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On-the-Go: Low Carb Travel Hacks

Colette-Heimowitz

Written by Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. on November 8, 2023.

Scientifically reviewed by

Jonathan Clinthorne, PhD Human Nutrition

November 8, 2023

If you’re hitting the friendly skies or taking a road trip during the busy holiday travel season, sticking with your low carb lifestyle might seem challenging. Still, with the right hacks, you can navigate holiday travels effortlessly without returning home with a few extra pounds.

11 Low Carb Travel Hacks

  • Download the Atkins carb-tracker app. Keep a digital diary of your carb intake. Staying within your carb limits while exploring new foods can be a fun challenge.
  • Pack your snacks. A stash of low carb snacks will help you bypass the tempting snacks and meals in the airport or convenience stores.
  • Eating out? Have a plan. Pull up the restaurant and decide what you will order before you go and stick with these tips for eating out. You can also pull up menus for restaurants at the airport to choose a place with some low carb options to nosh on before your fight.
  • Bring a mini spice kit. Pack a small container with your favorite low carb seasonings or condiments like stevia, cinnamon or cayenne pepper to make any bland meal more flavorful.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring a refillable water bottle. You can also choose soda water, unsweetened tea or coffee for a caffeine kick. Bring a collection of your favorite herbal teas to add to any cup of hot water. It will keep you warm plus curb your appetite.
  • Cheat wisely. If you indulge a little bit, pick local or unique holiday treats you can’t get anywhere else or a few bites of traditional family recipes that make your holiday meal memorable.
  • Pick your accommodations. Book a place with a kitchen, kitchenette, or small fridge so can prepare low carb meals or snacks or be able to store them.
  • Shop local. Explore local grocery stores and farmers’ markets at your destination for great sources of fresh, low carb foods.
  • Go easy on the booze. If you have a drink, choose low carb options like dry wines, light beers or seltzers. Check out this guide for more tips on what and what not to order.
  • Stay active. Add walks, sightseeing or hotel gym workouts to your travel plans. If you have a long layover, stretch your legs and walk around the airport. Some airports even have walking paths, yoga rooms or gyms.
  • Stay flexible, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Travel and holidays can be unpredictable. If you slip up, enjoy the moment and get back on track with your next meal.

Remember, preparation is key. By anticipating challenges and planning for them, you can enjoy your holiday travels while sticking to your low carb lifestyle.

Travel-Friendly Low Carb Snacks

Take your pick of these low carb snacks. Pack them in portion-controlled containers, baggies or mini bento boxes. This keeps them stored securely and prevents you from overeating. 

  • Nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Opt for unsalted varieties.
  • Jerky. Beef, turkey or chicken jerky. Make sure to pick jerky without added sugars or preservatives.
  • Cheese sticks or wedges. These are convenient and individually wrapped; they are a great source of protein and healthy fat.
  • Hard-boiled eggs. This protein-packed action can be eaten alone, with some salt and pepper, or any seasoning that appeals to you, such as Everything Bagel, chili powder, paprika or Tajin—a Mexican spice blend featuring chili peppers, salt and lime.
  • Avocado. You can carry a whole one and eat it with a spoon or fork. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper or Tajin for a great south-of-the-border option. If you have access, squeeze some fresh lime over your avocado.
  • Veggie sticks. Celery, cucumber, bell pepper slices or mini bell peppers or broccoli are great choices. Pair with a portable container of hummus or guacamole.
  • Olives. You can get these in single-serving cups or pouches; no refrigeration is needed. They are a great source of healthy fats.
  • Moon Cheese. This crunchy cheese snack has 11 grams of protein and can be found in most grocery and convenience stores.
  • Berries. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are lower in carbs than other fruits.
  • Greek yogurt. Go for full-fat, unsweetened versions, add berries for a pop of sweetness and chia seeds, hemp hearts or nuts for extra texture and fiber.
  • Tuna, salmon or chicken pouches. These single-serving packs of protein come in various flavors and are perfectly portable.
  • Nutrition bars and shakes. Pick products that are low in carbs.
  • Dark chocolate. Give your sweet tooth a fix with at least 70% cocoa varieties. A little goes a long way. Pair with some nuts for a salty-sweet combo.
  • Nut butter packets. Almond, peanut or cashew butter packets can be squeezed onto veggies or eaten straight from the packet.
  • Flaxseed or chia seed crackers. Get all the crunch of a cracker with fewer carbs. You can dip them in hummus, spread them with nut butter, or add a slice of cheese.
  • Seaweed snacks. These thin sheets of roasted seaweed are a salty and crunch snack alternative.
Colette-Heimowitz

Author

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc.

Vice President of Nutrition & Education

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. is a former Director of Nutrition at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City. With 20+ years of experience as a nutrition expert, the NY Times best-selling author is the current Vice President of Nutrition & Education at Simply Good Foods Company.

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