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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!




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. 



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, etc.



We always stay in places with a kitchen and cook ourselves. On a multi-week trip, we might eat out 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 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 veggies, 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 Smiley Happy — 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.



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.  



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! 🏨



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 that 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.



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 drinks. 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 individual's 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!



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.



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.



We've been to Hawaii over a dozen times. For healthy eating, get a condo with a kitchen and an outdoor grill. Ahi tuna, 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 have stayed on the mainland.




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! 



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


I thought we were the only ones doing these things. The 'picnic' thing really helps. We enjoy stopping at rest areas, taking out a 'go bag' (with plasticware and plates, etc.) and a cooler and have a healthy meal, as well as inexpensive. Eating junk food, then having to drive more hours, does not work well.

   We also cook on our trips. Same thing you mention: eat out a couple of times, but mostly, cook. You're dead on about restaurants around NP's: overpriced and mediocre, at best.


"....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, etc.   

We always stay in places with a kitchen and cook ourselves. On a multi-week trip, we might eat out 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.....".

I bring my own dry food, for the most part. Rices, beans,quinoa. I buy the veg local markets.

I always bring my Vitamin C. I get it inexpensively and it helps me tremendously.

I also bring my Menopuase formula

There are many good points in the main answer. Choosing accomodations with a kitchen is a good recommendation, as is bringing dried staples such as rice, oatmeal, quinoa, etc from home. The main thing is to eat as healthily as you would at home rather than settling for less healthy food just because it is easy.


I am starting a weekly newsletter with tips and tricks on living a healthy life. Would you like me to send you the first issue when it comes out?

Since I eat a mostly whole food diet its pretty simple. As long as I have access to a market I can buy bananas, avocados, nuts, and sliced meats. Then I just find a restaurant and get some protein and veggies. I do a lot of intermittent fasting so I only eat twice a day. Unless you are a body builder you dont actually need that much food. As long as you get enough healthy fats you are good. I also work with a life coach who helps me figure this stuff out.

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