When you're on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is being hungry or not knowing what to eat. Be prepared with these destination snacking tips!
Snacking on Vacation
When you’re on vacation, try to keep the same eating schedule you have when you’re at home, but give yourself permission to relax the rules a little bit—after all, you’re on vacation! One approach might be to start with a healthy, energizing breakfast such as oatmeal, whole-grain toast and fresh fruit (they’ll give you energy for sightseeing and strenuous activities, like hiking), then allow for a treat at lunch or in the afternoon.
Keep a water bottle within reach—often, thirst is mistaken for hunger and you can keep pangs at bay just by staying hydrated.
If you’re planning hikes or long walks, take along some trail mix to keep energy levels up until lunch. Make your own mix by blending whole nuts (peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds) with dried fruit (raisins or cranberries) and a small amount of chocolate chips.
Limit alcohol consumption. There’s a ton of empty calories in cocktails. Instead, sip fruit juices laced with club soda and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Headed to the beach? The night before your excursion, throw several plastic bottles of water or low-calorie sports drinks into the freezer. Then, as you pack the cooler in the morning, use the water bottles as the “ice” for keeping the cooler cold. Those bottles do double duty—not only do they keep the sandwiches at a safe temperature (and rule out wet, soggy snacks!), but as they thaw, they can serve as your go-to drink for staying hydrated!
We love to try new foods when traveling in different cities, so for between meal snacks, go to a market or grocery store and seek out regional fruits and vegetables that you’re unfamiliar with and give them a try! Not only will you experience eating like a local, but odds are good that you’ll also keep caloric intake down a bit—we tend to nibble more cautiously on unfamiliar flavors than we do when eating things that we’re accustomed to.
Eating out is inevitable on vacation, but to help keep the day’s calorie intake reasonable (and keep meal costs in line), book a hotel room with a mini kitchen so you can “make” breakfast and snacks each day in your room. Plan a trip to a local grocery store upon arrival (or bring food from home), stocking up on fruits and low maintenance vegetables like bananas, apples, baby carrots and grape tomatoes, whole grain crackers, granola, yogurt, string cheese, prepared hummus and raw almonds or walnuts.
When you do eat out, consider splitting an entrée with one of your traveling companions or family members. Not only will you spare yourself half the calories of a full meal, but you’ll save money too. The same goes for desserts too.
Stash a small resealable baggie of dried fruit or fruit leather in your purse or backpack before a flight or heading out on a sight-seeing jaunt. Dried fruits are lightweight, don’t get squished in bags, and are a great source of energy to tide you over between breakfast and lunch breaks. Eat them judiciously though—dried fruit tends to be high in calories so limit your intake.
Having a supply of snacks in your carryon bags means you won’t have to plan meals based on what the airport terminal has to offer. Make your own trail mix by combining low-salt popcorn, dried cherries, cranberries or raisins, and your favorite nut—we like roasted shelled pistachios. A few chocolate chips thrown in makes a nice taste treat too! Individual cups of peanut butter are great for dipping celery sticks or whole-grain pretzel twists.
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