Eating on the road – 5 tips for first-timers

Wherever your travels take you, food is an integral part of enjoying life on the road. While it definitely depends on what type of travel you’re doing (train hopping in Europe vs. staying in bare-bones hostels in SE Asia), here are a few tips for keeping yourself well-fed and healthy while satiating your wanderlust!

1) Carry around your own essentials.


When you’re traversing the world, you might not be able to find the stuff you need to keep your tummy and taste buds happy. Carrying a pocketknife, set of cutlery, and even salt/pepper packets can be a tremendous help if you’re backpacking. When I was in Europe I liked to make easy Greek salads in the hostel, but kept having to buy new bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar since people would steal them – not my favorite activity! Buy some lightweight plastic bottles and fill them yourself to avoid this issue without the added weight.

2) Buy a little at a time.


If you’re staying in a hostel and are lucky enough to have a kitchen for your use, just buy enough food you can surely annihilate within two days. While it’s awesome having a kitchen at your disposal, and you might tell yourself you’ll FOR SURE eat all that food, things can change and you might end up going out, having your food stolen/eaten, etc. Avoid wasting money and time by just buying enough for a day or two.

3) Make sure you’re snacking and eating proteins.


It can be hard to eat well and feel good when you’re traveling, but if you keep your body nourished throughout the day (even just a handful of almonds at a time) it will keep your metabolism elevated and improve your experience wherever you go. Get your protein in before long train or bus journeys so you’ll feel energized longer, and pack string cheese, jerky, nuts, or whatever other proteins you can find to stay content. Oh, and drink water!



That’s right, share your food, do it with joy, generosity, and friendliness. You don’t have to be Anthony Bourdain to know that sharing cuisine brings people together, knocks down cultural barriers, and builds community. Whether you’re divvying up some weird meal you hacked together with some fellow hostel mates or simply giving away your leftovers to someone on the street, sharing will fulfill you in more ways than one.

5) Stay local.


I’ve found the best way to keep my stomach from growling while traveling is to hit the local markets no matter what. Even in foreign lands where you don’t know what certain foods are, most vendors will give you samples of hot falafel or show you how to peel a rambutan. You’ll likely find something you love or can easily prepare, not to mention get to know the locals and their culinary staples!

What are your tips for dining while traveling?


About the author:


Kelsey Rains is a writer, editor, world traveler, and entrepreneur mostly based out of Portland, Oregon. Kelsey’s first ventures into writing and traveling started in college when she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for five months. The experience left her speechless (for once) and she vowed to continue journeying through her 20’s. Kelsey has worked all sorts of jobs, but her main passion is writing and creating. She hopes to encourage others to fearlessly follow their passions and live fully in each moment. Check out her writing

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