Breakfast and Travel: Practical Tips and Ideas

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Breakfast and travel do not have to be complicated. You may be touring the museums or hiking a mountain, but in any case, eating breakfast can be an important way to fuel your activities. 

How and what you have for breakfast will be a decision you make based on the day’s adventures. Here are some ideas to help make it simpler. 

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Quick and Easy Breakfast On-the-Go When Traveling

Sometimes you just don’t want to waste precious vacation time sitting down to breakfast and waiting to be served. 

The easiest breakfast when traveling is the one you prepared in advance, preferably the night before. As simple as setting out a granola bar and a piece of fruit for a quick meal is all it could take to make your morning run smoothly.

Convenient as well is just grabbing a pre-made breakfast sandwich from a shop if that’s possible at your location. A muffin or a croissant with a latte fits the bill. 

breakfast sandwich of egg bacon and biscuit
Breakfast on the go

Breakfast is Included

One way to ensure an easy breakfast is to book accommodations that include free breakfast. Years ago, road-tripping around the U.S. with my kids, we booked various types of lodging. The one amenity I was inflexible about was free breakfast. 

 A hotel that has a breakfast buffet is convenient and easy. 

However, you should be mindful that the hours coincide with your daily itinerary. It would be a bummer if you anticipated your breakfast and then it wasn’t available.

Hotels that include breakfast may sometimes prepare you a brown bag to-go breakfast if your day starts before the breakfast hours begin. You can inquire the night before, and they can always say no, but it never hurts to ask.

Bed-and-breakfast accommodations include exactly what the name implies. Some accommodations have built their reputations around the delicious breakfast they serve. If you are not a morning person, you might not want to start your day sitting at a table for a family-style breakfast with other guests. This is one style breakfast served in small accommodations. It can sometimes be self-serve or grab & go, but it’s good to confirm when booking in case that matters to you. 

breakfast items on a buffet
Breakfast Buffet

Family Breakfast and Travel

Maybe you are traveling with children or a large family group. Sometimes it just feels so complicated to get everybody out the door at the same time to go get breakfast. And then sitting in a restaurant feels like it takes so long when you’re itching to start the day. 

One solution could be to grab some items from the grocery store the night before. A box of cereal, juice, some peanut butter, and bread. This way, the early risers can help themselves and munch away while everyone sleeps. Also, as people are taking turns getting ready in the bathroom, others can be having breakfast. 

Road Trip Breakfast and Travel 

Breakfast on a road trip can be great, especially if you can take along a cooler or an insulated bag. If you are heading out in the pre-dawn hours to get ahead of the day then bringing breakfast with you is even better. 

Road travel lends itself to unpredictable timetables. You can only predict when you will arrive at your destination but there will always be factors that alter your estimates. Not having to stop to find breakfast is a great convenience. Plus, who knows if a restaurant may be unexpectedly closed.  No one wants to start the day hungry.

Here are some suggestions for breakfast foods that travel well and are easy to eat in the car even if you are the driver.

  • Egg and cheese omelet rolled tightly inside a tortilla
  • Hard-boiled and peeled eggs
  • Bagel or roll with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Cheese sticks
  • Cut up veggies, apples, bananas, or grapes
  • Mini quiches made it a cupcake tin
  • Cereal and protein bars
  • Smoothies

A lightweight insulated bag or travel cooler with reusable ice packs is perfect for traveling with breakfast on long road trips.

Healthy Breakfast and Travel 

While traveling it can be hard to eat the way you normally do at home. It is much easier to control the amount of salt and sugar you consume when you are preparing meals yourself. 

With that in mind, starting the day by eating a healthy meal can set your path for rest of the day. In addition, it can also be a great balance to offset the rest of your meals if they turn out to be not quite as healthy. 

Simple, unprocessed foods are usually your best bet when it comes to eating healthy breakfasts. Fruit and yogurt. Veggies and cheese. All are easy to grab from a grocery store or local market.

Breakfast and Travel: What Not to Eat

Try not to eat things that are very high in sugary carbs as they are known to make you feel tired and sluggish. You may want to avoid overdoing the morning caffeine as well. Too much will have you searching for a bathroom as caffeine is a known diuretic.

Skipping Breakfast When Traveling

Breakfast or not to breakfast, that is the question. 

Eating on vacation can be part of what makes traveling fun. But sometimes it is just too much of a good thing. 

It can be very easy to overeat while traveling. Having heavy meals outside of your routine and eating out can mess with your digestive system. 

When I am not traveling, I rarely eat breakfast most days. So when I am traveling,

I find walking away from breakfast easy and it keeps me from overdoing things.

Unless you have a health issue that would prohibit this option, just skipping a meal once in a while is not a big deal. This is not intended to be medical advice in any way, just sharing what works for me. Also, if you’re body is used to eating first thing in the morning, being away might be the best time to miss a meal.

Leisurely Breakfast and Travel

Of course, there is something so lovely about nibbling a flaky pastry and sipping a cappuccino in Italy. Nothing compares to dunking a sweet, crunchy churro into some thick hot chocolate in Spain. 

cappuccino and pastry
Cappuccino Breakfast on the road

Unexpected Breakfast While Traveling

Breakfast foods are just as diverse as the humanity that consumes them. The breakfast food people eat around the world is so interesting. Why, when, and what people eat for breakfast is no exception.

The American breakfast may typically consist of savory eggs, bacon, and sausage. The sweet components may involve cereal, pancakes, or donuts. 

You can find all kinds of variations of these breakfast foods when traveling the globe. 

Delightedly, in your travels, you will come across unique breakfast items to try. While traveling in Indonesia almost every breakfast offering was accompanied by nasi goreng, or fried rice. In many places, people eat rice, noodles, and soup to start their day. Comforting and filling foods to help sustain during the work day. 

Nasi goreng with pancakes and watermelon
Nasi Goreng- Breakfast in Indonesia

To sum it up, breakfast on the road could be a quick and simple way to fuel up for the day ahead. Or it could be a slow cultural experience to ease into the day. But whatever it turns out to be, you’re traveling, so it’s all good.

If you love eating and traveling you may love this post that tells you how to pursue it.


“Better Breakfasts: 8 Healthiest Breakfast Foods.” Food Network, Accessed 31 Dec. 2022.

“Breakfast around the World: How Different Places Start the Day.” CNN, Accessed 31 Dec. 2022.

Smith, Jake, and Brittany Risher. “These Delicious High-Protein Breakfast Ideas Will Keep You Going All Day Long.” Prevention, 4 Oct. 2022,

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