Traveling for business can be both exciting and exhausting. But when you’re on the road, fueling your body with healthy food choices is important.
Eating well while traveling is essential for maintaining energy levels, staying alert and productive during meetings, and keeping your weight in check.
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just starting out, this guide will provide tips on how to eat healthily while on the go.
From easy-to-prepare meals to protein-rich snacks that pack easily into suitcases, we’ll cover everything you need to know about travel food ideas so that you can stay fueled wherever life takes you!
The goal of this list of travel food ideas
This travel food ideas list is designed to help travelers make the most of their business trips by preparing healthy, nutritious meals and snacks that are easy to prepare and store while on the go.
Each of these travel meals and snacks incorporates the following:
- High protein
- Providing adequate macros (proteins, fats, carbs & fiber)
- Non-perishable (longer lasting foods) packaged foods
- Easy to pack, prepare, and eat.
Travelers looking to lose weight can also use the sample meal plan provided as a jumping-off point for their own meal planning.
Who is this travel foods idea list for
This travel food ideas list is designed for busy professionals who need to maintain their weight loss success while traveling on business trips.
Travelers can use this list to pick out meals and snacks that are easy to prepare and store while on the go, so they don’t have to worry about compromising their goals during their travels.
Simplicity is key when traveling. You already have to juggle multiple tasks and tasks, so adding a complex breakfast to the mix will be too much.
Pack your suitcase with these high-protein breakfast items that require minimal storage and no preparation – perfect for a stress-free, nutritious start to any day.
Make your travel protein oats recipe.
You can make your own protein oats recipe by packing the dry ingredients in a small container and then using the hot water or milk the hotel provides to create a delicious, nutritious breakfast.
This method is great for business travelers because it requires minimal prep time and is easy to store in your bag or suitcase. Additionally, preparing oats with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds will give a better nutritional bang for your buck.
Here are a few overnight oats recipes you can use (just exclude the liquids).
Protein shake fruit and almond butter
An even more convenient option than the protein oats is to take along a few servings of your preferred protein powder, some fruit, and individual packets of almond butter.
RXBAR, RX A.M. Oats
Similar to the make-your-own protein oats recipes, many food companies like RXBARS will do the work for you. I like these as an option because they will also provide you with a bowl, which will be handy at your hotel. However, one downside is that, on average, these only have 12-16 grams of protein.
Oats Overnight is another company that provides simple and convenient travel food. Plus, they offer a whopping 20 grams of protein and are vegetarian-friendly.
Three Wishes Protein and Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal
Three Wishes Protein and Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal provides a great option for a travel breakfast that is both high in protein and low in sugar. While the cereal does not come with milk, almost every convenience store, Starbucks, and some hotels offer it. Offering you an opportunity to get your steps in and pick some up.
Plus, Three Wishes is vegan, kosher, grain-free, and dairy-free, so it is going to fit within almost any dietary restrictions.
Magic Spoon Cereal Breakfast Cereal
Magic Spoon Cereal is a delicious breakfast option with 13 grams of protein – without even adding milk! Formulated with whey protein, this cereal contains dairy making it suitable for some, but not all.
As mentioned, you still have the opportunity to walk to your local convenience store to get some milk which increases the protein content to 21-25 grams of protein.
Travel Lunch Ideas
Picking the right lunch for my clients can be tricky since they may be busy working during this time. Therefore, it’s important to consider food items that are easy to carry and consume on the go.
When you’re on the go, wraps make a perfect meal. They are simple to craft, keep well for transport, and provide an excellent balance of protein and fiber, thanks to products like Flatout or Extreme Wellness tortillas/wraps. Fill them with lean proteins like canned chicken or tuna and your condiments.
Ramen noodles might seem like an odd travel lunch choice, but new products like Immi’s are 100% plant-based ramen noodles with 22 grams of protein. Plus, it’s plant-based for those looking for vegan and vegetarian options.
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
By using canned chicken, you can make an easy chicken salad sandwich. Simple pack a wrap or a few slices for bread, mayo or avocado, and any other filling you want to use. This meal is full of protein and fiber – plus, it’s the perfect thing to keep you going until dinner!
Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich
Another travel-friendly lunch option is the Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich. All you need to do is prepare some canned tuna with avocado and even a dollop of mayo if you’d like. This recipe will offer plenty of protein and also provide an extra helping of healthy fats. Sandwiched between two slices of whole-grain bread, you also get a meal with some fiber!
Travel Dinner Ideas
Dinner is often the hardest meal to plan for when traveling since you may be working and have limited access to fresh items. Here are a few of my go-to suggestions.
Tuna Salad with Crackers
One of the simplest meals to take with you is a tuna salad with crackers. This meal is perfect for those who prefer to purchase pre-made items. StartKist offers a product that is already premade and ready to eat.
Canned Chicken soup
Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup is a great way to get much-needed protein and carbs in your travel dinner. This meal is easy to find at most supermarkets, and it’s also extremely portable. Travelers can grab a bowl or two without any preparation needed!
A little hack I like to use is to add half of a can of a whole can of chicken into this soup to take it from 19 grams to 29-39 grams of protein.
Campbell’s Chunky Chili Grilled Steak with Beans is a complete meal in terms of macros. With 31 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, you will feel full after a meal of this chili. Plus, it is easy to find at most supermarkets and convenience stores.
Huel – Black Edition
For some, even sitting down to eat dinner is not an option. I am considering some clients who must work a trade show or are in meetings ALL DAY! This is where I suggest a meal replacement shake. It’s easily portable and can be sipped on while working. The Huel-Black Edition checks all these boxes.
Travel Snack Ideas
There are a few things that I look for in a travel snack, are they portable, do they have some protein, and do they offer another source of nutrition? With these guidelines, let’s go through my favorite travel snack options.
My go-to travel snack is protein bars. They are easy to transport, provide plenty of satiety, and there are plenty of options that you can choose from. Below is a list of my favorite bars, each designed to fit a specific dietary restriction.
- RXBar – Gluten Free
- NoCow Bar – Plant-based
- One bar – High protein
Roasted chickpeas are a great travel snack for those away on business trips. They are loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and with companies like Good Bean, there are plenty of flavors to choose from.
I caution people when eating processed meats like beef jerky due to the sodium content and aging process. However, when it comes down to getting to eat or not, I advocate for beef jerky as a good source of protein and healthy fats—choosing beef jerky that contains less than 500 mg of sodium.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, making them the perfect snack to take with you on your travels. They are also easy to transport and can be easily combined with snacks like dried fruit or protein bars.
If you don’t see what you need on this list check out the 65 Macro Friendly Snacks List.
Example Meal Plan:
|Lunch||Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich|
|Snack||Nuts & Seeds|
|Dinner||Canned Chicken soup|
- Choose nutrient-dense snacks and meals: Travel food for weight loss should include nutrient-dense items high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
- Stock up on fresh fruits: When possible, it’s always a good idea to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes you will find a piece of fruit at the hotel continental breakfast or when you go out to eat with the team, always try and find an opportunity to eat fruits and veggies.
- Prep ahead of time: When it comes to meals on the go it’s a good idea to have a plan and prep ahead of time for at least a few meals on the road.
- Bring a cooler: If you can, it is always a good idea to bring along a small cooler with some of your favorite snacks and meals. You can also use this cooler as a lunch box to keep your food safe.
- Stay hydrated: Traveling can take a toll on your body, so stay hydrated. Bring along a reusable water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
Traveling on business can be a challenge when it comes to eating healthy. With the right travel food ideas, you can still meet your nutritional needs and stay energized while away from home.
In this article, we’ve provided easy-to-prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options that offer balanced nutrients such as protein, fat, carbs, and adequate fiber for weight loss or maintenance goals.
We also gave an example meal plan along with tips on how to prepare and store these foods for convenience during busy work trips!
So next time you’re traveling on business, don’t forget our helpful tips to maintain a nutritious diet without sacrificing taste or convenience.
Noah Quezada is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of more than a decade, he has gained extensive experience in helping clients manage their weight through in-person sessions. Noah is also the 2023 President of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.