Travel Tips from a Registered Dietitian

Our New York City RD, Paige Heiden, is sharing her tips for navigating vacations and travel while still honoring your nutrition goals!

  1. Have a game plan. First and foremost, take some time to think about how you want to approach your nutrition on this trip. Align your actions accordingly! 
  2. Treat travel days like normal days. Eat meals and snacks as you normally would the days you depart and return home. For example, if you have an early flight out, eat before you leave, bring something with you or make a smart choice at the airport. Here are some #RDApproved meal and snack options to look for at the airport (or to bring from home!): 
    • Greek yogurt + fruit cup + low-sugar granola 
    • Sandwich/wrap on whole wheat bread + lean protein
    • Hard-boiled eggs + whole grain crackers + Babybel light cheese 
    • Fruit + nut butter packet 
    • Popcorn (Skinny Pop) 
    • Nuts (Sea Point Farms, Skinny Dipped Almonds) 
    • Hummus cup + raw veggies 
    • High-protein, low-sugar protein bars (RX, Nu Go, KIND, Fiber One, Raw Rev to name a few!)
  3. Get your movement in! Movement on vacation can be a walk on the beach, a yoga class, a class at a local studio, etc. I like to get my workouts in early on vacation to start my day on the right foot. Exercise on a vacation should never feel like a punishment! 
  4. Stay hydrated. Be extra mindful of your water intake while you are away to stay hydrated and regular. If you are staying at a hotel, they may have infused, flavored or bottled water complimentary in the lobby or gym areas. Or, you can grab a case of water from a local market/grocery store to keep in your room. You can also bring a reusable water bottle from home to fill on-the-go!
  5. Be intentional about getting your fiber in. To stay regular and avoid constipation, be extra mindful about getting fiber in with your meals and snacks. This may look like going for fresh berries at the breakfast buffet, asking for raw veggies with your chips and guacamole by the pool, or bringing your own high-fiber snacks! Here are some of my go-to high-fiber snacks that are easy to travel with:  
    • High-fiber cereal (Bran Buds, Fiber One) 
    • High-fiber bars (see specific brand recommendations above!) 
    • Nuts and/or seeds (peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds to name a few!) 
  6. Bring a few snacks with you to have on hand. This can be a game-changer… especially if you are traveling with a group and they are on a different meal schedule than you. Here are some of my go-to snacks I travel with: 
    • Pre-portioned nuts 
    • Roasted legumes (Bada Bean Bada Boom, Sea Point Farms) 
    • Nut butter packets
    • Protein bars (see specific brand recommendations above!) 
  7. Try these alcohol hacks to help decrease calories and sugar in your alcoholic beverages, without sacrificing the flavor and pleasure! 
    • Ditch the simple syrup (or, ask for less) 
    • Ask for extra ice on the side… add more ice to your cup as your drink starts to come to its final sips. This not only stretches the drink making it last longer, but it also hydrates you! 
    • Ask for just a splash of juice and extra garnishes 
    • Here are my go-to cocktails while on vacation: 
      • Mojito, hold the simple syrup 
      • Coconut rum + seltzer + splash of pineapple/cranberry juice + cherry on top   
      • Sparkling Rose
  8. Return home with purpose! What you do around your trip (before and after!) will help you to feel your best and enjoy your time away. Here are some ways you can jump right back into your routine after a vacation and not waste any time:
    • Order your groceries online to arrive upon your return home.
    • Make a grocery list and/or meal plan for the week on your flight home… get to the store ASAP! 
    • Have a staple meal on hand to return home to (the freezer is your friend)! that you are excited about to have your first night back… or, go for a healthy take-out option. 
      • Here are a few of my go-to freezer friendly/pantry items I put together to create some of my favorite staple meals:  
        • Meatballs (batch-cooked ahead of time) + brown rice + broccoli
        • Veggie burger + sweet potato fries + peppers/mushrooms/onions
        • Applegate chicken nuggets + Eat Banza mac & cheese + spinach
      • Here are some of my go-to healthy take-out orders: 
        • Steamed chicken + broccoli + ½ cup brown rice + sauce on the side 
        • Miso soup + seaweed salad + ½ cup edamame + 1 sushi roll + 2-3 pieces sashimi
        • Salad: lettuce + non-starchy veggies + lean protein + grain/crunch + healthy fat (for more information on how to build an #RDApproved salad, head to Paige’s blog post focused on all things salads to learn more!).