When you’re traveling, it’s almost inevitable that things will go wrong. Delayed flights, lost luggage, missed reservations, the list can go on and on.  And unfortunately, a lot of it is completely out of your control.  However, as the saying goes “there is one thing that is in your control and that is how you feel.” I want to share tips for not gaining weight while traveling as I know it’s something many people worry about.

Flying and traveling can take a heavy toll on your body and eating more while you travel can be a way to explore but through many trials and error, we have formulated this list of easy peasy ways to stay healthy and energized when on the road:

10 Tips for Not Gaining Weight While Traveling

1). Bring your OWN food for the flight: Plane food is the worst.  High in sugar, salt and laden with preservatives. You will be bloated, uncomfortable and sluggish.  Some of our favorite snacks to prepare for flights are:

  • home-made trail mixes with almonds
  • dried cranberries and cacao nibs
  • bananas & apples
  • travel size Justin’s nut butters
  • air popped popcorn (with no added salt!)
  • Kind bars (fave!)
  • herbal tea bags.

healthy cocktails, not gaining weight abroad, travel fitnessChampagne, sparkling mineral water, Elderberry flower syrup, mint leaves, lime juice

2). Book a kitchen equipped accommodation: We love staying at hostels for many reasons. Aside from the cheap prices and social aspect, we love that the majority of hostels around the world have fully equipped kitchens that allow you to prepare at least ONE healthy, home-made meal while you’re on the road.

Preparing your own meals ensures you know what exactly you’re putting into your body and therefore, forgoing the added salt, oil and sugar. Bleh! Plus, it helps makes friends because most likely, other travelers are making their own food as well. It’s a huge penny + calorie saver!

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroadHiking in Switzerland

3). Move it! Walk…everywhere.  If not for those extra calories you’ll burn, walk because you’ll see more. Much more. You’ll see the faces of locals and understand them more.  You travel to explore, so explore on foot.

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroadbeach yoga in California

4).  Hydration: It’s obvious but has to be said.  When you’re traveling, you’re walking…a lot. Climate, time and environmental changes, not to mention flying, is extremely dehydrating.  Chug that water like you’ve never before!  Bring along you’re own BPA Free Water Bottle and fill up at every filtered water station you see!

5). In addition to #2: Scope out supplies in the hostel kitchen. Typically, travelers leave behind supplies they can’t travel with like cooking oils, salt/pepper, tea, coffee grounds, etc.  Make due with what you find to save money and use it as incentive to forego another restaurant meal.

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroad

6). Farmers markets are your new best friend: They’re actually everywhere. Not only will it benefit your bod because you’re buying and eating locally grown produce, you’re supporting the locals and their businesses.  So to do the math, you’re 1. aware of what you’re putting into your body, 2. saving money and 3. supporting local families that work hard. Win, win and WIN!

7). Zip lock bags: Hard to believe, but they’re actually kind of hard to find abroad (Editor’s note: OMG I totally agree!).  And if you do find them, they’re super expensive.  So bring your own! They take up zero space and you’ll have used them all before you know it.  It makes a huge difference when trying to plan out your days meals.  When you’re on long bus rides cross-country, it’s typical that buses make pit stops at farmers markets for bathroom/food breaks.  This is your chance to stalk up on snacks and this is when you’re zip lock bags come in HUGE handy.

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroad

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroad

8). Be prepared!: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.  We’ve all heard it (and often roll our eyes in response) but it is sooo true.  Traveling brings out the spontaneity in all of us and we want to get crazy and be fun and yadda-yadda-yadda (we’re guilty of this too) but there’s one area we like to prepare in advance and that’s our meals.  Plan out your day and have a few snacks on hand when desperate times call.  If you’re truly spontaneous on your trip, you sometimes may end up lost, having missed the last bus back to your hostel and without proper food near by (this may have happened to us before so we’ve learned our lesson!).  No one likes a hangry traveler ;)

9). Research surrounding hikes in the area: Travel the road least expected. There isn’t much else to say about this.  Let yourself be surprised when you explore off the beaten path. You never know what you may come across.

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroadHiking in Slovenia

10). SLEEP (when you can!): We know, “So much to do, so little time,” “You can sleep when you’re home,” “No rest for the wicked.”  All sayings that contradict what I’m about to tell you.  But I can’t stress enough how good it feels when you’re up at dawn with the entire day is ahead of you. Now, after a full nights rest, you can finally say, “So much to do, with so much time.” ;)

Spicy Fried Quinoa Recipe

As we said in #2, booking a hostel that is kitchen equipped is crucial. We love cooking at least one home-made meal a day wherever we are.  We save money and we know what we are putting into our bodies.  When arriving to a new city, we typically head to the local farmers market or store and stock up on supplies.  Here is a look at our usual grocery list and our go-to meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner. Introducing what we like to call: Spicy veggie “fried” quinoa.

travel fitness, not gaining weight abroad


  • Black quinoa
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Lentils
  • Cage-free eggs
  • Sriracha – Sriracha will give you the spice without the bloat :)


Lightly sauté the chopped veggies with olive oil (we have found olive oil in every hostel we’ve stayed at – leftover from previous travelers).  Add the lentils and quinoa (already cooked) and mix on medium/low heat. Crack two eggs and mix all the ingredients until cooked.  Serve and top with sriracha!

This 10 minute recipe is packed with protein to keep you full and energized for whatever adventures come your way.  It’s easy, healthy and possible to make for a big batch to share with fellow backpackers.

Read more tips for girls traveling here:

tips for not gaining weight abroadWellness + Wanderlust is a blog based venture written by two travel + health enthusiasts (and best friends), Elle & Vee.  Keeping light on their gypsy toes while balancing full time jobs, school, busy imaginations and undying lusts to wander. You can follow their adventures and quests for wellness at their blog: www.wellness-wanderlust.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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10 Tips for NOT Gaining Weight While Traveling