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It’s hard to believe, but we are already entering the fall and winter holiday season. This time of year marks a long-awaited vacation time for many – a season characterized by people anxiously getting ready to visit friends and family and explore the world. Those familiar with the holiday hustle and bustle know that healthy eating while traveling requires some serious planning and willpower. Below are a few tips to help you eat and stay healthy during your travels.

How to Prepare for Eating Healthy When Traveling

Ideally, preparation begins as early as the time one starts vacation planning. Planning for a healthy vacation doesn’t have to be a difficult or unpleasant process, but it should incorporate the culture and cuisine of the destination region.

What are the typical meals served in the area or country? Are there ingredients regularly used that could trigger known food allergies? What are simple and healthy local meals to try in each place? Making a high level list of such questions and answers will prepare you to make good food decisions when you reach your destination.

Determining whether one should eat out regularly or cook using fresh and seasonal ingredients is another element of trip planning that is often overlooked. Even if you wish to cook while on vacation, it may be difficult to find ingredients, know where to shop, decide between brands and, depending on your accommodations, prepare the meal. If you wish to cook meals while on vacation, take an hour or so to research local grocery stores and markets and choose accommodations with a well-equipped kitchen.

How to Stick to Healthy Eating Habits When Traveling

Once on the road or in the air, it’s best to plan to eat lightly and drink lots of water. Bring your own snacks and light meals with you. That way, you need not rely on the offerings of roadside restaurants and airplane galleys. Not only will you stay fresh and hydrated while traveling, you will also resist the temptation to indulge in unhealthy packaged snacks out of boredom or stress.

Once at your destination, seek those items you have already researched as being healthy choices. Indulge in local fruits and vegetables whenever possible, as they will be healthy, fresh and delicious. Avoid packaged snacks and instead save your indulgences for a special dessert at an elegant restaurant or a fresh morning pastry with your coffee. Finally, resist the urge to sit around the hotel your whole trip and instead get lots of exercise by walking around your destination, seeing the sights and engaging in new and fun experiences. By doing so, you will make the most out of your trip and stay fit and healthy.

Eating healthy while traveling can be difficult, but only if you don’t plan ahead. By planning for healthy options, you will taste the best of the local cuisine and feel your best.

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