Travel Tips!

January 9, 2011

There are two core strategies I use for healthy hotel eating so you can eat in your cozy room instead of trekking out starving on the hunt for food and coffee:

  1. Bring stuff from home
  2. Locate a grocery store the night before (or buy snacks before you leave the airport)

Here’s everything we brought from home, minus the fresh fruit and extra bars we ate for breakfast!


I woke up at 6AM here – just less than 8 hours of sleep – but I was wide awake!

I started the day with some hotel coffee. I’m finding that hotel coffees aren’t all that bad, and it’s certainly easier and MUCH cheaper than going out to find a Starbucks. Really appreciate it when they have half and half over powdered creamers, but I’ll drink it black if I have to.


Karen gave me some Decaf Vias that are perfect for mixing in to make the coffee stronger. I think some of the cheaper brands of coffee are also now making instant to-go packets, and from what I’ve tasted they’re not all that bad. Save your local coffee shop hunt for once you’re awake and have a second cup then Smile


Breakfast for two included a piecemeal of the two fruits we had left from our travels yesterday and our packed foods:



We shared an orange, a banana, plus had some Quaker Oatmeal squares and one of my Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars each. I would have killed for a tsp of PB on my banana, but we didn’t pack any to-go packets because we’re going to buy a full sized jar for the trip today!



Other strategies for travel breakfasts and snacks for hotel rooms:

  • Buy fruit or real food bars at the airport before you head out. Every airport I’ve been in has bananas and apples – you just have to remember to buy one before you go to luggage claim!
  • Visit the grocery store for staples. Lots of hotels now have mini fridges where you can put milk and yogurts. This is our plan for the rest of the week! Again, the late arrival threw us off today. Whole fruit is easy to buy and you can usually find packets of spoons and napkins in the salad bar area too. Speaking of salad bars, they often have cut up fruit and yogurt too.
  • There are lots of shelf stable single serve milks too these days that would work if you don’t have a fridge. Stick them in the ice bucket to chill.
  • Find a Great Harvest and get a loaf of bread. (Okay, okay, any bakery or grocery store bread would work). This was our original idea, but we got in too late last night and today the GH is closed!

Of course going out to breakfast at Starbucks, a smoothie place or a greasy spoon for a stack of waffles is fun too – but only if you have time and more money!


Our only plan for the day is the 2.5 hour drive to Dillon after picking up our rental car. Plus a grocery store trip!

In the meantime, I’m hoping to do some yoga!

Every post this week should end with: see ya when I see ya!

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Juliet January 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

Land O’Lakes makes Mini Moos which are real dairy milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. They are so much better for coffee than the powdered stuff.

I love finding a grocery store locally too. It can be fun also to soak up local color. We usually try to look for a food co-op or health food store which can be really interesting depending on where you are.


2 Evan Thomas January 9, 2011 at 10:41 am

Hitting up the grocery store is my best tip, too. I try to grab as many fruits and vegetables like bananas as I can keep on hand.


3 Natalia - a side of simple January 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

I was hoping you would start something along the lines of travel tips, especially since you are such an organized person and traveling can be SO stressful! I think “food” is a great thing to focus on for organizing when traveling. I have to do it constantly because I’m gluten-free so I constantly have to be aware. Thanks for your times and happy adventures, Kath!


4 Natalia - a side of simple January 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

*tips, not times…


5 Stacy @ Every Little Thing January 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

That is great advice, to find a local grocery store. I’ll need to do this on my next trip!

Glad you finally arrived!


6 Amanda (Eating Up) January 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

Great tips! I love tackling the hotel coffee machine and seeing what taste I get whenever I stay somewhere.


7 jen @ taste life January 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

I love staying at a hotel with a fridge – it makes eating healthy on the road so much easier! Even better, when we go on vaca we usually try to rent a condo or something where we have a full kitchen. Healthier and cheaper!


8 Tina January 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

We always do the same when we bring our kids-pack snacks from home then hit up the store. The mini fridges are fantastic & I love that they have them almost everywhere now.

I was just wondering, you said the local GH is closed today, Sunday. Do you know if you’ll be open on weekends also? I’m just curious, it seems odd to me that a retail store would be closed on a weekend day.


