life Wellness

{VIDEO} How To Eat Healthy On Vacation

March 29, 2016

Tips and tricks on how to eat healthy on vacation and stick to a nourishing diet. Make sure your next trip is fun and relaxing without going crazy at the buffet table with these helpful suggestions.

Tips and tricks on how to eat healthy on vacation and stick to a nourishing diet. Make sure your next trip is fun and relaxing without going crazy at the buffet table with these helpful suggestions.This is a post I’ve been crazy excited about writing, but honestly haven’t had 5 minutes to sit down and write it because I’ve been travelling so much! Unlike most people who can actually get work done on a plane, any mode of transportation makes me conk out completely. Planes are my equivalent of a sleeping pill (I know…I’m lucky).

But I’m finally home and ready to share my healthy eating tips with you guys! Since my life is pretty much a non-stop series of travels (Malibu, Mexico, Arizona), I’ve had to learn how to eat in a way that makes me feel awesome even when I’m not in my kitchen. It’s taken years of practice, but I’ve learned a few tips along the way.

But before we jump into my tips, I actually shot a video while I was in Arizona on what I ate for a full day there. This was a typical day of eats when I’m in not in my kitchen. As you can see…I eat A LOT.

Watch what I eat in a day while on vacation!


1. Pack snacks

This is basically the rule of life. When in doubt, pack snacks. But this is especially true on vacation when your next meal or snack isn’t nearly as structured as it is in your day-to-day life. To avoid going HAM on a bag of lays potato chips, pack some homemade or healthy pre-packed snacks. In terms of homemade, these are my favorites:

Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls
Healthy Trail Mix
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
SuperSeed Crackers

Tips and tricks on how to eat healthy on vacation and stick to a nourishing diet. Make sure your next trip is fun and relaxing without going crazy at the buffet table with these helpful suggestions.And for pre-packed I like to carry these around with me:

Dried Mango or Persimmons
Nuts – I like almonds
All-Natural Organic Fruit Leathers
Fresh fruit

2. Go grocery shopping

First thing I do when I travel somewhere is check out the closest grocery store. If this isn’t an option (aka Uruapan, Mexico), c’est la vie! But if you’re somewhere relatively metropolitan or have a car, find a grocery store. Try to pick up your usual suspects or non-perishables that you can keep with you wherever you’re staying.

If you’re staying in a place with a kitchen, pick up some staples. While we were in San Miguel and Scottsdale, we had kitchens so I picked up extra snacks (fresh fruit and veggies) along with breakfast food. Not only is this a budget saver, but it also ensures you’re getting in healthy food within a more relaxed schedule.

3. A Salad a Day

I try to stick to this rule while I’m travelling. If I can eat at least one salad a day (can range from a small side salad to a large dinner salad), I know I can feel good about myself. I focus on trying to get more veggies in, instead of obsessing about the not-so-great foods I may be eating (ahem tacos…)

4. Eat Breakfast In

If you have access to a kitchen, I highly recommend stocking up on breakfast food. Even if you don’t, there’s a lot of great options if all you’re working with is a fridge! When C and I were in San Diego a while ago, we did a Trader Joe’s run and ate overnight oats for breakfast everyday. We requested a fridge and were able to throw together an easy and healthy breakfast.

When I was in Arizona I brought some packets of Vega because I knew our rooms had blenders. Each morning I whipped up a green smoothie. My family may have thought I was crazy, but I felt good about it.

5. Scout menus

The control-freak in me likes doing this anyway, but a great way to prepare for meals out is to scout the menus if you know where you’re going. More often than not, you’ll find a dish or two that you know you’ll enjoy and is relatively healthy. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box either. I’m known to order two appetizers or an appetizer and two sides if I can’t find an entree I like. Mix and match to put together a meal you know you’ll enjoy.

(but please don’t be that person who requests every aspect of a dish to be changed, unless you have a life-threatening allergy…just saying).

6. Relax

It’s important to be open-minded while travelling. I know for some people who are on a more strict diet, vacations can be a bit nerve-wracking, but that’s not the point! It’s okay to deviate and get a little bit crazy. It won’t derail you from your overall lifestyle unless you let it. So if you went for that triple chocolate fudge cake for dessert, don’t punish yourself by skipping breakfast the next morning and throwing your whole day off. Indulge yourself, just don’t view it as a black and white thing. There’s always room for a little bit of everything.

Likewise, be mindful of the people you’re travelling with. Something that I’m trying to be more respectful about is ensuring that my food choices don’t impede on other people’s fun. If my family wants to go out for pizza, which I generally don’t feel awesome about eating, I’m not going to rain on their parade. I’ll load up on snacks and get a salad with dinner. It’s no biggie. And similarly, I find people are a lot more accommodating towards your food choices when you aren’t annoying about theirs. I think my family was a lot more open-minded about going to The Herb Box and True Food Kitchen when I didn’t put up a fuss about eating at Earl’s Greasy Eats…

Tips and tricks on how to eat healthy on vacation and stick to a nourishing diet. Make sure your next trip is fun and relaxing without going crazy at the buffet table with these helpful suggestions.Any tips to add on eating healthy on vacation? 


