There are aspects of traveling low carb that can wear on you, but are worth anticipating if you’re going to enjoy your travel without unwillingly derailing your diet (as opposed to an intended splurge). The one that really sticks in my craw, and that you’ll probably find annoying too, is eating low carb en route to the place you are going, especially if your travel spans many hours and several plane and train rides. Yes, you’ve packed enough food for two meals, but you’ll inevitably run out a few hours in and be faced with the usual airport and in-flight dilemma—the relatively affordable snacks or snack box (which may just mean more nuts), or the crazy-expensive protein option, which usually means throwing out the carbs that come with it. Plus, during layovers and transfers, whatever culture you’re in, you’ll be surrounded by sugary delights—always the most affordable, easiest, most appealing items to eat, especially when you’re tired. (Goodbuy Sugar’s dream is that one day you’ll see a low-sugar, low-carb sweet among them.)
This happens almost every time I travel and I’ve come to realize that I’ve got to up my game and use most of the space in my carry on bag for food, no matter how extreme it seems when I’m actually packing (and it always does). In other words, take whatever you think can sustain you and double or triple that. If you are taking a budget flight, I can almost guarantee that for really long trips, you’ll spend more on low-carb options than paying in advance for a second carry on and, anyway, you’re worth it.
Another travel pitfall is when you aren’t staying with friends or in any other place with a kitchen (like a hotel) and you don’t want to eat out every meal for diet and/or financial reasons. This happens to me often as well, and now I travel with a small, real fork and purchase a reusable plate that will be useful to someone if left behind. I immediately stock up on simple salad ingredients, and buy dressing from a shop (these last for days without a fridge) or food vendor or make some from oil and lemon. I also stock up on some kind of cheese, dried or jarred/tinned fish, olives, nuts which are available in almost every country, and purchase items like yogurt on a daily basis so that if I wake up at a weird hour, jet-lagged and hungry, there is something healthy available. If you packed low-carb bread for your journey, that loaf will be good for a week of noshing (crackers for several weeks) and can be combined with street food, food stand and cafe items such as grilled, bean-based proteins, meats and veggies, or some version of a spinach or vegetable pie that all provide an affordable source of warm food. Finally, I recommend bringing along a large packet of functional food/superblend powder with spinach or other greens to mix with water as a supplement in case veggies are in short supply. Though packing extra food for travel can seem like a burden, once you’ve done this, and you’ve successfully navigated low-carb eats at your destination, you’ll feel like you’ve persevered. And you’ll probably have tasted some new and interesting things along the way.