Whenever you’re first starting out with any sort of new diet change, it can be overwhelming to navigate traveling, as you’re unsure of what the food options may be at wherever you’re visiting. When I first changed my diet I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but as I stuck with it consistently, it really just became easier and easier. In this post I’m sharing all of my best paleo travel tips! Traveling should be fun no matter what you eat, and I hope this post helps you realize just how easy it can be!
- Bring a Meal Along
Whether I’m traveling by car or airplane, I always make sure to bring a meal along with me. It makes things so much easier when you’re not sure exactly what the food options are going to be while you travel. I’ve never had an issue with bringing my own food past security in an airport, as long as liquids are no more than 3.4 ounces.
This is what I took along in the car on my last trip to Oregon, although this would work great to take on an airplane as well!
Here’s what I brought: Grilled chicken breast, a big salad, a baked Japanese yam, and a small container of my jalapeño ranch dressing!
I also always bring packaged, and sometimes homemade snacks, depending on where I’m traveling. If you’re looking for snacks that travel well, be sure to check out my snacks round up, with over 100 homemade and store bought snack ideas!
- Ask for a Refrigerator
Many hotels already have a fridge in the room, but even if yours doesn’t, you can usually ask for one! I have yet to come across a hotel that didn’t have them available. I’ve found it’s really helpful to have a mini fridge to store easy foods to snack on, such as hard-boiled eggs, chopped veggies, my dairy-free ranch dressing, and sliced deli meat. Having even just a few things on hand can make a huge difference while you’re traveling!
You may also want to consider staying somewhere with a kitchen. I’ve found this to be so helpful, especially if I’m staying somewhere for more than a few days. As much as I love dining out, I honestly get a little tired of it if I’m eating every meal out for my entire trip. It’s nice to have the option to cook a quick breakfast in before heading out for the day, plus it can save you quite a bit of money!
Worse case scenario, you can always bring a small, portable cooler and fill it with ice to keep your snacks cold. My husband and I have done this before and it works great in a pinch!
- Locate the Nearest Grocery Store
No matter where I’m headed I always search for the nearest Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or other natural grocery stores in the area of where I’ll be staying. This way I don’t have to travel with any food if I don’t want to, or I can just grab a few snacks or meals that I know will keep me feeling good!
- Yelp is Your New BFF
Anytime I’m searching for new restaurants near my home, or when I’m traveling, Yelp is my best friend! I often use the search terms “organic restaurant,” “gluten free” or “grass-fed beef” – and I’m often surprised by what I find! Recently, on a trip to Southern California, I came across a restaurant that focused on local and organic foods, and only cooked with organic butter! I would have never found this restaurant without the help of the Internet, and it ended up being our favorite place to dine out!
Even at what may seem like the least healthy restaurant, you can almost always find a meat and veggie option. My go to meal at most restaurants is a lettuce wrapped burger with a side salad!
- Call Ahead
The key when dining out is not to stress yourself out about it. While you may not be cooking your food yourself, calling the restaurant ahead of time can really be helpful if you’re feeling any sort of anxiety around it. When visiting a new area, I always suggest calling the restaurant ahead of time to ask questions about the menu and discuss what food intolerances you have, especially if they’re serious. This is a great way to put your mind at ease, especially when your diet changes are still new. Restaurants want to make their customers happy, and as long as you’re respectful, they should be more than willing to accommodate you!
Calling ahead to restaurants that you plan to go to can be really helpful! Whenever I find myself at a new restaurant, I search the menu for a type of protein that sounds good, and then any vegetables that they serve. Nearly every restaurant you find yourself at will be more than willing to accommodate dietary restrictions, all you have to do is ask. If it’s on the menu somewhere, odds are they’ll let you create your own meal – I do it all time!
I’m a big believer that life is meant to be FUN! Just because you eat a certain way doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to go out with friends, travel to another state or even out of the country! The biggest key to traveling on a paleo diet is really to keep it as low stress as possible. I don’t personally see a point in trying to be perfect if it’s completely stressing you out. Just do the best you can and enjoy your time away! I hope my paleo travel tips help you with your next travel adventure!
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I like this article. I do the same thing! I’m just really concerned with a trip to Paris. Bread is everywhere. Lol
Haha, I hear you on that! I’m actually planning a trip to Paris myself, and have many friends who have been there and successfully (and easily) eaten gluten-free 🙂 I hope you have an amazing trip!