One of the more difficult things to do, while travelling, is to eat well. As you pass through unfamiliar places, it can be very tempting to grab fast food while you’re at a railway station, or even purchase the ghastly looking fried offerings from automatic machines – such as those in the Netherlands – to avoid having to deal with the not-speaking-the-language issue. After a while, eating like this can catch up with you and your body will start to react badly to sheer amount of grease and sugar you’ve consumed.
Even when eating at restaurants, hunger can get the better of you, and you might find yourself heading into the first place that you see, or you may find yourself gravitating towards a brand-name restaurant because it is familiar, without regard to the sort of food they sell.
I’ve found it handy to make extensive use of supermarkets, when I travel. The food is usually fresh, it’s an easy and cheap way to have lunch and importantly, you can see what you’ll be eating for making a commitment to it, unlike in a restaurant. Obviously, this won’t work for cooked meals, unless you’re lucky enough to have accommodation where you have access to a kitchen.
Markets, too, are a great place to buy food that is good for you, and generally they’re cheaper than supermarkets.
Try to stock up on fruit. If you’ve got a couple of apples or oranges spare, you’re less likely to find yourself handing over $5 for a single chocolate bar when a train attendant trundles through your carriage with a food trolley; keep in mind, however, that there may be country or regional areas with strict disease controls that prohibit the transport of fruit. Watch out for these, especially in Australia and the US.
Keeping small sealed packets of dry biscuits with you can also help ward off the pangs of hunger when you smell fried food.
Bear in mind that when you do have a sit-down meal at a restaurant, you don’t always have to have a full meal with a huge steak and chips – there’s certainly no harm in having a salad at times, although it’s best to only do this in countries with strict food standards, given that salads, by their very nature, aren’t cooked.