When you’re planning an adventure to the alps or the riverside, the last thing you want to worry about is what you’re going to eat. Meal planning may sound complex to do but it can be easy and fun!
A meal plan is a road map for your meals that can make mealtime much easier and less stressful. Meal planning can help you save time and money, and eating healthy becomes second nature.
With a little bit of creativity and organisation, you can meal plan with ease for your next big adventure.
Plan ahead and be prepared
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to meal plan ahead of time – especially if you’re going on a longer trip. Planning ahead means you can hit the ground running when it comes to enjoying your trip, rather than scrambling to figure out what to eat.
Keep it simple
Over-complicating your meal plans will only make the process more difficult. So, keep your meal plan as simple as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavour or nutrition, but it does mean keeping things straightforward.
Decide and find recipes
Deciding what meals you want will narrow down your meal options. Once you know what meals you need and want, it’s time to find some recipes. There are plenty of great resources out there – either reading a cookbook, doing a quick search on Google, or browsing through Pinterest.
Make a list of all ingredients
In order to make meal planning easy, you need to know what ingredients you will need to make the recipes you chose. So, sit down and make a list of all the meals you’ll need to plan for. This will help you stay organised, on track, and definitely save you time at the grocery store.
Create a meal plan and schedule
Once you have decided on the recipes you want, it’s time to create a meal plan. This can be as simple as mapping out what you’ll eat each day. Having a meal schedule will help you know exactly what you’re going to eat. This can be very helpful if you’re cooking your own meals.
Prep your meals ahead of time
If you’re cooking your own meals, try to prep as much as possible before your trip. This will make it easier and tastier to cook when you’re on the go. Plus it will put you more at ease knowing that everything is ready.
Why meal planning is important for your adventures
Meal planning can be super easy and it is important for a few reasons.
You are sure that you have enough food to sustain yourself during your adventure.
You only bring healthy and nutritious food that will give you more energy for exploring.
Peace of mind
You’ll be able to try new things without worrying about where your next meal is coming from.
Practical and efficient
You can save money by packing your own food instead of eating out all the time.
You can still enjoy your favourite foods while on the road but in smaller and equal quantities.
8 Tips for a Successful Meal Planning
Whether it’s a backpacking trip or a day hike, planning meals ahead of time can ensure that you have the food and water you need to keep your energy up and stay healthy on your trip.
1. Choose the right format for you
Meal planning can be done in many ways. You can use a meal planner service, make a list on your phone, or simply write it down in a notebook. There are also apps that can help you make a meal plan. Find what works for you and stick to it!
2. Define your goals
What are you trying to achieve with your meal plan? Are you looking to save money, eat healthier, or have more energy for exploring? Keep your goals in mind when meal planning so that you can make choices that align with what you’re trying to achieve.
3. Make a list of all the places you'll be eating
Will you be cooking your own meals or eating out? If you’re cooking, will you have access to a kitchen? Make a list of all the places you’ll be eating so that you can plan accordingly.
4. Schedule your meal times
If you’re going to be cooking your own meals, it’s important to schedule meal times so that you can make sure you have enough time to cook and enjoy your meal. It’s also helpful to schedule meal times if you’re eating out so that you can plan around restaurant hours.
5. Choose easy recipes
Cooking on the road can be tough, so choose recipes that are easy to make. One-pot meals are always a good choice, or you can meal prep before your trip and pack ready-made meals.
6. Bring snacks
No matter how well you plan, there will always be times when you get hungry between meals. Pack up some snacks so that you can tide yourself over until your next meal.
7. Pack food that won't go bad
If you’re going to be on the road for a while, it’s important to pack food that won’t go bad. Non-perishable items like granola bars, dried fruit, and nuts are all good options.
8. Don't forget about breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t forget to include it in your meal plan! If you’re not a big breakfast eater, pack something easy to eat like yogurt or fruit.
Meal-planning mistakes to avoid
When it comes to meal planning, there are a few common mistakes that people tend to make. To make the process as easy and as smooth as possible, here are a few things you want to avoid.
Not planning ahead
It’s important to take the time to plan out your meals and snacks for the week so that you know what you need to buy and you can make sure you have all the ingredients on hand.
Not being flexible
If you have a plan set in stone, it can be hard to make changes if something comes up or you don’t have all the ingredients you need. Instead, try to be flexible with your meal plans and be willing to make changes as needed.
Not being realistic
Keep your meal plans simple so that you can easily execute them and don’t get overwhelmed. It’s important to be realistic about what you will actually make and eat. If you’re not realistic, you’ll end up wasting food, time, and money.
Not factoring in food cravings
It’s important to factor in food cravings when meal planning so that you don’t end up feeling deprived. If there are certain foods you know you’ll be craving, make sure to include them in your meal plans.
Not having a backup plan
If you don’t have a backup plan, you may find yourself scrambling to figure out what to make if something goes wrong with your original plan. So, always have a few quick and easy recipes up your sleeve in case you need them.
The most important thing is to enjoy your adventure. Meal planning is a great way to save time, money, and energy when you’re travelling. Meal planning should be fun and not a chore. So, get creative, experiment with new recipes, and most importantly, enjoy the process.
By taking the time to plan ahead, you can make sure you have all the food you need and that you’re eating healthy, delicious meals. On your next adventure, don’t forget to plan your meals and enjoy!