9 Kath January 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

Most GH’s are closed on Sundays and we will be too. We’ve got to have one day off a week, and it makes more sense than any other


10 kelly January 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

Great ideas! What a amazing adventure!


11 Emily January 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

Kath! Thanks for the suggestions- can’t wait to see how your trip plays out. Stay warm!


12 Lea @ Healthy Coconut January 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

Good tips. I already do most of the items you mentioned but I bring the fruits from home when I can, instead of buying at the airport. It’s so pricey at times, but once for convenience, I bought a 1 whole banana for $1.50 at Starbucks before and I thought, I can buy 8-10 bananas for less at Costco.

Have a safe trip.


13 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

Great tips Kath! I love traveling with homemade bars and pre-mixed oatmeal. I’m a fruit and veg-a-holic so I always try to bring as much of that as I can too. Have fun at yoga! :)


14 Namaste Gurl January 9, 2011 at 11:16 am

Happy travels and hope you find everything you need :)!


15 lynn (The Actors Diet) January 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

how random – i was doing a search yesterday on google for recipes for dried fruit + oatmeal and your bars came up. and here they are on your blog today!!!


16 Christin@purplebirdblog January 9, 2011 at 11:20 am

I always pack stuff, but I love the grocery store idea. I’ll definitely utilize that the next time I’m traveling!


17 Lindsey@DishesNDiapers January 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

Excellent tips! Hope you guys enjoy your stay up there!


18 Lauren at KeepItSweet January 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

I am always so much happier when I have snacks with me. The best things I like to bring are oatmeal packets- you can almost always get a free cup of hot water!


19 Julie (Food & Other Things) January 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

These are really great tips…I always forget to utilize the mini fridge in hotels!


20 Tina @ Healthy Made Easy January 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

Great tips! It’s always good to be prepared!


21 Camille January 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

You brought along some great stuff! I always pack snacks for trips… such a money saver!


22 Simply Life January 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

Great tips! Exploring grocery stores in new places is one of my favorite things to do!


23 Jenna @ Eating Green, Staying Lean January 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Those oatmeal granola bars look awesome, I’ll have to check out the recipe. And what a great idea for a post…it’s so easy to eat unhealthy foods while traveling, good tips!


24 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I take oatmeal too and brew water and let it steep. Although that really only works with quick oats, it is a good travel eat in the morning. Great idea on the Via to make things stronger. I will have to do that next time. Have fun today!


25 faith @ gracefulfitness January 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Glad you arrived safe and got some sleep. Have a great week!


26 Michele @ Healthy Cultivations January 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I always bring tons of bars from home too. I often scope out the closest SBUX and grocery stores to the hotel I’ll be staying in.


27 Katie January 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Love the tips!

I ALWAYS bring snacks from home when I travel, it is a MUST!

I love bringing snack bars like Kind and Lunas, Dried fruit Snacks, Trail Mix, Almond Butter Squeeze packs, Protein Powder in a ziploc bag, and lots more!

Have a safe rest of the trip!!!!! Im sure your excited to get there!


28 Maggie January 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Great post! I love those Quaker Oatmeal Squares!


29 Lisa @ Early Morning Run January 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Great tips! I always take a bag of food with us when we travel. I don’t trust what we’ll find at the airports and usually we take early morning flights and the restaurants (even coffee shop) aren’t even open in time for us to get anything. I have recently started baking a sweet potato the night before and putting in the fridge overnight then eating it at the airport or on the plane for breakfast. They’re actually really good cold and they have lots of vitamins and minerals. Plus they don’t smell up the plane!

Have a great day!


30 Karen January 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Great idea, Lisa…there’s never a wrong time of day to eat a sweet potato! Love ’em!


31 Amy at TheSceneFromMe January 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Have a safe trip to Dillion and fun at the grocery store. I love shopping in them, and it should be especially fun since it will be a new one to peruse!
I always take a cranberry and almond mixture when traveling and individual packs of oatmeal


32 Stacey - The Habit of Healthy January 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm

You are amazingly well organised and these are fab tips. I suppose if I were travelling for business or something then I would probably do something similar but if it’s a vacation then it’s just too tempting to go out and find some fun breakfast options.


