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Community Manager

Great Eats while travelling?

How do you plan eating when you go on vacation?  Are there apps or special things you to do save money or eat healthier?  Share what works for you!

AARPTeri
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Regular Contributor

I enjoy food markets while I wander new surroundings.  I like to try locals foods especially if I am somewhere I have never been before. Trying new dishes is part of the over all experience for me.

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Newbie

Pack your own snacks: fruit, nuts, crackers, veggies for the road or the air. Choose the yogurt and fruit at the ‘free’ hotel breakfasts, skipping the high fat/cal pastries, bagels, waffles. Choose hotels with at least a refrig and maybe a microwave. Stock some lunch items like cheese or cold cuts to lunch on in addition to fruit and veggies. Save half your restaurant dinner, refrig it and reheat in the microwave to eat for lunch the next day. Visit local specialty food shops and pick up parts to a meal, probably less $$ than a restaurant. Visit and purchase wines at the local winery, a definite saving over restaurants. Choose a restaurant with BYO alcohol. For years we ate breakfasts and lunches from local grocery stores and splurged on a great evening meal. And, back when traveling with a hungry teen son, I’d push a peanut butter sandwich prior to dinner: it reduced the $$$ because it took the edge off his appetite and he didn’t order everything on the menu. Remember food handling safety! 

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Regular Contributor

We've been to Hawaii over a dozen times.

For healthy eating, get a condo with a kitchen and an outdoor grill.

Ahi tuna, grilled....to die for! (Get a saver card at most groceries. Some groceries are expensive, some aren't.) Check out farmers markets and buy locally produced produce.

To save money, eat where the locals eat ; not necessarily healthy, but cheap and fun!

Avoid the touristy restaurants, overpriced and you may as well stayed on the mainland.

Aloha.

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Periodic Contributor

This may sound strange, but hospital cafeteras are a good source of healthy foods at a very reasonable cost. 

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Periodic Contributor

We invented the "gelato diet."  Since gelato has no cholesterol and is low in fat, when traveling in Europe particularly we make a point to stop for a small container of gelato around 3 pm. That way we're not so hungry at dinner time and eat a smaller meal. We do the same on cruises so we don't overeat. We combine this with lots of walking and have each lost 5 lbs on average every time we travel or cruise.

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When we travel, in our camper, we always eat our usual healthy breakfast at camp. Then we will usually have a late lunch out, as we are exploring. We try to choose healthy options. Then at night, back at the camper, we will have soup or a salad for a light dinner. on a recent trip for 3 weeks, neither one of us gained a pound. We actually lost a few because we did a lot of walking. 

When we fly and stay in a hotel, same thing. We stock up on fresh fruit, yougurt (if we have a fridge), nuts, etc. Sure we want to try out the local cusine, but we try to eat smart.

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Regular Contributor

Depending on your mode of vacationing, Timeshare, hotel, RV, etc. , My wife and I always try to book rooms or a Timeshare with at least a partial kitchen. We hit the local grocery store and buy healthy snacks, items for at least a couple picnic lunches, breakfast foods and drink. We always come out way ahead dollar wise and save valuable family time out of busy restaurants. As far as eating Healthy Food, that’s up to an individuals choices when in the grocery aisles. This works well for us and I’m sure it can for you also depending on what your priorities are while vacationing. The main thing is to relax and enjoy!

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I learnt quickly that you need to plan your meals ahead of time.  If your flight arrives at 9 PM, by the time you get to the hotel and ready to eat your only choice might be fast food and that is not going to work out well.  I try to schedule flights which leave me time to eat before boarding, or when I get there.  Check ahead and see what's around your arrival destination that would offer a suitable meal at the time you will be there.

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Gold Conversationalist

You never know if local restaurants are safe so stick to well known restaurants like McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King and such where you know they operate with stringent food safety standards.  You do not want to contract food poisoning while traveling and wind up in the hospital! 🏨

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Periodic Contributor

When we are looking for a place to eat and we want a simple lunch or dinner we ask a local, construction worker, store clerk, etc. where they go for lunch or dinner, or where is their favorite place to take company that comes to town.  We travel by motorcycle and camp most of the time, so we eat a late breakfast/lunch with first gas up (we call it blunch), then cook dinner at the campground.  Simple fare, but good.  

