Traveling? Pack Food in your Suitcase
After my post about exercising while traveling, you probably thought my next post would be about eating while traveling, right? Well, this is a precursor to that post – it’s about traveling with food – food that you bring with you in your luggage when traveling.
I do that now.
I’ve been away from home for almost two months now – here’s a picture of my latest suitcase. I swapped out my US bags when I stopped at home for 10 hours about a week ago now that I’m back in Italy. The bag of food is on the left and it takes up about half of the suitcase, but less depending on how much else I need to pack.
I find it’s really important for me to have a few staples in my diet in terms of breakfast and snacks that I can fall back to regardless of my location. Also, some of the things I like to eat aren’t available in every place I go so it’s just easier to bring them with me.
The best thing is that my suitcase inevitably gets lighter as I consume the food, and makes room for gifts and more clothes to take back. Most things are replaceable back home, so in a pinch I can abandon them if I need to at the end of the trip.
While in the US, I traveled with many of these things in their original packages or in smaller Ziploc bags at one time or another – I didn’t always have every single thing on this list in my suitcase at the same time –
- Emergen-C – while not really food, when I feel a bit under the weather I’ll take one of these instead of chugging a glass of OJ (my first instinct)
- Chia and flax seeds – definitely not easy-to-find ingredients, so I carry a little bag to sprinkle on yogurt or chia seeds for a smoothie
- All-Bran (sticks) cereal – incredible source of fiber, sprinkled on yogurt. A box will last a week or so and bringing one from home saves me a trip to the store
- Honey (squeeze bottle / packets) – I add this to unsweetened Greek yogurt which means I always have a sweetener with me. I found single serving packets in coffee shops in Italy and I bring a few as backup or to slip into my purse
- Justin’s Nut Butter packs – a perfect size for an afternoon snack (sometimes two) or when there’s nothing else handy – better than carrying around a jar of nut butter if I’m not in one place longer than a week or two (then I’ll bring a jar of nut butter and/or jam)
- Wasa crackers – I’m not eating a lot of bread, so I like these crackers which are high in fiber and low in calories for my nut butter / jam snack or even with cheese. And they travel much better than other crackers
- Almonds, walnuts, other nuts – a bag of raw almonds for a quick snack or on top of yogurt or a salad. I always buy in bulk as nuts vary incredibly in price from one place to the next, so I’m not paying 4 euro for 100g (4oz) of nuts, which is common
- Protein powder – for a smoothie or to add to yogurt for some post-workout protein or as a filling snack
- Dried dates and/or figs – combined with the nut butter, an excellent snack and great by themselves, too. I also bought several Lara Bars and enjoyed them, too
- Small cans of beans and tuna – I don’t recommend traveling internationally with beans in your suitcase, but for shorter trips I throw a can or two in my suitcase to be able to pump up a salad.
- Protein bars – while in the US this trip I did a bit of a protein bar “crawl” and tried out a bunch of protein bars to find out which ones I liked best in terms of protein and taste (I’ll post about this later). I keep one or two in my backpack and a few more in my suitcase for a quick meal / large snack if I’m going to be out all day / at a conference.
- Rolled oats/oatmeal – a container and sometimes pre-measured in a little baggie with cinnamon, cacao, etc. to just add water / protein powder / honey for a snack later
- Spice grinder / hot pepper – I have a few fresh spice grinders I use on a daily basis (like combo garlic/salt or pepper/salt or hot spices) so I’ll sometimes bring that or a little bag of hot pepper so I can sprinkle it on things and spice them up like a salad or steamed veggies