Do you bring home unwanted holiday weight when you travel? Is food a huge part of your travel budget? Here are some great tips to help with eating well while travelling to keep extra kilos away and dollars in your pockets.
If you’re anything like me, you know that the joy of travel lies not just in the sights you see but also in the delicious foods you taste along the way.
I can’t imagine visiting Singapore without eating street food, Paris without having a breakfast of croissants or Buenos Aries without eating empanadas. I always come home a little heavier.
Even on a recent weekend away, I came home a kilo heavier after enjoying some wonderful food and wine while dining out.
But let’s face it, dining out constantly means eating more than you would usually eat at home. The food is also likely to be richer with larger serves. And the desserts and sweet snacks are hard to turn down.
Eating out can also chew up your holiday budget fast. So here are some tips that will ensure you eat well, spend less, and sleep soundly while you’re on the road – but still enjoy the local food.
Breakfast: The Morning Fuel-Up
Now, I get it; mornings on holidays can be rushed. But starting your day with a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your adventure.
Steer clear of the temptation to “grab a doughnut for the road.” While a sugary pastry might give you a quick burst of energy, it won’t last long, and you’ll find yourself starving mid-morning. Instead, opt for a balanced meal.
Many hotels in Australia offer complimentary continental breakfasts. This is your golden opportunity to kickstart your day right.
But go easy. That buffet is overflowing with choices – from bread, waffles, and English muffins for toasting, to a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, and juices. Maybe even bacon, eggs and other hot food.
It’s a smorgasbord of goodness to keep you energised for your morning adventures, but don’t over do it, there are good choices to be made.
If you prefer a more relaxed setting, head to a local restaurant for a hearty breakfast and friendly table service. You could even try local favourites, like smashed avo or Vegemite on toast here in Australia.
The key is balance, ensuring your stomach is full for the busy day ahead.
Lunch: The Midday Feast
Lunchtime is when you should indulge in your main meal of the day, especially while you’re out exploring.
This not only satisfies your cravings but also makes financial sense. Many restaurants offer lunch specials that let you enjoy the same dishes you’d have for dinner but at a lower cost.
Here’s a tip: Ask the locals for their favourite dining spots. You might stumble upon hidden gems serving local delicacies, enriching your travel experience with local flavours.
Remember, the rule of balance applies here too. Begin with a refreshing salad, fruit salad, or a hearty main-course salad packed with chicken, ham, and all the trimmings.
If you have a sweet tooth, now is the time to ask for dessert – a small serving of ice cream, pie, or cake will be the cherry on top of your midday feast, and you still have the afternoon to walk it off.
Snacks: Your On-the-Go Lifesavers
For those “just in case” moments when you need a quick pick-me-up, having a snack bag at the ready is a brilliant idea. You might be sightseeing or caught up in your travels when hunger strikes.
Trust me; stopping to buy snacks at touristy spots can dent your wallet and you will be tempted to buy something less healthy.
Before you hit the road, visit a local grocery store. Grab some dried fruits, nuts, raisins, crackers, and spreads like peanut butter or cheese. Pack them in your bag or backpack, and voila! You’ve got your own portable snack stash.
Not only does this save you money, but it also ensures you have wholesome munchies on hand whenever you need a nibble.
Dinner: Ending the Day Right
After a hearty lunch, aim for a lighter dinner to cap off your day. It’s kinder to your waistline and promotes a restful night’s sleep – vital for another day of adventure.
Here’s a nifty trick: Combine your grocery shopping for snacks with ingredients for a simple dinner. This is also a great opportunity to try some of the local produce, just like the locals would.
Pick up some tasty lunch meats, fresh bread, cheese, and fruit. Many hotels provide in-room refrigerators and microwaves, so making your dinner is easy-peasy.
Craft your own sandwiches or charcuterie board and enjoy a delightful, budget-friendly meal.
I also love to buy tinned tuna and salad vegetables and make up a quick and tasty tuna salad.
The money you save can even extend your trip by a day or fund an extra visit to a must-see attraction.
Back Home: Carry the Good Habits Forward
When your travels come to an end, don’t bid adieu to these savvy eating and spending habits. Incorporate them into your daily routine and watch your food budget stretch further, whether you’re at home or on the road.
More tips for Eating Well While Travelling
- Research Local Cuisine: Before your trip, research the local food scene. Discover regional specialties and make a list of must-try dishes.
- Opt for Balanced Meals: Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, aim for a well-balanced plate. Include protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates in your meals to keep you satisfied.
- Visit Local Markets: Farmers’ markets and food markets offer fresh, local ingredients. Grab some fruits, nuts, or artisanal products to snack on or create your own picnic.
- Cook Your Own Meals: Book accommodation with a kitchenette. Preparing your own meals not only saves money but also allows you to customiee dishes to your taste.
- Sample Street Food: Street vendors often serve up authentic, affordable, and mouthwatering local cuisine.
- Choose Water Over Sugary Drinks: Stay hydrated with water, and save your sugar quota for delicious desserts or local beverages.
- Share Dishes: When dining out, share a few dishes with your travel companions. This way, you get to taste more without overeating.
- Practice Portion Control: While indulging is a part of travel, be mindful of portion sizes. Sharing or taking leftovers can help prevent food wastage and maintain your health goals.
Remember, travel is not just about the places you go but also the flavours you encounter. Enjoy every bite, stay healthy, and make your culinary journey a memorable part of your travel adventures! Safe travels!
TRAVEL PLANNING ESSENTIALS
Find flights – I always use Skyscanner as my starting point when searching for flights. One search will give many options including airlines I may not have thought of. This means I can find the best possible flights to suit my needs
Book accommodation – my go to is always Booking.com for the best places to stay. It’s not just hotels anymore, but hostels, apartments, B&Bs and more. I love that the bookings are usually cancellable, and that I can book now and pay later.
Hire a rental car – RentalCars.com is my go to here. It allows me to do just one search and it finds cars from many of the different supplies, so no checking multiple websites to compare.
Get travel insurance – you would have heard by now that saying “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. If we’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years it should be how essential travel insurance is. I use CoverMore for my insurance.
Pick up an eSIM – I tried an eSIM on my last trip and it was fantastic. I set it up before I went so it was ready as soon as I landed, and I still had access to my home number for emergencies. Get your own eSIM at Airalo.
Book activities, tours & attractions – I use a few different websites for this. Viator and Get Your Guide tend to be the first places I look. In Asia, Klook often has more options, and in Australia it’s Experience Oz.
Manage your money – the best way to manage your different currencies is with an account from Wise. You can hold money in many different currencies, and use them with the ATM card or from your phone.
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