Hey Whole30’er! Firstly let me just say I’m SO impressed that you’ve chosen to do a Whole30 amidst travel plans… Maybe you’ve got a big trip coming up and you just want to prove to yourself you can continue to do Whole30 while traveling… Or maybe travel is what you do! Day in and day out, your job has you on the go. Whatever the reason you’re looking for Whole30 travel tips, I hope to provide some guidance to make your Whole30 even easier!
I’ll give you a fast breakdown of my Whole30 travel tips, then go in detail for each one below. Have other suggestions I should add? Or have questions about what I’m sharing? Comment and I’d be happy to add it to this post!
(I’ll note here that I do realize some of you business travelers don’t have full control over your travel details. If you fall in this boat, just do the best you can! Try to have a chat with your travel coordinator to communicate your preferences so s/he can accommodate you as much as possible!)
My list of Whole30 Travel Tips
- Plan ahead
- Meal Plan
- Look at menus at choose restaurants
- Make reservations
- Bring a cooler
- Pack enough On-the-Go food
- Check your bag
- Stay in a hotel with a mini kitchen
- Bring your kitchen gadgets with you
- Map out grocery stores before you go
- Look up restaurants and menus in advance
- Scope out airport food in advance
- Consider Sun Basket
Normally when you’re traveling, stopping in restaurants and gas stations for fast(er) food is a way of life. When you’re on the Whole30, you’ll have to majorly plan in advance to set yourself up for success!
Meal plan before you leave. If you plan on making your own food, this consists of which recipes you’re going to make and grocery lists before you leave (Check out my Whole30 Meal Plans here!) Decide what you should purchase in advance and what you’ll be able to get at a grocery store when you get there. Personally, meat is our top priority. I will purchase organic, high quality protein in advance, freeze it, and then pack it in the cooler. The fact that it’s frozen means less need for freezy pouches, too! Another option is cooking your meat in advance. You can grill and cut chicken into slices, put it in the cooler, and that can be a super filling snack on the go!
Search for Restaurants and Menus in Advance
If you want to eat out, you’ll want to plan which restaurants you’re going to in advance. Search for restaurants near your event location and check their menus.I even go so far as to create a Google map for a trip and save restaurants that have Whole30 approved options so that when we’re there, it’s SO much less time searching on my phone.
Local restaurants typically tend to have healthier options, and they’re usually able to say yes to your requests than huge chain restaurants can. Search for things like “organic” or “grass fed burger” or “salads” to find restaurants that may work. You can look at reviews on Yelp, then I would call to verify hours and that they’re still in business (so many annoying stories here of traversing the world to find out X healthy restaurant had closed…). It’s a hassle, but worth it to be prepared! (In this phase keep track of addresses, phone numbers, and business hours…)
Make Reservations in Advance
You definitely don’t want to wait until you get to where you’re going and HOPE you find a place to eat for dinner. Especially if you’re dining on a weekend, restaurants fill up so fast you could be waiting for hours or forced to find another spot. Make reservations for all of your dinners to ensure you have something Whole30 approved to eat, and when you want it! Use Google and Yelp to find somewhere that is near your hotel or where you’re staying, and check menus to ensure you have a good option. Knowing your dinner plans are completely taken care of will definitely help minimize your stress!
If you’re traveling for work with colleagues, you can just volunteer to plan meals! Your colleagues will be grateful to have it all mapped out, and the restaurant choosing will be safely in your hands.
Write it all down
Once you’ve decided exactly where you’re eating and when, write it all down. I would suggest having a master document that includes address, phone number, and store hours for the following:
- Grocery stores nearby
- Coffee shops nearby
- Smoothie shops or juice bars nearby
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots along with any reservations and times
You can keep this completely digital, or print it out to keep with you. If you’re traveling with colleagues, they’ll think you’re the most prepared person on the planet. Because, you basically are 😉
Bring a cooler
Bringing a cooler makes everything easier! You can pack your meat and anything else you’re not willing to compromise on. We also make sure to bring lots and lots of fresh snacks for the car ride that we pack in the cooler. (Examples below!)
