Despite the fun and excitement, traveling away from home tends to be a reminder of how difficult it can be to stay Paleo on-the-go. Traveling is particularly intimidating for people who eat Paleo strictly, as it can be a real challenge to hunt down healthy, Paleo-friendly options away from the comforts and routines of home. While it may be convenient to ‘grab a quick bite out’, this may not always be an option for those of us who are trying to stick closely to our diet. We’ve designed our 30DC meal plan to utilize many dinner leftovers for lunch, which travel easily in tupperware and portable coolers with reusable ice packs. Here are some other ideas for traveling on Paleo.
Packing Paleo To-Go
If you’re a seasoned Paleo veteran, then you know that eating Paleo while traveling can be a challenge requiring some foresight and preparation. Whether you’re traveling to work for the day, car camping, backpacking, flying, or road-tripping across the country, it’s helpful to have a few tools on hand to make packing Paleo much easier. I’ve linked below to some of my favorite gadgets and goodies that help to make taking Paleo to-go a breeze!
For starters, it’s much easier taking Paleo to-go if you’re able to travel with a cooler. If you’re packing food and it will be more than a few hours until you eat it, you’ll benefit from having a cooler, lunch bag, or lunchbox that’s well insulated to keep your food staying fresh for hours and out of the danger zone.
My Paleo travel essentials include:
- A large hard-walled cooler that pretty much lives in my car — I use this on longer road trips to pack food for a few days (or weeks), or when I’m going out grocery shopping and the food will be sitting in the car for awhile.
- A soft-sided cooler for day travels to work or around town in the car.
- Large, non-toxic reusable ice packs for the coolers
- My beloved bento box – a stainless steel, compartmentalized lunch box that makes eating lunch at work or school FUN!
- Non-toxic tupperware containers – when I’m traveling back and forth to the office, (or carrying a lot of food) I opt for these spill-proof glass containers. You can also just pop them into a microwave or toaster oven at work to reheat your food.
- Stainless steel, leak-proof condiment containers – I love these lil’ guys for packing nut butters, dressings and dips.
- An old recycled spice jar or small mason jar filled with Paleo-friendly salad dressing.
- Insulated, stainless steel soup thermos that keeps my soups and stews piping hot for hours (lid also doubles as a serving bowl & spoon)
- Kleen Kanteen stainless steel water bottle because I don’t like drinking from plastic bottles that have been sitting in my hot car all day!
- A baggie with utensils to use during car, train and plane travel
- A hand towel (because I’m messy) or a few paper towels
- Eco-friendly hand sanitizer
- Tiny jars of salt and pepper
This set-up allows me to eat Paleo quite literally anywhere, whether I’m traveling near or far!
Paleo Travel Food
If you’re traveling on a plane, train, or otherwise away from your cooler, then you’ll want to pack foods that travel well out of refrigeration. I’ve found these foods to make hearty and hardy traveling companions:
- Veggie sticks – carrots, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, etc.
- Hard boiled eggs
- Fruit slices or whole fruit (especially harder fruits)
- Deli meats (nitrate-free, ideally organic)
- Other pre-cooked meats (like chicken strips or bacon)
- Sliced salami (nitrate-free)
- Wild smoked salmon or lox
- Avocados (keep whole till ready to eat)
- Nuts/seeds, trail mix or nut butter packets
- Cans of tuna or sardines
- Paleo muffins
Here are a few more resources with Paleo travel ideas:
Premade Paleo Foods To-Go
Luckily as the Paleo movement grows, there are more and more companies focusing on producing Paleo-approved packaged foods that do not require refrigeration. Traveling is definitely one of those times in life when pre-made Paleo foods come in extremely handy, and thankfully there’s now a lot of healthy options available too!
Here are even more suggestions for pre-made and portable Paleo foods that are great for airplanes, car travel, or just snacking on the run.
My favorite 15 store-bought Paleo snacks (scroll to near the end of the post)
My review of PMTG (Paleo Meals to Go) – Dehydrated Paleo meals that are great for camping and backpacking!
Other Travel Resources
Here’s some additional information from the PaleoPlan blog that you may find helpful as well:
Do you have any healthy travel tips to share? Let us know in our 30DC Facebook group!
In good health,
Kinsey Jackson, MS, CNS®, CFMP®
Certified Nutrition Specialist® Clinician
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner®
The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists owns the certification mark Certified Nutrition Specialist® in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the initial and ongoing certification requirements established by the BCNS.