Here’s a note we got from Carrie, a Fooducate community member.
LOVE your blog and your app! I’m so glad I found you — I don’t follow every “rule” every time, but it is important to me that the vast majority of the food I eat be — err, actually food.
I travel for business 4 days per week, every week. While I can pack some things, I don’t have access to a refrigerator in my hotel so that very much limits what I can bring from home. I can store things at the refrigerator at work, but of course, I only have access to that during the day.
Would love for you/your site to share any tips for how to eat well when on the road. Thanks!
If you travel a lot for work, you can empathize with Carrie. Food in airports is usually crappy and very expensive. Cheap food in restaurant chains around hotels and motels is usually a fast food chain, or ethnic mom and pop shops with heartburn written all over the menu. While it’s nice to eat out at $50 restaurants every now and then, most of us can’t afford to.
Suddenly, making and eating your own meals while on the road doesn’t sound like a crazy idea anymore.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Be prepared – Do some googling ahead of your trip to see what the food scene will be like where you arrive. Is there a supermarket nearby where you can get fresh food? What are its opening hours – many times it’s 24 hours a day, so you can pop in late after work, or early in the morning. Are there any healthy restaurant choices nearby? What hotels / motels offer some sort of a kitchenette , fridge, etc…
2. Refrigeration – While some hotels do not have a fridge, many do have mini-bars. True, the space is very limited, but you can take out some of the non-perishable beverage bottles and store your stuff instead.
3. Canned food – If you don’t have refrigeration in your room, you can still used many canned food products including fruit, vegetables, and protein sources such as tuna or sardines. Beans are fine too, but not a thrill to consume them at room temperature.
4. Extended stay hotels/ motels – some chains are made especially for people who want to eat home cooked meals. Each room comes with a full size fridge, microwave, and range. Pots, pans, basic cutlery and plates are also included. You can prepare a decent meal quite easily.
5. The jazz-it-up mini kit – includes a few miniature-sized things you can pack into a little box. salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, small onion, tabasco sauce, and plastic utensils. Just these few things can help you turn few sliced veggies into a salad, add flavor to a sandwich, and in general bum up the flavor profile of whatever you are preparing.
6. Always have water on you – no matter where you go, you need to drink. Have a bottle with you. Empty it before passing through security at the airport, but fill it up again at the water cooler before boarding your flight. You are always the most thirsty when there’s turbulence or the drink service is over.
7. Always have an emergency food stash – We prefer a ziplock bag filled with homemade trail mix – cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and/or peanuts mixed with raisins, cranberries, or apricots. Dates are also very good,if sticky. You can also opt for a snack bar such as Kind or Larabar (They can hold for up to a year).
8. Apples and Bananas – abundant and cheap year round, they can be found in many places including airports, convenience stores, and supermarkets too.
Hope these ideas help. If anyone else has suggestions, please share in the comments below.