What's in my carry-on (The Food)

Summer's officially here! And with it usually comes lots of travel – family vacations, road trips, long weekends, and beach days.

Ravi and I definitely catch the travel bug in the summer and take full advantage of our clear calendars and vacation days. We’re heading to Bermuda over July 4th, spending a long weekend in Newport, RI with our parents, and then off to Hawaii for 16 days (!) in August.

Vacations are meant for letting loose and decompressing from the everyday, but with our go-go-go travel schedule, I do try to keep myself mostly in check when it comes to my food choices. Plus, caring for and fueling my body makes vacation that much more enjoyable! The last thing I want is to have an upset stomach on the beach or be hangry while seeing the sites. I want to feel my best, and that means taking a little extra time beforehand to prepare healthy, travel friendly foods.

For the plane:

Water bottle: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I can’t say this enough, and it’s especially important when traveling. You want to keep energy levels up, your skin looking fresh, and your digestive system running as close to normal as possible. I pack an empty Swell bottle to take through security and then refill as often as possible.

Lemon wedges: You’ll seriously find so many uses for lemon wedges. I use them to flavor your water or dress a salad. They also help with digestion and give you an extra dose of immune boosting vitamin C.

Avocado: I always pack at least one avocado. It’s great as a snack on its own or to bulk up a not so stellar airport salad. You can literally just cut it in half and eat with a spoon!

Trail mixes + granola: These are easy to make and stay fresh for days. I have a handful when I need something small and quick or to round out breakfast. They’re also great packed into small baggies to carry while site seeing or hiking. 

Dark chocolate: One or two bars, always. I think this one is self-explanatory.

Lunch box: I’m usually traveling for at least one meal and snack, so I make sure I’m set for that plus extra, because we all know how flying goes… Try to pack non-perishable foods that keep well at room temperature. I like to make grain salads that are loaded with vegetables for my main meal. Then I take pre-cut fruits and veggies for an easy snack. Maybe some hummus and crackers too. Massaged kale salad is also a great option, and it’s a perfect way to ensure you’re getting in greens! Look for lunch boxes with dividers or individual compartments for easy packing. I like Lunchbots and Bentology.

Tea: This goes hand in hand with my comment on hydration. Just ask the flight attendant for hot water and you’re good to go! I like to take a mix of different teas for different situations: green tea for a bit of caffeine, ginger or peppermint to help with digestion, chamomile to relax, and a detox blend to help flush my system.

For the destination:

Greens powder: It’s definitely harder to eat all your vegetables while on vacation. So, to supplement, I always drink a serving of greens each morning. Amazing Grass, Vibrant Health, and WelleCo all make great single serving travel packets.

Rolled oats with dried fruit and cinnamon: You can usually find oatmeal most places, but I like to pack several servings with me as well. It’s super easy to make in the hotel room. Just soak in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes I don’t want a big hotel breakfast (or to pay $10 for oatmeal), and this hits the spot!

Nut butter packets: These are my BFF when traveling. I use them for an extra dose of healthy fat and protein when hunger strikes, as a topping for my oatmeal at breakfast, or as a late night nosh when I need that little extra something. It’s amazing how satisfying peanut butter on an apple or banana can be when nothing else seems to do. Justin's, Artisana Organics, and Eat Nutzo are all great. 

Pre-made energy bars: I always keep one in my purse while out and about site seeing. You never know when hunger will strike or what food options might be available. My favorite brands are GoMacro, RXBar, and Larabar. Look for minimal ingredients that you can pronounce.

For extra insurance: 

Digestive enzymes: Trust me, these are a godsend when on the road. Your digestive system is likely off schedule and not processing what it’s used to. Give it some love and support. I usually take one whenever I’m eating something I don’t normally eat like bread, dairy, or dessert. I typically use Rainbow Light.

Probiotics: Check your greens blend as some already contain probiotics. If not, go for a brand that doesn’t require refrigeration. These too will help keep your digestion in check.

Natural Calm: This magnesium supplement does wonders for me when traveling. It aides sleep, relaxes the body, and relieves constipation. Take a serving an hour or so before bedtime and you’ll be as good as new in the morning.

For the return flight:

It’s not always easy to pack as thoughtfully as you do on the outbound flight for the return home, but I find that as long as I can stop by a grocery store for a few key items, I’m pretty much set. Lemons, avocado, fresh fruit, pre-chopped veggies, and nuts/seeds are generally easy to find and much cheaper purchased outside the airport. If you’re staying at an AirBnB, then you’re even more ahead of the game since you can utilize leftovers and refill your lunchbox that way!

Recipes that travel well: 

Massaged Kale Salad
Barley Edamame Salad 
Grain Salads
Smoky Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
Chunky Walnut Coconut Cacao Bites
Vanilla Cranberry Snack Bars

And there you have it! 

I hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe summer. I’ll be posting my adventures on Instagram, so be sure to follow along @leotamelinda to see all of my tips and tricks in action! Plus, I’ll be showing how I navigate dining out and exercising too.

What are some of your travel must-haves and plans for the summer?