Six travel food hacks for 2019
Vowed to shun the post-holiday weight this year? Travel for work and keen to cut the junk food? These top travel food hacks are perfect for the health conscious voyager.
1. Dodge the room service racket
We’ve all been there. Late night in the hotel, no life signs from local shops, the room service menu whispering in your ear. Instead, ask the hotel for a minifridge in advance. Most are happy to provide and you can stock up on healthy snack items like cheese and crackers, fresh carrots and dips. For the morning, make sure you have healthy breakfast items like fruits, muesli, and yogurt. You’re far less likely to reach for the overpriced candy and crisps in moments of weakness.A
2. Forget foreign menu fear
If you get caught in a restaurant without English menus, before spinning the gastronomic roulette wheel, check your smartphone’s camera apps. There are a bunch of new smart translation apps on iOS and Android.
In May 2019 Google announced new updates to Google Lens (available as an app or built into all Google phone cameras). The update means you can just point your phone’s camera at a menu, and Lens will automatically highlight popular dishes at the restaurant. Click on a particular dish to see photos and reviews. Paying the bill is a cinch too, Google Lens will bring up a menu to calculate a tip and/or split the bill. Bravo!
3. Making plane sense
The flight can be another health hostage scenario for food. Sleeping through a meal, being sensitive to certain foods or loathing carb-laden meals can be challenging on long flights. Arm yourself with healthy practical alternatives in case you’re caught short.
Check out healthy meal replacement shakes that only require water and a shaker to prepare. Finnish company Ambronite’s complete meal shake has 18 natural ingredients like nuts, veggies, Omega 3 and berries. This makes an optimal meal to conquer real food voids while traveling. Great for healthy options on the go.
4. Sensible sweets
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Travelling can be stressful and in times of need, we revert to our biological preference for instant energy. Sweetness used to signal food that was safe and nutrient dense, making us feel happy and satisfied. Today, not so much, and most of us consume way too much sugar or chemical-based sweeteners unwittingly.
Try bringing a travel pack of Stevia or natural manuka honey with you for a healthier alternative. There are new healthy gummy sweet and dessert options on the horizon too like Zveetz which offers sugar-free, vegan and calorie low alternatives.
5. Opt veggie, add protein
A fail-safe hack to boost your veggie intake when dining out is to order the vegetarian option and add a protein like grilled fish or chicken on top. This avoids that dismal feeling of a sorry looking ‘side salad’ containing a tomato slice a few lettuce leaves arriving on your plate.
6. Research, Recon, and Run
If you’re staying in one location for a length of time, invest in researching the local food scene before arrival. EatWith is a fantastic app for finding and making reservations for culinary events around the world, hosted by locals. Think dinners, cooking classes, wine tastings, market tours and more.
Zomato is another great resource for finding and making reservations with local restaurants and covers a cool 24 countries.
For vegans and vegetarians, HappyCow is a game-changing smartphone app that helps you locate and check local plant-based restaurants, grocery stores, health food stores, and food trucks. It’s available in 10 languages across 180 countries. A free, ad-supported version is available on Android. On iOS, you’ll need to cough up $3.99.
For the ultimate day-1-win, map out the local spots of interest and plan a running route to get a better sense of your surroundings and key stores and restaurants. Why not stock up on healthy groceries on the last location (see point 1) and walk back.