In the past year, I’ve traveled A LOT. I’ve traveled so much that I was literally only in my apartment for just one week this past summer. It’s safe to say that I’ve been away more times than I’ve been home.

Traveling is just, well, part of my gig. I’ve designed my life so I can work for myself and have my ‘office’ situated in the great outdoors. On the business side of things, I’m a small business owner and will share with you that there’s been numerous occasions where I’ve been strapped for cash. On that note, I recognize the importance of cutting corners where I can.

For most of us, one of the biggest expenses of being on the road so often is food. To be completely honest, food on the road is the bane of my existence and I generally loathe this aspect of travelling. Eating wouldn’t be such a big issue for me if I only travelled once a year to an all inclusive resort for a week, however, I’ve had to adapt my nutrition routines to fit my life on the road.

I’ll tell you one thing that’s for certain…

I don’t like spending money on food.

I repeat,

I don’t like spending money on food.

The fact of the matter is, nutrition should always be number one. Whether you’re doing a 10 day trek in Patagonia or a thirty day road trip from Canada to Mexico, nutrition should always be your top priority.

With that being said, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars on food while you are travelling.

With the right planning, you will save yourself a ton of dough in a year if you buy this one item.

Ready for it?

…The item is a food dehydrator.

You may be thinking,

“Is she serious? She made me read all of that to find out it’s a dehydrator? How is that going to help me?”

Hear me out!

It may sound a wee bit lame and might be something your grandma may have kicking around somewhere in her garage, but trust me, this item has relieved me of potential financial burdens on my trips and has seriously put extra money back into my pockets.

For example, this past June I traveled north to the Yukon for a month. Do you know how expensive everything is up there? Produce alone is a small fortune. I prepared all of mine and my partner’s breakfasts, lunches, and dinners ahead of time and easily saved us at least $2000.00 combined for that trip.

Think about it, even if you’re just living off of Backpacker’s Pantry, one meal is easily $12.00 CAD. Multiply $12.00 by thirty days and that’s $360.00 for just dinners alone. Add in lunch and breakfast and you’re looking at close to $800.00 for your three basic meals, mind you, you still need snacks.

You can literally dehydrate just about anything. It can be a pain to make the effort to prepare everything in advance, but it will definitely free you up from having to spend money on unwanted restaurant outings and surprise grocery visits.

If you know anything about dehydrators, you may know that they come in all different sizes and power. Basic dehydrators start from $60.00 and can jump anywhere to thousands of dollars. Mine was under $100.00 and I’ll most likely upgrade soon so I can dehydrate more food at once.

The nice thing about dehydrating food is that you can practically eat as if you were at home and put nutritious meals into your body. For me personally, I’m vegan, so regardless of not wanting to buy junk food on the go, I also usually can’t even find anything that’s vegan to eat. This situation reiterates why eating on the road is my actual nightmare. I never want to rely on ‘maybe being able to find something’. Let’s face it, if I can’t eat, I can’t create, and therefore I can’t produce exceptional work. Preparing meals has saved me from the anxiety of scrambling to find something to eat and end up only being able to find junk.

Dehydrating food is also great practice for all sorts of travel. Heading to the woods for the weekend? Dehydrate your leftovers during the week and you’ll have lightweight meals ready to go. Have a big stage race coming up? You can literally make all of your in-race nutrition in your kitchen months in advance and even train with it to get a feel for how much weight you’ll be carrying.

I know it may sound tedious and time consuming, but if you can eliminate the expense of food while travelling, I guarantee you that you will have extra money in your pockets to continue funding your trips.

Happy travels!

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Written by Hailey Playfair

Hailey is an accomplished adventure and outdoor lifestyle photographer, she is the Co-Founder of Life Outside Studio, and is wildly passionate about the outdoors. Her work has brought her all around the globe, specifically to some of the most remote places in Iceland and Canada's North where has been tested against the extreme elements. Hailey is an avid hiker, backpacker, and explorer. When she's not outside, Hailey can be found preparing for her next big adventure by beating herself up in the gym, dehydrating plant based backpacking meals, and spreading the message of living a vegan lifestyle while pursuing a living in the great outdoors.

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