1. If you know you’re not going to use the mini-bar in your room, ask the hotel to empty it out.
Just call ahead and let them know. Then use it as a fridge for breakfast items and healthy snacks.
2. Alternatively, if your hotel room doesn’t have a fridge, make one.
Buy a Styrofoam cooler for a just a few bucks and fill it up with ice from the hotel’s ice machine. Then use it to store everything from Greek yogurt, to string cheese, to baby carrots and hummus.
3. Make hardboiled eggs using the in-room coffee machine.
Find instructions on how to make eggs and instant oatmeal using a coffeemaker here.
4. Empty out TSA-approved mini liquor bottles and fill them with healthy meal add-ons.
Like olive oil, salad dressing, or lemon juice. (Also: Skip the $14 airport salad and pack your own for the plane.)
5. Fill up your water bottle at the hotel’s fitness center.
Water coolers, standard in pretty much any hotel gym, will at least be cold, free, and filtered — aka better than the tap water in your room, or shelling out a few bucks for another plastic bottle at the gift shop.
6. Pick a hotel that’s near a grocery or convenience store.
This one may seem obvious, but if it’s an option, do it! You’re much more likely to make healthy choices if they’re within reach. (Or at least, within walking distance.)
7. If you plan to prepare your own food, map out your your meals ahead of time.
Plan ahead! Make one stop at the grocery store, and make it count. The less time you spend aimlessly wandering the produce section, the more time you can spend actually enjoying the rest of your trip.
8. Need a sharp knife to cook with? If there’s a restaurant attached to your hotel, you might be able to borrow one.
Just ask the front desk — they’re usually happy to accommodate for hotel guests. If that doesn’t work, you can find most kitchen utensils at local dollar stores.
9. If you’re bringing a checked bag, consider packing a small kitchen appliance.
Both Crock Pots and rice cookers come in smaller sizes. All you need for each is a wall outlet, and you can easily make things like brown rice or shredded chicken breasts with minimal effort. (Just remember to size any large recipes down accordingly.)
10. Download daily deal apps to save money on area eateries with healthy options.
11. If your hotel has them, stock up on freebies.
Plastic cutlery, salt and pepper packets, honey packets, napkins, fresh fruit from the continental breakfast — you never know when these might come in handy.
12. Come armed with a ton of healthy snacks.
Stuff you can easily stash in a ziplock bag — like granola bars, trail mix, or cereal. (Also, here are several great ideas for DIY healthy travel snacks that you don’t need to refrigerate.)
13. Find a microwave.
If your room doesn’t have one, the lobby or continental breakfast area probably does. You can make a bunch of healthy options in a microwave — like frozen veggies (microwaving them with a bit of water = steaming them) or frozen pre-cooked shrimp. Just make sure you’re using a microwave-safe container. (A ceramic mug works in a pinch.)