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If you are currently in planning mode for an upcoming vacation, you might be thinking about what hotel to choose. When you are also concerned about eating healthy at your travel destination, there are some things to look for in a hotel.
These aspects and amenities can make all the difference in how easy it is to find or prepare healthy food choices during your trip.
Nearby Food Options
The first thing you should pay attention to when choosing a hotel is what type of restaurants are nearby. You might think you would be willing to drive anywhere for meals since it’s a personal or work trip, but that isn’t always the case.
You might need a quick breakfast in the morning before attending a meeting during a business trip, or you don’t want to load all the kids up to find a dinner place that is an hour away.
Look for hotels that offer healthy restaurants or cafes within a short distance. If you can find them within walking distance, that is even more convenient.
What could be healthier than walking with your family to the local diner for a nice big soup and salad lunch, then walking back to the hotel to take a dip in the pool? Pay attention to fine restaurants for special dinners, casual restaurants and diners, and fast food joints. This also includes finding grocery stores nearby if you got a hotel room with a kitchenette or a mini-fridge and microwave.
There are also some in-room amenities that can make it easier to eat healthy during your travels, including the appliances in the room. Of course, the best thing to do is find a hotel room with a small kitchenette, but that isn’t always possible.
However, if you do find this type of room, don’t worry too much about the added cost. You will be saving a lot of money by not having to eat out during each meal and struggling to figure out what places offer the healthiest and low-fat options for you and your family.
Other appliances to look for include a microwave and refrigerator, iron, or coffee maker. With an iron, you can cover sandwiches with foil and heat them up for a panini-style sandwich.
You can make rice or soup in a coffee pot since the water reaches near-boiling temperatures. A lot of options are available to you when you have access to a microwave.
On-Site Dining Options
Finally, look to see if you can find a hotel with on-site dining options. Some hotels might be attached to a Denny’s or other casual restaurants, while other hotels are more upscale and have multiple restaurants inside.
Some of the smaller hotels don’t have a restaurant, but they do have a small café for coffee and danishes. Look up these cafes to see if they offer any healthy options, which many of them do.
Healthy Meals You Can Prepare in Your Hotel Room
During an average trip, you won’t be out of your hotel room for three meals a day. This requires eating at least some of these meals right in your hotel room, possibly without room service or an on-site restaurant.
It is time to get creative with what you have available, whether that is a kitchenette or nothing more than a coffee maker.
First of all, you might end up in a hotel room that has virtually no appliances available for cooking or preparing meals. This is when you need to get creative so you’re not eating peanut butter sandwiches for every meal.
To start with, try to hit up the local supermarket before a meal so you can eat convenience foods while they are still fresh. Head to the deli section, since near that area of the store there will be prepared foods and lunch boxes all ready to go. These often include sandwiches or salads that provide nutrition and are great for a lunch or dinner.
You can also try bringing in small appliances of your own if this will be a long trip, just to have some more options. For example, a small toaster oven or rice cooker can come in handy and won’t take up a ton of space in your suitcase.
This allows you to at least have some delicious rice to go with your meal, along with anything you can make in the toaster oven. Keep an ice chest in the room to keep foods cold if you need to, or use dry ice.
Microwave and Refrigerator
You have a few more options available when the hotel room has a microwave and mini-fridge at the very least. For example, with a refrigerator, you have the option of buying fixings for a healthy salad and storing them in the crisper drawer. With a microwave and refrigerator, consider buying a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.
It is already cooked, so you can pull all the meat off the bone, store it in plastic storage bags or containers, and keep it in the fridge. Either serve it cold with your salad, make sandwiches, or heat it up to have with some veggies. Also, keep in mind you can make scrambled eggs with your microwave! You can also buy some delicious soups and heat them up when you need to.
Your coffee maker can also be useful when you find something that just needs boiled water. This might require buying some high-sodium soups or pasta in a cup, but it is always better than getting fast food.
It will be healthier when you combine it with a side salad or vegetables and is a lot cheaper. Just turn the coffee maker on with only water in the maker, instead of coffee grounds. Boiling hot water will come out.
Believe it or not, you can make some hot sandwiches with the iron in your room! This is something many avid travelers have figured out. All you need is the bread and filling for your sandwich, plus some tin foil. Cover the completed sandwich in foil, put the iron on the low or medium setting, then place it on the foil.
Keep turning the sandwich, heating up both sides until you smell the ingredients of the sandwich, such as smelling the cheese or meats; this is usually a good sign it is done cooking. You can heat up just about anything that fits in tin foil with the room’s iron.
These tips are useful when traveling but lean towards healthier, inexpensive eating. With the advent of DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, and others, it is easier to eat in your hotel room than it used to be. But even if you can get almost anything delivered to your door at any point, sometimes you are not feeling it. And, depending on where you are visiting, these delivery options may not be available. It’s good to have these tips in your back pocket!
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This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.