33 carlee January 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’ve been wanting to travel ever since I got “healthy!” lol
Does your husband eat the same portions as you?
I thought he would eat more or something since he is a man…


34 Kath January 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Sometimes he does, sometimes he eats more – like lunch + dinner + snacks


35 Kath January 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm

OH, and beer!


36 MaryBe@AccidentallyVegan January 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I always bring olive oil ( I like to mix it with V8 – weird I know) and Frank’s hot sauce. Hey I’m from B-lo!


37 Kris January 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I think the Starbucks Vias are really expensive per cup. I just measure out teaspoons of a good instant, place in a ziploc, and then eyeball it for each cup. Saves a ton over Via.


38 Tine January 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Those instant oatmeal portions are such a great idea!
You can’t find those here in Belgium. Oatmeal isn’t that ‘hip’ here…
Sad sad…


39 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Great tips! I’m going to Vegas next weekend and these are good ideas to avoid the buffets. Okay, maybe just one buffet :)


40 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Great breakfast tips! I looove quaker oatmeal squares but I haven’t had them in forever.


41 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Good tip about buying fruit IN the airport before you get to baggage claim. It’s way more expensive to buy at the airport than at a groc store but if groc stores are closed, it’s late, etc. then just having that banana or apple the next morning from the airport is worth its weight in gold…great tip, Kath!

And about the Via’s, too. Noted! :)


42 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Bringing the VIA is a brilliant idea! I can never get my coffee strong enough.


43 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] January 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

What program do you use to ‘write’ on your photos? :)


44 Kath January 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Photoshop Elements


45 Heather January 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Great tips – I also request a fridge from the hotel if the rooms don’t already have them. This way you are guaranteed to be able to keep yogurt, fruit, etc.

Also, if traveling by car, I bring my hot water heater – I bought it for approximately $20 and use it whenever I travel. I just bring a bowl and my travel mug and then can make oatmeal and hot tea.

This way I don’t even have to fuss with the coffee maker in the hotel room.


46 Katherine: Unemployed January 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

you make it look so easy! I am a mess when I travel


47 Ashley P. @ The Vegetable Life January 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for the tips of traveling and eating healthy. I travel for work a good amount and even though my company pays for all of my food, I am always faced with unhealthy and unsatisfying choices. I never really thought about bring so much myself… next time I am going to have to give it a try! I always prefer my own food over someone elses! Hope the Montata weather is not too cold for you and Matt!


48 Meaghan @ OhReillyWrites January 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wonderful tips — I really start need to packing food staples on some of my trips so we don’t waste so much money eating out!


49 Lauren January 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Great tips. I always pack breakfast items because I never trust the hotel to have what I need. I’ve learned the hard way too often.


50 Melissa A. January 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Wouldn’t buying food at the airport be expensive? Not to mention that many hotels include free continental breakfast where you can get fruit, yogurt, etc.


51 Yazmin January 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Great tips, Kath. I’ll be sure to use them next time I travel.


52 Charles McCool January 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Excellent healthy eating tips. It is nice to buy local fruit and goodies when traveling to exotic locations but it is a great idea to supplement with staples from home. Saves money and time, too.


53 Lauren January 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Hi! I’ve been reading your blog off and on, as I’m a grad student in Cville and love to read about other people who love it, too! I’ve even seen you at Whole Foods and walking in my neighbhorhood!


54 Kath January 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Hey Lauren! Why aren’t we friends yet!? How funny that you’ve spotted me around – hope I wasn’t doing something embarrassing!


55 Lauren January 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Haha, you weren’t! I’ve been thinking of starting my own healthy living blog and yours is so inspiring–and it doesn’t hurt you live in Cville, too! When I saw you it was kind of weird for me because I knew I recognized you and couldn’t place it at first!!


56 Kath January 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Let’s have lunch :)


57 Elizabeth @ The Sweet Life January 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Great tips, as always! We never check bags, since air travel is now so unpredictable and oftentimes unpleasant, so I’m not sure we can pack as much as you do but we definitely can bring some healthy things on the road!


58 Nicole, RD January 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I love Larabars. Traveling or not, I always have one with me :) But especially when traveling :)


59 Andy January 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Great travel ideas! My niece and I are going on a long trip together in May and we’ll definitely incorporate some of your suggestions – thanks!


