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There are many reasons to want to eat out less while traveling. Some reasons are budget-centered. Our reason is because of our diet.

At home, we eat a mostly plant-based diet. We follow the 80/20 rule where 80% of the time we choose God-made whole foods that are nutritious. We believe and have tested that what’s on our fork/spoon plays a HUGE part in the overall health of our bodies. With three kids and being parents for 9.5 years, our kids have NEVER had a drug – prescribed or over the counter! I think that goes to show for something.

Some of the positives to this way of life are: longevity, more energy, happier, less recovery time (injuries or sickness), slowing down the aging process (amen??), and disease prevention are just a few. 

When traveling, this can be tricky. While we would love to visit destinations that have whole-food cafes on every corner, this is not realistic.

Here are some things we do while traveling to minimize eating out.

We stay in accommodation that has a kitchen. You don’t have to be a chef to live a healthy lifestyle. You don’t even have to like cooking!

The awesome kitchen at BentoLiving Chestnut Hills in Nashville, TN

I used to make everything from scratch. For reals. When my two bigs were littles, I was in the kitchen all. the. time. I was squeezing the nut milk bag – making fresh almond milk several times a week. I made fresh bread from scratch. I made homemade ketchup, bbq sauce, and mayo on the reg. I had a dehydrator and made crackers and fruit roll ups. And I loved every second of it. It brought me joy to provide my family with so much goodness.

Those days seem so far away and sometimes I wish I could return to that way of life (and being 20lbs lighter!). Now with three kids and work, my life looks more like the Tasmanian devil tearing through the kitchen in the attempt to whip up the quickest but still healthy meal. (while answering homework questions for my big girl, looking at my son’s newest Lego creation, and trying to keep the toddler from injuring the Pomeranian/drawing on the walls/destroying something special)

On vacay, while I’d love to not cook one single meal ever, I know our bodies will suffer from too much restaurant food.

When we have a kitchen, we are more likely to have some meals in our room. For us, the easiest meal to book in our room is breakfast. Starting the day with some avocado, eggs, spinach, and tomatoes will get us through to lunch without having to snack.

Getting ready to make breakfast in our room

We buy things for salads from a grocery store, or order a side salad with our dinner to have the next day for lunch. You can always bulk up a side salad with some nuts, seeds, avocado, or hard boiled egg to make it more filling. Most days at home we have leftovers or salad for lunch.

When traveling, I try to get in veggies when I can. If this means ordering a salad for lunch because I know we are going to be eating out for dinner & I’ll for sure be ordering the veggie burger with sweet potato fries, then I’ll do it.

If I choose to get foods I don’t normally eat at home once a day on vacation, my body handles that okay. If I choose to get the not so nutritious foods more than that, I usually end up feeling like total crap and usually end up on the toilet. A lot. (gross, I know, but true)

Eating leftover salad for lunch while on vacation

On road trips, we bring a small cooler bag for snacks or quick meals on-the-go. My kids love snacking in the afternoon. I am a three meal a day kind of gal, but the kids will eat if there’s food available. “Moooommmmm, I’m staaaarrrrvvvviiinnnnggg!!!!” Ever heard that?!

In our cooler bag I will store things like veggie sticks, hummus, and fresh fruit. Some days we get pre-packaged meals (if the ingredients suit our diet) from the grocery store and those go in the bag too!

If the kids have a big enough snack, I can usually get away with the three of them sharing a meal or two for dinner. This means they are having less of the foods at dinner that they aren’t used to eating, but still getting a smaller taste of “sometimes” foods.

Road trip healthy snacks

I spend the day before we leave for a trip baking. This might not be something you can do the day before, but a lot of homemade things like banana bread, crackers, muffins, etc can be put in the freezer weeks ahead!

Normally, the day before vacay, I will cook and bake some snacks and breakfast items for our trip. It definitely helps on the vacay side of things not having to prepare food as often.

Preparing meals for a vacation the night before our trip!

What are some things you do to minimize eating out for every meal while on vacation?

Related post:

Seeing the USA, one road trip at a time


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About the Author

Hey there & welcome! I’m Mandi – wifey to my college sweetheart, mom to three crazy cute kiddos, and we are an American/Australian dual citizen family.  You’re in the right place of the blogging world if you love your kids, but also want to be encouraged to travel kid-free once in a while. I share about our luxury travels (kid-free & family), our love for healthy foods, and how we stay mentally/physically/emotionally well.



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