You think there are far more important things than healthy food when you travel, but you might be mistaken. Here are ways you can eat healthy on a budget while on vacation.
It’s common to have a limited budget while traveling. To cut costs, the most easily manipulated spending is on food. You cannot possibly cut the costs of your accommodation or the bus fares. This is why convenience store food is a friend to many travelers.
However, when you do this for long periods, your health can get seriously affected. Food prepared in convenience-store food comes with many preservatives. They are also usually high in sodium content. One week of eating primarily fast food can lead to an infection of your urinary tract and other illnesses.
Keep in mind that when you travel, you should not neglect your health. You may be having the time of your life while on vacation, but piles of hospital bills may be awaiting you when you return home. Here is how you can avoid that from happening:
1. Drink Your Water
Sometimes water bottles are a hassle to bring. You have your camera and a small bag for belongings such as your phone and passport. There is just nowhere you can put a water bottle in.
As much as it is a hassle, dehydration is severe. Ever wonder why after touring around the city, you feel a bit dizzy? You probably haven’t sipped water since you left the hotel in the morning.
Especially in the summer, you need to pay extra attention to hydrating your body. Take advantage of water fountains in touristy areas. You shouldn’t mind having to pee from time to time. The hassle is nothing compared to when you develop sickness.
If you don’t want to bring a water bottle, you can always buy bottled water outside. Keep in mind that touristy areas price bottled water like gold, so conserve whatever you purchased for the entire day.
You will also be better off avoiding instant coffee. It’s not wrong to have a cup from time to time. But if you can’t live without it, you should bring your own ground coffee beans. There are portable coffee brewing tumblers for people who are always on the go. It’s perfect for when you decide to chill while camping under the stars in a foreign land.
2. Visit the Local Supermarket or Grocery Store
If you are staying in a hostel and you are allowed to cook a meal, make sure you do. Ask locals for directions to the nearest grocery store. If it’s inside a local village, that’s much better. Prices are for locals and not tourists so you will get the best deal.
Cooking your own meal means you have control over what goes into your food-unlike fast food, whose freshness and nutrient content are not guaranteed.
Sure, you’d rather spend your time on tourist sites than in the hostel cooking breakfast. You can always opt for easy-to-make meals. Some delicious and healthy meals, such as stir-fried vegetables, take less than five minutes to make.
If you stay in a place where cooking is not allowed, at least get yourself some fruits.
3. Dine Out like a Local
Just because it’s better to prepare your own meal doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the local cuisine. If anything, this is something that you should do.
Visit less touristy areas where there are small local restaurants that cater to the local population. You will enjoy this native experience while at the same time staying within your budget and maintaining your goal of healthy eating. Visit local fish markets and try the cooked food they offer there.
You can also head to dry markets where locals sell textile and other souvenirs. It is there that you will usually find tasty, healthy, and inexpensive snacks.
4. Commit to Eating Healthy
Even before your travel starts, set your mind on the goal. It doesn’t have to be rigid that you will not entertain less healthy options. The key to having fun and staying fit is striking balance and making compromises.
It will be easier for you to maintain your health goals if you have already started it long before your travel. It will be harder to do this in a place you are not familiar with. Although, it’s not entirely impossible. It depends where you visit. There are countries where the local food is generally healthy, maybe due to the prominent religion or to the country’s geography.
Wherever you are and no matter what you do, make sure you prioritize your health. Investing in your health as early as now will let you enjoy more years of fun and traveling in the future.