Pack enough On-the-Go food
There are so many great snack and emergency type foods that are great on the go. Some examples would be:
- Meat: Deli meat, meat you cook in advance, canned meat, wild caught smoked salmon
- Fruits: Fresh fruit, dried fruit, baby food pouches (surprisingly delicious!), or applesauce cups
- Vegetables: cucumber, carrots, celery, bell peppers, snap peas, snow peas, kale chips, salsa, vegetable baby food varieties
- Healthy Fat Options: olives on the go, guacamole packets, olive oil (you can bring a small bottle like this one with you!), coconut milk, meat, and flakes, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and nut butter to go pouches, take salad dressings or sauces with you in little bottles!
- Bars: Epic Bars, Lara Bars (click here to see which Lara Bars are Whole30 approved!), RX Bars, or Thunderbird bars
Check your bag
I know, it’s annoying. I would much rather only bring a carry-on. I’m totally with you, but let me tell you why. A lot of the snacks and foods I’ll suggest are liquid! If you check a bag, you can bypass the liquids rule and bring your liquid snacks with you! (Not to mention your full sized shampoo and conditioner 😉 You can also bring more kitchen gadgets that wouldn’t be allowed in your carry-on.
Stay in a hotel with a mini kitchen
This is huge, you guys! If you’re staying in a hotel, choose an extended stay with a mini kitchen. Especially for breakfast and lunch, I just want to make our own food! Having a kitchen in your hotel is a game changer. We prefer Home2 Suites by Hilton! It doesn’t have an oven, but you’d be surprised what you can make in a microwave if you have to! Having a full sized refrigerator is key! From their website:
All of our kitchens include a full–size, energy efficient refrigerator/freezer, microwave, sink and dishwasher. Plus, what kitchen would be complete without a toaster, microwavable cookware and cooking utensils? We have it all!
Can’t swing it? Try to at least get a hotel with a mini fridge and microwave. A lot of hotels have some mini fridges available for guests who request one. Right when you book your hotel, call to request a mini fridge be put in your room before you get there. It saves you an extra step and keeps your food fresh!
Another thing to do that’s hotel-related is call to check what’s included in the “free breakfast,” if there is one. There may be at least eggs, which could potentially save you from going to a restaurant for breakfast… But don’t count on the “free breakfast” meaning there will be a Whole30 approved option for you.
Bring your kitchen gadgets with you
Even if you are staying in a hotel with a kitchen, you need to bring some kitchen tools with you! Bring a paring knife with a case like this one in your checked bag. Since vegetables tend to need more cutting than fruit, this will help you stay balanced in that fruit-to-veggie ratio. You can also get flexible cutting boards like these that will fit easily in your luggage. You might also want to bring a can opener
Find grocery stores near you in advance
Grocery stores are your best bet for having compliant food! This is especially helpful (and entirely crucial) if you plan to make your own dinners while you’re away.
Consider Sun Basket
Sun Basket is a meal delivery service that provides organic, non-GMO, Paleo options! It’s hands down my favorite meal delivery service, and we’ve actually used it a few times specifically for when we travel. Their packaging is so easy to navigate- the meat is in one container then all the produce and extras are packaged in another container- one for each meal! We’ve either got our Sun Basket box delivered to our house before we left for a road trip, OR we’ve had it delivered to our destination if we were flying to visit friends or family. It is so easy to make once you get there- and so helpful to have only what you need (instead of an entire stalk of celery leftover) while you’re out of town. Especially since we have kids and eating out is tougher. Not impossible, just tougher 😉 Click this link to get 3 meals free and support my blog! It’s so appreciated.
Getting a hotel with a mini kitchen is a must… believe me I’ve tried to get by in one without one. It’s possible but… well let’s just say it’s extremely difficult. It’s definitely worth it to go through the trouble of finding a hotel room with a kitchen.