Eating Well While Traveling
When you're on a full-blown vacation or even when you are just taking a
weekend trip, your meals can be enjoyable milestones in your day rather
than the subjects of your nightmares; and speaking of nightmares, the cost of
eating can eat up a big part of your vacation budget. Following are some tips
that will help you eat better, spend less and, as a result of the two, possibly
even sleep better while on your trip.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast and, by definition, that excludes 'just
grabbing a donut for the road.' Not that there is anything really wrong with
donuts but donuts and pastries are high in sugar and fat -- sugar may give
you a morning boost but it doesn't last long and half way through your
morning you'll find yourself looking for a second breakfast or a brunch.
Your best bet for breakfast is eating a balanced meal, just like your other
meals of the day: Many hotels and motels offer you a complimentary
continental breakfast -- that just means a breakfast buffet with a good variety
of foods -- just what you need and what you should be looking for! Work
your way around the buffet you'll find them offering bread, waffles and
English muffins right next to a toaster, some jams, jellies and syrups for
spreading or pouring on your toasted choice, a variety of cold cereals with
milk or sometimes hot oatmeal, some fruit for your side dish or for mixing in
with your cereal and then there is yogurt, orange juice, grapefruit juice and
tea or coffee. If you skip the continental breakfast and opt for a restaurant
meal, the same rules about a balanced breakfast apply but you'll be able to
add eggs, bacon, sausage and table service to the mix.
With breakfast done, you'll have a 'full tank' that will keep you going through
your morning activities and keep you focused on enjoying a full schedule
rather than being distracted by an empty belly.
When you think about it, it makes sense to have your main meal of the day in
the middle of the day -- especially when you're traveling. What you're doing
is packing in the calories and then, during the course of your active
afternoon, burning them off. This also makes good financial sense; many
restaurants have lunch specials that feature all the things you will be able to
buy later, at supper time -- at a higher price.
If you're staying in a hotel or motel, ask the desk clerk or concierge about
their favorite restaurant. You may get a tip about a restaurant that serves
some local favorite foods; that's a nice way to enhance your travel
experience with some genuine local flavor.
The rule about eating a balanced meal works for lunch as well as it does for
every other meal. You might start your lunch with a salad with a favorite
salad dressing or a fruit salad or fruit cup or that salad might be a main
course -- there are some wonderfully filling and healthy (balanced) main-
course salads with chicken, ham, bacon bits, seasoned croutons and a world
of other ingredients. Depending on where you're traveling you may just want
to experiment a bit with some local favorite menu items -- ask your waiter or
waitress to suggest something and be sure to ask about ingredients if there is
something you know you shouldn't be eating.
Don't skip dessert! A small dish or ice cream, with or without toppings or a
small slice of pie or cake is a nice way to finish your lunch (remember, this is
your BIG meal of the day).
Snacks?“Just in case” foods are always a good idea when you're traveling.
You may be sightseeing or just traveling when you get that urge to “eat
something.” Stopping and buying something is always possible but its really
an unnecessary expense if you have a snack bag stowed away in your bag or
backpack -- besides, stopping along a tour route to buy something means
your paying inflated tourist prices! The way to put together your own snack
bag is to stop at a grocery store and buy some dried fruits, nuts, raisins,
crackers and something to put on the crackers like peanut butter or cheese.
Keep your snack bag handy!
After your big lunch you should be looking for a light meal to end your day --
it's good for your waistline and will give you a better night's sleep. One great
and economical idea for that end-of-the-day meal is to combine that trip you
should have made to the grocery store for your snack items with some
purchases for your supper. Get some tasty lunch meats, bread, cheese to
make sandwiches and some fruit for dessert.
Many hotels and motels have small refrigerators in their rooms and many
even have microwaves; when making reservations pick a location with these
amenities and use them. Making your own supper can be a major savings to
your vacation budget and may even allow you to save enough to spend an
extra day visiting an attraction you might otherwise have to skip.
It's always good to be home and just in case it hasn't occurred to you, you
might look at some of these eating and spending tips and apply them to your
eating habits and your food budget even when you're not on the road.