Having backpacked through Europe, I know that eating healthfully can fall by the wayside; due to lack of options and a transient lifestyle, finding healthy options can present quite a challenge. But eating healthy while backpacking is not an impossible task; it simply requires a little bit of planning.
Many hostels provide free water and complimentary breakfast; try to book into a place that offer these options if you are going the hostel route. When I stayed in a hostel, I would take some of the breakfast provisions and eat them as a part of my lunch; this not only saved money, but ensured that I was eating healthy for at least two meals.
Apartment rentals make any healthy eating endeavor rather successful; as many apartment rentals come fully equipped with a working kitchen and therefore provide the option to prepare food at home. Depending on length of stay and budget, an apartment rental may be your healthiest and most cost effective option.
The locavore movement is a backpackers dream; and Europe is known for having amazing markets that offer up healthy samplings daily. Do a little research ahead of time and find out what is in season; gather a list of markets in the areas you plan on visiting and head there for cheap eats. Oftentimes you can find bargains on sandwiches, produce and even alcohol; markets are a little known money saving secret!
Bread is incredibly cheap, filling and healthy. Many countries have regional bread varieties that can be purchased for cents a loaf. Find a local market, grab some bread, cheese and meat, and before you know it you’ll have yourself an affordable and filling sandwich.
Ask and ye shall receive! Locals are a wealth of information. Ask around for suggestions on where to find cheap and delicious places to dine; the desk managers at your hostel or a friendly person in a café are great places to start. Don’t be afraid to ask, locals always know the best spots; and many are willing to share their knowledge.
When travelling the world it isn’t always possible to know exactly what is in your food. However, wherever you choose to eat, they will most likely have a salad option. Knowing that you are getting some vitamins and minerals into your system can give you the peace of mind you need. The first time I went travelling I found my skin broke out, due to a lack of nutrients; the second time around, I made a salad a day one of my priorities and I noticed that my skin didn’t flare up at all. I would say that salads were my best skincare solution while traveling.
One of the best parts about backpacking is surrendering to the experience and going with the flow; but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice health in order to enjoy the ride!
Bianca a professionally trained natural foods chef and freelance writer; she is an avid traveler having been to every corner of the earth. When she isn’t globe-trotting she is writing about the best foods for skincare.