Travel and food often go hand-in-hand. Whether you are on a vacation and vacation means “special” foodie treats that you don’t usually buy. Or, you are out exploring new foods by checking out local markets, eating at restaurants, and trying the local cuisine. Traveling and food are very connected.
To travel well, without worries about when to stop at the grocery store, or what restaurants are the best, a little preparation goes a long way.
Food and travel
Eating out and the joy of exploring new foods
Eating out while traveling, especially when you are going to local restaurants, trying new cuisines, and exploring foods of different cultures enriches your travel experiences.
Getting to know new flavors adds depth to the memories of a trip.
Laura Lynch guest wrote a post all about this on PlanetD. Why I Travel For Food and So Should You.
Food is an ingredient in the soup that makes a culture. When we travel, we are getting a glimpse of a world that is not our own, or maybe slightly different than ours. Adding the sense of taste, when trying new foods and visiting a restaurant creates depth in the adventure of exploring the world.
Food as a special occasion
Food adds warmth and connection to a special occasion. If you think of all the different holidays you celebrate, there is probably a food tradition to go along with it. Food draws people together; it relaxes us as we come together over a meal.
Traveling for food, or traveling with food is just another part of the richness of vacation and travel.
When is the meal?
Start the day.
Keep fueled for your explorations.
Finish off the day with a taste of relaxation and maybe some local flavors.
Traveling for most of us is a vacation, an exciting occasion, special. Having fun snacks adds to the specialness.
Hiking Snacks from Thrive Market
Just like special snacks, including dessert in your plans, adds something special.
Jaunty travel food guide to eating out
Eat out at local restaurants.
Keep an ear out for where the locals go; those are often the best places to try.
Many places in the world have food trucks or street vendors selling delicious food on the street.
Find a co-op, farmers market, local grocery store. Support the local economy, and try some local gems.
Picnicking opens up many possibilities. Order food-to-go at a restaurant or grocery store deli. Buy elements for a meal at a market or co-op. Prep food ahead and store in a cooler while on the go.
Some hotels serve breakfast.
Hotel rooms often include a mini-fridge and a microwave. These open up possibilities as far as stocking up on some basics and eating in for a meal or two.
Another handy tool to use in a hotel is an iron. Buy a small box of aluminum foil and test out some of our iron cooking ideas the next time you want to eat in at a hotel.
Cooking Tuna Steak with a Hotel Iron
Cooking Chicken and Pork with a Hotel Iron
Cooking Steak with a Hotel Iron
Cooking Grilled Sandwiches with a Hotel Iron
Airplane food is frankly, not our favorite.
See Snacks for Air Travel for ideas for healthy, hearty food to pack for your flight.
Take along a camp stove and propane, or build a fire and cook over a grate.
Food for backpacking looks a little different than food for other types of travel because it needs to be lightweight and require little preparation.
See The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Food for a more in-depth look at packing backpacking food.
Jaunty travel food guide to eating in
If you are traveling with a cooler, load it up with meals you have prepared ahead and frozen. The meals will last in a cooler for a day or two before needing to be refrigerated.
Do some planning ahead to buy groceries, prepare meals, and place them in the freezer so that the food gets thoroughly frozen before the trip.
Make up a meal, place food in an airtight freezer bag, and store in the freezer until you are ready to pack it in a cooler. It’s a good idea to double bag meals to prevent leaking.
Packing a cooler
Pack a cooler with freezer meals, quick eats, or snacks and load in the car for a budget-friendly solution to travel food. Packing your food can often make travel more affordable.
While traveling, stop at local farmer’s markets, food co-ops, local grocery stores, or markets to purchase local products. Support the local economy and taste some local flavors. This could be as simple as a wheel of cheese, a chunk of summer sausage, and a local pastry.
The type of transportation you are traveling by will also affect your travels. If you are on a road trip, you can pack a cooler with meals and snacks. On a plane, anything you pack will need to be compact and not include any liquids over 3oz. These are just a few more variables to consider when preparing for a trip.
Road trips- by car
Packed cooler. Restaurants. Food trucks. Picnics. Outdoor markets. Freezer meals. Road trip snacks.
Air travel- by plane
Packed lunch. Snacks.
Train travel- by track
Packed lunch. Small cooler. Snacks.
Hikes and backpacking- on foot
Trail snacks. Road trip snacks. Backpacking food. Salad jar lunches.
Flying to a destination and then road tripping? Or road-tripping to a backpacking spot?
These types of combo trips are easy to plan for.
Split each part of the trip and prep for specific needs.