Regular Contributor

When I travel, there are eats!

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Honored Social Butterfly

Like @retiredtraveler, we choose hotels with a breakfast bar (not to eat their junk food packaged as breakfast, but so we don't have to pack a toaster, et cetera) and a room with a kitchen. 

 

We plan our meals to support our activities. At this stage of life that means we eat an athlete's diet: whole wheat toast, boiled eggs, bananas, avocado, raw veggies and fruit, olives, sardines plus a pickled veggie rich pasta salad and/or a simple green salad. I also make a nut-coconut flake-dried fruit trail mix, and we take a few of those savory Kind bars for race nutrition. Once our sporting events have concluded --and not before-- we will eat out with the gang. We so often feel bad after we've eaten out that we simply don't risk that before a race. And then we are extra careful about what we eat. I'll pack peanut butter for a quick rest stop sammie on the way home, but I don't know the last time we stopped at a greasy spoon. 

 

If we are traveling somewhere unrelated to recumbent racing --going from memory here :)-- we'll seek out an organic or health food restaurant. But we research them first and tend to grill the waitstaff about preparation methods ... yeah we're those people ... in order to sample a local cuisine.

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

@Epster "...We plan our meals to support our activities. At this stage of life that means we eat an athlete's diet:...".

 

   Yes. We gear our travel diet around mountain hiking, which is 95% of our travel time. You know about that!  There is nothing better than a PB&J, with an apple, while sitting up at 12,000 feet (after you hiked 4 miles up and gained 2500 feet in altitude), while taking in a 360-degree view.

    After we spend day after day doing that, we really have no interest in visiting a restaurant, much less going into town. 

   You understand this........ 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Honored Social Butterfly


@retiredtraveler wrote:

 

   Yes. We gear our travel diet around mountain hiking, which is 95% of our travel time. You know about that!  There is nothing better than a PB&J, with an apple, while sitting up at 12,000 feet (after you hiked 4 miles up and gained 2500 feet in altitude), while taking in a 360-degree view.

    After we spend day after day doing that, we really have no interest in visiting a restaurant, much less going into town. 

   You understand this........ 


@retiredtraveler Indeed I do. 🙂

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Regular Contributor

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Honored Social Butterfly

If we are driving, we picnic. That is, we purchase some things to make sandwiches, have some canned goods and beverages, and stop at rest areas for lunch. We carry utensils and paper plates, egc.

 

   For all our traveling, once at a destination, we always stay in places with a kitchen, and cook ourselves. On a multi-week trip, we might eat our a couple of times, but that is it. We mostly stay someplace around national parks in U.S. and Canada, and restaurants are overpriced, mediocre, and unhealthy, imho. 

     We've never understood the travel habits of so many people. We do almost nothing but hike every day, or walk all day if doing an urban trip, and talk about what we saw or experienced. So many people describe their travels in terms of the food they ate. We don't get that at all.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Super Contributor

I think food is an important part of the whole travel experience.  From state to state and country to country tastes are varied and part of the local culture.  I always like to try the local cuisine.  Cuban sandwiches in Tampa or burritos in Southern California.  YUMMMMM !!!

alaskadude1948
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Social Butterfly

When we travel we don’t try and save money when it comes time to eat. We don’t necessarily eat 3 meals a day either. Breakfast and dinner is usually all we need.

 

I’d rather pay a little more at a decent restaurant for a unique but good meal that might be more in line with the cuisine of the country or area we’re visiting.  That’s part of the travel experience.  Why eat food that you can get back home any time you want.

Super Contributor

Whenever I travel I make sure i download the "YELP" app on my smartphone.  It uses your phones location to recommend eating places close by.  You can enter a particular favorite cuisine for a more refined search.  People leave pictures and recommendations to help you choose.  If you are ever in Santa Barbara, California, and craving Mexican food, I highly recommend "Los Agaves" restaurant.  All the food is great but the house burrito is the bomb.  I found this place using YELP. 

alaskadude1948
Contributor

"Bomb" is not in  my food vocabulary. Explain in food terms....

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