One of our biggest money saving tips that you can implement whilst travelling is to ensure you book a hotel or Airbnb that has a kitchen or at the bare minimum a kitchenette. I saw a fantastic quote on Twitter recently saying that “travel isn’t expensive, food is” and that perfectly sums up our travel tip.
The more we travel the more we want to spend time outside of our accommodation, which means by the time we get back to our hotel we are exhausted and the last thing we want to do is cook a fancy 3 course dinner, let alone take our time reading the nutritional value of packeted and microwavable meals.
You may suggest we just head into the hotel restaurant, but if you want to save money you need to prepare and cook your own meals.
The easiest way to find healthy ingredients: The HSR System
It is important to stay healthy whilst travelling, but let’s all be honest, most of the time you want to just grab something from the supermarket and throw it together. If you are hangry and denying your expensive self room service the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Lucky for us in Australia there is a national Health Star Rating system that has made our life so much easier. This 1/2 star to 5 star rating system has saved us so much time at the shops as the easy to see label is displayed right on the front of over 5,500 packaged items.
It shows the nutritional value and profile of packaged foods as well as energy levels and how much sodium/sugars/saturated fat is inside. The Health Star Rating system is designed to provide key information that allows us to make at-a-glance comparisons of products within the same category. So, you can compare similar products to make a healthier choice.
Taking into account our laziness when preparing food while travelling and using the Health Star Rating to compare packaged ingredients, we have put together some of our favourite easy and healthy meals that are our favourites when cooking on the road.
Meal One: Vietnamese Spring Roll
I feel like once you go to a country and try their delicacy you instantly become addicted and want to eat it all the time. This happened after exploring the food markets of Vietnam. If there is anything we took away from that country is that Vietnamese spring rolls are the bomb!
Vietnamese spring rolls are perfect to whip together while travelling because if you don’t get a room with a oven or microwave you don’t have to worry – as this meal requires no cooking.
After soaking a handful of vermicelli noodles in warm water for 2 minutes, you grab yourself a sheet of rice paper and layer the noodles along with sliced carrots, cucumber, a sprinkle of coriander and some marinated tofu before rolling it up, dunking in some soy sauce and lunch is served.
Meal Two: Quinoa Burrito Bowl
Headed to Vegas? Had a bit too much to drink on your group tour? This is a twist on your favourite hangover meal – the burrito bowl.
We like to substitute rice for quinoa, chuck some black beans, corn, avo and a sprinkle of cheese on top with a nice helping of Greek yoghurt and voila you’ve got a super easy, healthy burrito bowl!
Meal Three: Pita Pizza
I know what you are thinking, pizza? healthy? Well yes we understand that it falls more-so into the grey area, but it can be healthier than Dominos if you follow our quick and easy Pita Pizza recipe. We are substituting a thick pizza base in return for a healthier pita bread and the great thing about pizza is you can put on whatever ingredients you like.
We love a good margarita pizza, so for this one all you need is a couple of pita breads, some tomato paste, your favourite cheese, chuck it in the oven on 200° for 10 minutes and you’re good to go.
Meal Four: Simple Stir-fry
Stir-frys are great as you can throw whatever ingredients you want in there. We prefer to simply get a bag of frozen veggies or if you’re not as lazy as us you can opt-in for fresh veggies, add some tofu chunks and your favourite stir-fry sauce (our’s is satay) cook it all together and you have yourself a simple stir-fry.
You can also eat your stir-fry with or without rice, it’s all up to you. If you are, we recommend buying some 90 second brown rice sachets (check which one has the best health star rating) as cooking rice in a hostel can be a pain.
What are your healthy and easy meals you cook whilst on the road? Let us know below.
Thank you to Health Star Rating for sponsoring and supporting Flying The Nest. Our opinion is, as always, our own.
READ NEXT: THE HARDEST PART OF BECOMING VEGETARIAN