Tips for International Travel?

Kuhl50 Posts: 416 Member
What are your favorite hacks for travel? I'll be gone for 12 days, 2 business trips sandwiched with a tourist weekend with my sister. Trying to stay carry on, so I can't pack too much food. How do you find low density, low calorie, high protein, nutrient rich food when eating out for every meal? What other techniques do you try? (am bringing a water bottle, a limited supply of protein bars, and some oatmeal/museli)


  • mhdashler
    mhdashler Posts: 103 Member
    Where are you going? It might help us answer your question if we knew the location(s) you are heading to.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
    Drink water when eating out
    If you order dessert, share with your eating companions. As a matter of fact, share any of your meals if you'd like. When my sister and I do lunch together, we always share what we order; it's always more than plenty, saves money, we don't have leftovers to bring back and reheat(most of the time it just doesn't taste the same) and we don't end up cleaning our plates just because.....
    More walking and sight-seeing, less restaurant visiting. :)

    But most of all, enjoy yourself and your new experiences!! There will be plenty of time to get back on the wagon when you return home!!
  • Luke_rabbit
    Luke_rabbit Posts: 1,031 Member
    We generally stay someplace with at least a minimum kitchen and then usually only eat lunch out. I love going to grocery stores in other countries!
  • weatherking2019
    weatherking2019 Posts: 943 Member
    I stay at a place with a kitchen when traveling with kids. It's just easier and economical that way.
    But when I don't have kitchen, I try anything I can. Just make sure it's fresh and cooked in clean kitchen. Getting sick abroad is not fun!
    I try local foods, fruits and drinks. Do a little research before going on travelocity and see what others have tried and so forth.
    Have fun!
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,222 Member
    I just used some beef stew seasoning I brought back from a grocery in Tbilisi last summer and am smacking myself upside the head for not getting more. It was fantaatic, and almost no calories.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
    enjoy your 12 days as a diet break and then get back on plan when you get home
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,478 Member
    I rather enjoy trying the local calorie bomb when I am on vacation. That would be, for example, Francesinha in Porto, Poutine in Quebec, Cao Lau in Hoi An.

    But normally I just book a hotel with a gym and do an hour of cardio in the morning before breakfast while the other half sleeps in. Do enjoy trying some new food.

    I have no squeamishness with street food in countries which have that as a tradition. Just pick a stall that is obviously popular with locals, and turnover should be high enough for everything to be hygenic even if the vendor does not have access to refrigeration.
  • anubis609
    anubis609 Posts: 3,966 Member
    For international travel, I recommend trying new food and experiences you wouldn't otherwise try here.
  • ShinyFuture
    ShinyFuture Posts: 314 Member
    edited February 2020
    It's a little harder to suggest specifics when your destination is unknown, but what has unfailing worked for me: Go to the local markets or grocery store.

    I've never been to a country yet in South America or Europe that didn't have places with plenty of options - some are almost identical to brands in the US (interestingly though, often with less sugar/salt) if you want fill-in things or, what I mostly do - buy plain old food - fruits, vegetables, meat, bread. These work whether you have cooking facilities or not. And for restaurants, if we go where the locals go we've always found that portions are considerably smaller than traditionally found at US restaurants (ie a serving of lasagna in Italy is actually a serving vs the US restaurant "serving" being 2-3 servings). Real food, smaller portions, lots of walking - I've never been on a trip yet that not only did I not gain but I have always come back having lost at least a little weight.
  • VioletRojo
    VioletRojo Posts: 595 Member
    One of the best parts of travel is the food, so my tip is to try as much of the local cuisine as possible and enjoy!
  • Kuhl50
    Kuhl50 Posts: 416 Member
    Hi everyone, thanks for your advice!

    First off, Spain then Ireland. Spain is first time for me, the Ireland location I'm at multiple times/year. I travel enough domestically and internationally that I need a new normal--I can't afford to treat each trip as a diet break if I want to make real progress this year.

