How to Eat Healthy on Vacation without Breaking the Bank

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With the high-stress level of Generation Y, vacations are a must. Sometimes, a Millennial just needs to get away, to escape somewhere for a few days and let her problems slip away. Vacations help people relax and rejuvenate—at least, in theory. However, vacations can also pile on plenty of their own stress factors: expenses, directions, what to pack, where to go, and, of course, eating.

If you’re visiting family, eating won’t be a problem. But, if you’re visiting a new state (or country!) the price of food climbs up fast unless you eat fast-food everyday—but who wants to do that? Fast-food—or dare I say preservatives, which, after all, is basically what you’re eating—tends to taste like plastic and really doesn’t do good things for your body. On the other hand, restaurants with “real food” can cost $15.00 or more a meal.What’s a girl in (or just out of college) to do? Well, there’s a couple simple tricks you can try to save some money while still eating healthy.

Eat one big meal a day

healthy food for vacation
Photo Credit: bzwei

I am not condoning starving yourself. Book a hotel that serves free breakfast and take advantage of it. Eat a huge one (maybe even take an extra apple, yogurt, or bowl of cereal) to tide you over for a while. Then, later in the day, go out for a “brunch”, so you only have to pay for expensive restaurant fees once.

Drink water

 If you won’t want to skip a meal, then skip out on the expensive drinks. Soda pop isn’t good for you anyway. While the tea and lemonade restaurants serve can be somewhat healthy, they can also cost upward of three dollars. Restaurants tend to slam their customers with drink prices; it’s not like fast-food where the drink comes with the meal. However, water’s typically free. Most places will even provide you with a little wedge of lemon if you ask. It won’t save you a ton of money, but every little bit counts.

Find a grocery store and invest in a cooler

eat grapes on vacation
Photo Credit: Unsplash

No matter where you go on vacation (unless you’re camping in the Amazon or climbing Mount Everest) people live somewhere nearby. That means there should be a grocery store within a 50-mile radius. So hit up a Walmart and buy some food you can eat at the hotel room. Unless you have a mini fridge, don’t buy something that needs to stay cold. I suggest breakfast bars, cereal, fruit (it will go bad fast, but it doesn’t need to stay cool), and so on. If you have a mini fridge or a microwave then your options expand. Get some bread and lunch meat, or peanut butter and jelly. Even if you’re out of the country, you can still find a grocery store to buy some of this stuff. Just do your research about what you can/will want to buy before you leave.

Now here comes the cooler part. Make a sandwich, stick in the cooler, and bring it with you in the car. If you’re going from site to site, you can eat that for lunch. If you’re going to a theme park or something, well, I’d resort back to the one meal a day idea.

This isn’t a perfect list. These tricks will work for some vacation destinations and plans but not all. However, these simple tips can help you save money while staying relatively healthy (healthier than fast-food), which is something every Gen-Y girl deserves. So don’t freak out, go on vacation, relax, and have fun.

Want to read more about this topic? Check out these articles:

How to Eat Healthy on Vacation without Breaking the Bank

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