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  • Reply
    Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
    March 29, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Awesome video Davida!! 🙂 Another thing I like to do on vacation is move every day, which can be pretty easy sometimes if you’re hiking or exploring a new city. Walking everywhere is the best!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 30, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I totally agree! I definitely make a point of moving everyday, which usually isn’t a challenge on vacation because I love exploring!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I’m not usually one to stress too much about what I eat while on vacation, if it’s a relatively short trip…but I just returned from a month-long freelance project in New Orleans and while the food was delicious, was my body craving vegetables. I was so busy all the time that I definitely did not plan out as well as I could have (plus our meals were provided soo it was also more budget-friendly to eat what was served). One thing that I’m convinced saved me/kept me from feeling awful was drinking kombucha. Having just a little bit every day made me feel a lot better!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 30, 2016 at 9:00 am

      yes! I always try to get a booch after landing. I find it helps ward the bugs off that you catch while travelling.

  • Reply
    Sam @ Barrister's Beet
    March 29, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I love these tips! I’m a travel nut, so I also need to be mindful of these things given how much I go away. I’m going to Scandinavia. Northern Europe and Russia for a few weeks soon. I’m going to take these tips with me ; ) Given where I’m going, I’m definitely packing KIND bars, Lara bars, Trader Joe’s trail mix, packets of Justin’s Almond Butter, etc. I love your tip about a salad per day. I eat that way at home, so why not be mindful of it when traveling? I definitely agree with you, too, that it’s important to relax and enjoy yourself. I try to pace myself and remind myself on vacation that there will be plenty of opportunity to indulge in the things I love. So I try to pass over any mediocre options and “save up” my indulgences for those that are really dreamy : )

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

      I absolutely love that attitude. Sometimes we can get a bit crazy on the indulgences while travelling and just feel pretty shitty about it. Definitely have to evaluate if they’re worth it or not. Can’t wait to hear about your trip!!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Bomgren
    March 29, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I used to be that crazy stressed out person, in full panic mode about what ‘healthy’ options were going to be available on vacation. Fortunately my ‘clean eating obsession’ has tamed a bit. I love packing copious amounts of travel-friendly snacks, sticking to my eggs and greens in the morning and striving for one salad a day and letting the rest fall into place :)! Great post, thanks for sharing! xo-Lindsey

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

      I hear ya! I definitely used to be that way too, but it really wasn’t fun for anyone. I’d find myself on vacation, just more stressed out than I am at home. So not the point! Glad we’ve both eased up 🙂

  • Reply
    March 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Don’t forget: WATER EVERYWHERE YOU GO! So essential to keep yourself hydrated while enjoying the delicious food around you!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
    March 31, 2016 at 8:26 am

    lol “sweet potato and avocado on the menu…” I’m also SOLD. And those brussels sprouts chips totally would have been on my plate too. 😀
    These tips are legit and I’m all about packing healthy snacks. It’s definitely a balance between wanting to enjoy yourself, but also knowing what is going to make you feel at your best.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 31, 2016 at 10:03 am

      exactly! It ain’t easy finding the balance, but one day at a time 😉 PLUS VACATION HOLLLLLA!

  • Reply
    Trevor E
    April 4, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    You are just the lovliest! My parents have a place in Arizona and the hiking is by far my favorite part of going down there. If only I was as good as you at staying in the healthy eats 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2016 at 9:36 am

      No way!! My parents do too! Trust me, there were some indulgences in there 😉

  • Reply
    Rebecca Dawkins
    April 12, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Drinking loads of water (keeping your body hydrated especially in summer vacations), healthy food and fitness, these are some crucial parts happily spent vacations. I just enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for the amazing write-up.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 12, 2016 at 8:24 am

      totally agree on the hydration. It’s something I struggle with at home by I really try hard to up it when I’m on vacation!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 10:59 am

    What trail was that you hiked in the video of Arizona. It was gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Rebecca with Defensesoap
    June 23, 2016 at 1:21 am

    In vacations it’s almost impossible for me to take a balanced diet. Results weight gain :-(. And will take at-least a month to get back into shape. These tips are really beneficial for me. Hope I’ll be able to follow.

  • Reply
    Ellen B. Moss
    July 22, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Hey Davida!

    It is true that our food choices each day affect our health — how we feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle.It is good to hear from you some key points regarding healthy food.You also shared a small but useful list of food.I am a big diet conscious who loves to eat green vegetables, fresh juicy fruits and buts in my diet on my vacation .

    Thanks for giving your view on this significant topic.


  • Reply
    Derek Mcdoogle
    August 2, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    My family and I are going on vacation and my wife is on a strict diet. You mentioned that a great way to prepare for meals out is to scout the menus if you know where you’re going. Do most restaurants provide their menu on their website? I didn’t realize that you could do that. I wonder what options we have to choose from.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      August 2, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Derek. Yes – most should offer their menus online. If not, you can usually call and ask if they can accommodate your diet!

  • Reply
    Pam De Guzman
    September 16, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Researching the nearest place to go for groceries and yes scouting for restaurants and what they offer is helpful. I think carrying an energy bar and always bringing water is also essential. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Hey, I just watched the video. I love it. Thank you for sharing how to be healthy on vacation. Keep posting valuable blog.

  • Reply
    Martina Anderson
    March 13, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Amazing article 🙂

    I am going to Singapore with my family on vacation. I am a diet conscious and I am thinking what to take along with me for eating on vacation as I don’t like to eat junk food. Thanks for giving very good advice. This will really helpful to me.

  • Reply
    Om Kadam
    October 25, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Keeping yourself hydrated is another cardinal rule that you should stick by religiously when travelling. Thanks Davida, for sharing this quick tips. Really helpful!

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