    For much of the business parts of the trip I have little options over the where and when to eat or to stay--hotel is pre-booked, lunches and dinners are group events, pre-planned. Breakfast at the hotel is usually ok. Lunches are more often fixed menus and I struggle to find something I want to eat (I have a lot of taste and texture aversions; the intersection of healthy and "I want to eat it" is small). Luckily dinners are often at nice restaurants where I am much more likely to find a salad or something healthy. But in general getting enough protein and fiber without going way over in calories is a challenge.
  • sarabushby
    sarabushby Posts: 782 Member
    If I am trying to ‘be good’ when eating out, then selections would include lighter meals like the fish dishes and avoiding anything in a creamy sauce or with cheese.
    In Spain, avoid the calorie bombs of deep fried foods and chorizo.
    You could consider for your business meals choosing two starters rather than a starter and a main.
    If a dish comes with sauce, or a salad with a dressing, ask for it on the side then you can reduce how much of it you consume.
    Avoid the bread basket!

    Sorry, a lot of that is probably obvious for you but maybe not for everyone.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,512 Member
    edited February 2020
    Kuhl50 wrote: »
    What are your favorite hacks for travel? I'll be gone for 12 days, 2 business trips sandwiched with a tourist weekend with my sister. Trying to stay carry on, so I can't pack too much food. How do you find low density, low calorie, high protein, nutrient rich food when eating out for every meal? What other techniques do you try? (am bringing a water bottle, a limited supply of protein bars, and some oatmeal/museli)

    Depending on where you're travelling, you might not be able to bring much food into the country with you anyway.

    Fortunately, MFP is international ... it has foods from overseas places like the USA, Canada, and all over Europe!! So when you pop into a grocery store to find some foods, you can use the bar code on your phone. :)

    For lunches, if you can find a place that has sandwiches, they'd be all right.
    For dinners, order a salad and choose veg instead of other sides. You could go with grilled fish or chicken to get your protein.

    That'll help. :)
  • Lolinloggen
    Lolinloggen Posts: 463 Member
    I travel a fair amount for work and personal.
    My hacks are fairly simple: Soup and Salad. The latter with dressing on the side, so I can dose it myself. I'll skip the bread with the salad and soup. I will also skip dessert opting for a cup of tea of coffee instead.
    As for mains I'll go grilled fish often or vegetarian.
    Other than that ensure I have a gym and/or swimming pool at the hotel. I walk a lot and try to fit in my runs I need that as me time anyway.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 7,478 Member
    If you are eating in tapas bars in Spain it can be hard to get vegetables. My favourite vegetable based tapas are padron peppers, broad beans cooked with bacon and marinated carrots, tomatoes on bread. Avoid the Russian salad which contain tons of mayo.
  • skelterhelter
    skelterhelter Posts: 803 Member
    I'd say pick the best option you can, estimate the portions, and do loads of walking! Usually on vacations I tend to not worry about tracking, but since you're on a business trip and do this sort of thing frequently (and the restaurants are pre-planned), I'd say the best you can do is just estimate.
  • ultraastra
    ultraastra Posts: 30 Member
    I’ve travelled whilst using MFP
    My first week on here I was in Texas (I’m from Scotland)
    I logged everything I ate, and I lost weight. The food database is huge, and I found no issues. Outside of that, just estimate 😎
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,877 Member
    edited February 2020
    Travel is almost always for vacation for me so I don’t end up logging everything because it is impossible to know the precise calorie counts of food. I am still conscious of what I eat but much more relaxed about it. I try to stay around maintenance calories when I’m vacation.

    I tend to be very active on vacation getting in tons of steps and other exercise. I love trying the native foods and eating dessert also. My last few big trips were Hawai’i, Costa Rica, and Greece.

    I ate a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables in all of those places along with some seafood. I am mostly plant based and Greece had tons of delicious veggie dishes. Costa Rica had a lot of rice and beans.
  • ang82much
    ang82much Posts: 30 Member
    For eating out options; in Spain you could find a Tapas place - they're only small plates so fairly easy to be moderate and gague how much you want to eat. In Ireland maybe order from starters menu instead of the mains menu?