying hydrated with water will also help you feel full during meals.

Should I change my eating habits while traveling?

Mostly, try to maintain your regular eating habits and food choices as much as possible when traveling.

Things like eating breakfast, choosing from all the major food groups…

… including lean protein and vegetables, and watching your portion sizes…

… will keep you feeling full and healthy.

Where possible, seek out grocery stores to purchase ingredients to make some meals yourself.

It’s also fine to occasionally indulge in local flavors, just do so in moderation.

Staying hydrated is very important too when traveling.

The goal is to enjoy your trip while still eating well overall.


In conclusion, maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle does not need…

… to be compromised while traveling.

As an experienced traveler, I’ve found that ADVANCE PLANNING, UTILIZING…

… LOCAL RESOURCES, and listening to your body’s needs…

… are pivotal for enjoying NEW PLACES without derailing important habits.

From curating nourishing snacks to exploring methods of staying active…

… and combatting jet lag, the strategies discussed here form…

… a solid foundation for anyone seeking to see the world while prioritizing their WELL-BEING.

Please feel encouraged to visit my website or LEAVE A COMMENT below…

… if you have other tried tips for approaching travel with…

… a commitment to nourishment, restfulness and joyous discovery.

Wishing you many safe, fulfilling adventures!


  1. https://www.novanthealth.org/healthy-headlines/8-dietitian-approved-tips-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling
  2. https://www.eatright.org/food/planning/away-from-home/quick-guide-to-eating-right-while-traveling-in-the-us

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