60 Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I love these tips!! And I even picked up on some new ones for the next time I travel – thanks!


61 Alaina January 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Thanks for the great food tips! I always feel like I spend an unnecessary amount of money on take out food. My husband and I are hopefully going to Vegas in a few weeks so I’ll have to keep your tips in mind! :-)


62 Justeen @ Blissful Baking January 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Those are awesome tips for traveling! I also like to bring along my own snacks – usually granola bars, whole fruit, and dried fruit.


63 Katelyn January 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Thank you for this! I’m going to be traveling frequently to do college visits, and this was helpful:)


64 Jess @ atasteofconfidence January 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Good tips:) safe travels!


65 Kori January 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Great tips! My sis and I always travel with our own food to save time, money, and most importantly maintain our health. Our family and friends have given us a hard time about it in the past because the majority of people don’t think or care to bring food, but they’ve since come to understand it. I really enjoy not having to stand in the lines for mediocre, high-priced junk at the airport or other places. When I’m hungry, I can just find a nice place to sit and eat without any hassle. =) Hope you’re having a fantastic afternoon, Kath!!


66 Pat Kilmain January 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

We’re leaving tonight for Hawaii. Anchorage to Seattle, then 3 hours there and on to Kona. I’m packing hard-boiled eggs, bagels and cheese to eat in Seattle. We’ll get coffee there. We’ll hit the grocery store as the first stop after the rental car in Kona! Sorry to talk about traveling to a warm place when you’re in a cold one, but think of it as part of your new job! :) Hope you learn lots, and enjoy Montana too – it’s beautiful.


67 Wendy January 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Thanks for your beautiful blog. I’m getting ready to launch my own focused on healthy business travel. I, too, bring food, lots of it. And I’ve figured out where to get the right kind of gel packs so that I can bring fresh food through the security line at the airports. I also hit the grocery stores when I get to my destination so that I can stay in my cozy hotel. And I’ve found the places with complete kitchens stocked with the right cooking equipment so that I can prepare my own meals when I get in from a long day of work. I’m glad I found your blog today. Will keep in touch. Your blog is beautifully done.


68 Jamie @ Food in Real Life January 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Good tips, and I definitely used them on my past trip. Grocery stores are the best though, because honestly I just can’t handle eating too many bars or crackers or snack foods. The thing I miss most when traveling is vegetables though. Oh and hotel coffee makers just gross me out, so I always end up paying too much for coffee when traveling.


69 MLeslie January 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

My husband is addicted to Wolfgang Puck coffee. He first had it at The Doubletree Hotel (looks like that might be where you are staying) and had it ordered online immediately when we returned home!


70 Anna @ ciaotochow January 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Thanks so much for the tips — I’m already planning the snacks I’m going to bring on the snack for my 8-hour flight to Rome on Tuesday. I know from previous flight experience never to rely on airplane food. Haha!


71 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Great tips! I always travel with hoards of food too. Growing up with a peanut allergy has taught me to bring my own food everywhere!


72 Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I always bring snacks from home for traveling and the grocery store is a really great idea. We do the same when having the opportunity to do so.


73 Emily January 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Great post! I love the matching breakfasts too, adorable.


74 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm

You sure did make do with what you had! Still looks like a great breakfast!


75 Paige @Running Around Normal January 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Great tips!! I hate that powdered creamer too. Blech!


76 fairfaxmamma January 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Fabulous tips, Kath!


77 Hannah January 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Of all these tips, the one that blew my mind is added decaf instant coffee to up the coffee flavour but not the caffeine. BRILLIANT.


78 Theresa January 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I have had a twitter account forever but I just downloaded the app on my phone. I would like to follow you…what is your “name” to search on Twitter? Thanks!


79 Kath January 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

@katheats !


80 Charise January 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

I like to pack healthy food for traveling too. I bring car snacks, hotel breakfasts if I know the hotel isn’t going to have good options, and fruit, nuts, and sometimes jerky to snack on throughout the day between not-so-healthy meals out, especially if we’ll be out and about as I’m hypogylcemic and when I need to eat, I NEED to EAT.

A good tip if you don’t have access to the microwave is to use the coffee pot to heat up water for oatmeal.


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