When travelling I always pack my Low-Carb Travel Kit. In this post I am going to share the food and gadgets at the top of my list for staying keto while away from home. These are the things that make eating low-carb on the go do-able and enjoyable. I know I can maintain a reasonably low-carb diet whether traveling locally or internationally. I also use these items when traveling for business or on a family vacation.
Some Of The Challenges Of Low-Carb Travel
If you’ve ever traveled while eating low-carb, you will know how tricky it can be. You don’t have access to the foods and gadgets that you normally have at home and it can be really difficult to find low-carb options. While you can take some food with you, obviously many types of food are not suitable for air travel or long car trips. You also don’t want to have to lug a bunch of heavy food in your bag and find avocado squashed through your swimming gear when you arrive!
What To Do When Traveling Internationally v Locally
If you are traveling internationally, then part of the experience is enjoying food from different cultures. If I am overseas, I tend to relax a little and eat a few more carbs so I can enjoy the local cuisine. I still like to eat low-carb though as that is when I feel best. You can get back on track easily enough when you get back home or the next day.
When traveling locally you can probably access many keto-friendly foods. I take a small selection of more difficult to find foods and then buy fresh foods like vegetables and dairy along the way as needed.
The Low-Carb Travel Toolkit
1. Aerolatte Milk Frother
The Aerolatte is an awesome little gadget that is actually a milk frother but in keto-land is used to make bulletproof coffee in a mug. This makes it perfect for travel. The Aerolatte is small, easy to pack in your luggage and battery powered so just pick it up and turn it on to use! If you’ve ever tried to make butter coffee or tea by stirring the butter and oil in with a spoon or fork then you know what a gloopy, oily, unappetising mess you get. The Aerolatte whisks the coffee, butter and MCT oil (etc) together to make it creamy and frothy just like when you use a blender or immersion blender at home.
Top Tip For Making Bulletproof Coffee With The Aerolatte
Make sure you only fill your mug to about three-quarters full of coffee and other ingredients, otherwise when you start the Aerolatte, the coffee will burst out of the mug and spill everywhere (speaking from experience…). Use a tall travel flask or thermos if you have one!
Recipe for Bulletproof Coffee here.
2. Brain Octane or MCT Oil/Powder
- MCT oil (or powder). I use Brain Octane MCT oil in the 16 oz (small) size.
- Aerolatte (portable milk frother).
If you want to learn more about MCT oils see our post on the 10 Low Carb Pantry Essentials.
Top Tip For Travelling With MCT
If you are taking MCT oil, be sure to pop it into a zip-lock bag to avoid any messy spills. A safer alternative is to use MCT oil powder which travels a lot better than the oil!
To Stay In Ketosis Take This
Having some MCT on hand can be useful as it is converted directly to ketones and this is especially useful if you want to stay in ketosis and have had a few more carbs than planned. If you are really serious about staying in ketosis, you should consider taking an exogenous ketone product such as Ketocana. You can easily add this to water and drink it when you need to get back into ketosis.
For more about the benefits of MCT oils and how use them click here.
What About The Butter?
You can sometimes get small single serves of butter (including Kerrygold, a high quality, grass-fed butter) at Starbucks or other bakeries so look out for these and grab a few. If you have a fridge in your hotel then you can buy your own supply of butter and keep it there.
Coffee – I take either ground coffee or Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee bags. Four Sigmatic Coffee Bags are great for travel as they come in individual sachets. It tastes like coffee (not mushroom fortunately!) and boosts concentration. My favorite is the Mushroom Coffee Mix with Lion’s Mane and Chaga. Tea bags work well too.
If you have a french press in your room then you can make fresh brewed coffee. This is more likely if you have a kitchenette in your hotel room. A coffee maker does the job too.
Make Your Bulletproof Coffee Out And About
If making bulletproof coffee in your hotel room fails, then ask for some boiling water in a cafe or restaurant. Make your own bulletproof coffee using the Aerolatte and your vacuum insulated travel flask or a large size paper coffee cup. Make sure you only fill the cup to three-quarters full when using the Aerolatte or you’ll be leaving a very large tip!
