Healthy eating is usually the first thing to go out the window when travelling, especially if you’re travelling for work. Airport food and conference fare has improved but there’s still a danger of finding yourself in an unfamiliar location, dashing into meetings, fuelled mainly on coffee and vending machine snacks.
This is why we’ve put together our top tips for eating well while travelling for work.
Blueberry banana greek yogurt and chocolate banana mango smoothies in jars
Packed breakfasts and micro lunches
Most hotels offer packed breakfasts now so you can still enjoy some of the buffet treats on the go. You can also take pre-packed micro-lunches with you (three small meals, rather than one big lunch), which will help avoid hunger pangs, indigestion, and the temptation to overeat.
Keep it local by checking in with the locals
Let the hotel concierge help you
By emailing the hotel before you arrive you can get a long list of recommendations for local places to eat. Or, if you’ve got the time, take a break from rushing between meetings and stop by the desk in person. Hotel staff are hospitality specialists who love the opportunity to share their knowledge of the local restaurants. This knowledge usually extends to how to get around the city: heard about a great restaurant that looks like it’s miles away on Google Maps? Hotel staff will be the ones who can tell you how long the trip takes in real time and the best way to get there.
Just ignore the booze and focus on those healthy juices
Get a mini-fridge in your room
If you can withstand the siren call of late-night Pringles, get a room with a mini-fridge. Having somewhere to store whatever you picked up at the local bakery, deli or supermarket is invaluable. Or if you want to stick to your normal diet hotel staff are usually happy to empty the fridge before you arrive and then help you stock up on the basics.
Home-cooked food, even when you're far from home
Self-catered apartments for longer trips
If you’re going to be travelling for more than 2-3 days, consider booking a self-catered apartment. Even if the conference or event you’re travelling for provides catering, home-cooked food tends to be healthier than mass-produced meals. Having your own kitchen will also give you more freedom when planning your evenings; whether you want to check out a new city or just whip up a quick bowl of pasta and fine-tune tomorrow’s presentation.
Grilled salmon with vegetables and quinoa
Check out your hotel’s restaurant
If you’re booked to stay near an airport or conference centre you’ll be well set up for work, but maybe lacking for choice when it comes to local eateries. The good news is that hotels - especially those that cater to business travellers - know that healthy, hearty food is just as important as an overflowing breakfast buffet or epic five course dining. Requesting off-menu meals is usually fine (with a bit of advanced notice) and by searching for hotels endorsed for healthy food you can stay close to work and still eat well.
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