Kidney Diet Tips

7 Travel Tips for Vacationers on a Kidney Meal Plan

For some people, traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially when vacationing for adventure and fun. Sometimes it’s necessary to travel for work or to visit loved ones. Having chronic kidney disease or being on dialysis shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying these experiences. With a little planning and preparation you can have a fantastic trip!

Travel Tips

  1. Plan AHEAD.  Where are you going and staying during your trip?
    • If you’re staying with family and friends, talk with them about helping to prepare kidney-friendly meals rather than eating out. Ask if you may cook your own meals.
    • Staying at a hotel or taking a cruise?  Call ahead and inquire about menu options/special dietary needs.
    • If you’ll be out to eat frequently, look for some local restaurants in the area you will be staying. Look at the menu beforehand and identify some kidney-friendly options. See the chart below for more tips regarding dining out on vacation. Keep in mind, if you are on dialysis you need more protein, not less.

2. Remember your medications.

  • All of them, of course, but if you take phosphorus binders those will be especially important on vacation when your diet may differ from the norm. Discuss with your dietitian possible changes in your meal routine while on vacation and suggested binder adjustments.

3. Consider bringing your own snacks.

  • It’s good to have some healthy, quick options on hand while you’re in the airport or car. Healthy snacks can also hold you over longer between meals so that you aren’t starving by the time you have your next meal and are able to make healthier choices.
  • Some healthy snack options may include: low potassium fruits, salt-free pretzels or crackers, raw veggies, nutritional drinks or bars.

4. If you’re taking a road trip or day trip, pack a cooler with healthy options.

  • Sticking to your normal eating schedule and portions will leave you feeling better while traveling and when you return.

5. Look at the menu for some typical restaurants and drive thru’s you may see on the highway to check for options that fit your diet. Another great option when on the road is to stop at a grocery store instead of a restaurant. Often you can make your own salad or pick from cooked options at many stores.

6. If traveling to a country where you do not speak the language, do some research.

  • Look up the names for some of your favorite foods or healthy food options in the native language of that country.

7. Finally, try to make your vacation indulgences more about sights and activities than around food.

For more travel tips read “Eating Tips for Travelers with Kidney Disease“.

Daneille DeGroot, MS, RDN, LDN

Daneille DeGroot, MS, RDN, LDN

Danielle has been a registered dietitian for four years. Her hobbies include running, yoga and spending time with her two dogs.