How To Make Bulletproof Coffee or Tea On A Plane
On the plane, the best way to make bulletproof tea or coffee is to take a tall travel mug or flask. You can either use the tea or coffee on the plane or bring your own teabags or coffee bags. I take the Four Sigmatic, Mushroom Coffee (with Lion’s mane & Chaga) and ask for some hot water. Once I’ve brewed the coffee for a few minutes, I add some MCT oil or powder and butter if I have some stashed. Pull out your Aerolatte and whizz it all up and you’ll have a lovely creamy bulletproof coffee or tea.
Another idea is to try the Rocketfuel Latte Blocks from Healthfulpursuit.com. Make them in advance and take with you to add to your coffee or tea for instantaneous bulletproof coffee on the go.
4. Nuts – Macadamias, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Pecans.
My all time favorite low-carb travel food is nuts because they stay fresh in an airtight container for weeks. I always take a supply of my favorite nuts which at the moment are almonds, macadamias and cashews. Cashews are higher in carbs so I try to have just a couple. Other good choices are Brazil nuts, walnuts and pecans.
I also carry a mini-container of nuts in my day bag for emergency snacking during the day!
5. Chia Seeds
Taking chia seeds on the road is a recent discovery for me. With chia seeds on hand you can make a simple chia pudding for breakfast, lunch or dessert. You’ll need access to a fridge but chia pudding can be made up with just a bowl or mug and a spoon.
How To Make Simple Chia Pudding
Mix the ingredients together and place in the fridge to set for 10-15 minutes or overnight. Alternatively, you could heat it in a microwave and eat it immediately.
There are many different ingredients you can substitute into a chia pudding so it is perfectly flexible for travel. I use chia seeds, heavy cream, almond milk and some low-carb sweetener. Swap out the cream and almond milk for your liquid of choice (even water) then add something for flavor like berries, low-carb chocolate chips, a shot of espresso coffee or low-carb protein powder. You can add MCT oil, coconut oil or even a full-fat yogurt. The possibilities are endless and will depend on what you have access to. Think about packing some low-carb sweetener like erythritol in a small zip-lock bag or container to use in your chia pudding.
Check out our Recipe for Low-Carb 15 Minute Chia Protein Pudding here.
6. Low Carb Bars
Travelling is a good time to take advantage of convenience foods like low-carb protein bars.
I like to take a selection of low-carb bars such as Quest with me. At least one is kept in my bag on the plane and then I’ll have one with me while out and about during the day. I would rather eat one of these for lunch than feel like I have to eat a heavy carb meal because of lack of options. These have saved me many times while travelling.
7. Dark chocolate (at least 85% cocoa)
Try to get dark chocolate that is at least 85% cocoa as it has less carbs and sugar. My favorite is Lindt 85% cocoa. Another popular option is Lily’s which is sweetened with stevia.
8. Activated charcoal
I always pack a few capsules of Activated Charcoal when travelling and take it immediately if I feel a bit queasy or bloated after eating something. Activated Charcoal acts to remove toxins and gas from the body and is routinely used in hospitals to treat poisoning. I find that this stuff really works especially if you’ve eaten something that is causing your stomach to feel bloated with gas.
Dose – Take 2 capsules (2000mg) if feeling a bit off after eating.
9. Magnesium & Potassium Supplements
Otherwise, be sure to boost your magnesium with food. Include dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale or almonds. Potassium rich foods include avocado, salmon, mushrooms, and almonds.
This is one that is easily forgotten but can be essential if you want to stay happy keto on your travels. If you normally add salt to your drinking water or food then you will want to have a small supply with you. Getting dehydrated and low in electrolytes leads to headaches and fatigue. Not something you want while on holiday or travelling!!
You can pick up little salt packets from food outlets and cafes but these will be low quality salt and contain the dreaded fillers such as anti-clumping agents. Ideally take a small container or zip-lock bag with fine Himalayan salt. Use to add to drinking water or food when out at restaurants if needed.
I have to confess that on my last trip I did not take any salt and had a headache within one day. Salt has now been added to my low-carb travel toolkit…
The trick is to take very small doses. Buy in a 0.3mg capsule (300mcg) or similar size (I use Life Extension). Take an hour before bedtime for a few days when you arrive at your destination.
My Other Tip For Overcoming Jet-lag
Get outside in the sunshine (if possible) and walk around barefoot in the grass or on a beach in the sand for 20 minutes. I’m not sure why this works but is something to do with earthing! Read about it here.