One of the main perks of staying in a hotel is the absence of the daily grind. No cleaning, no cooking, no laundry, no schedules, no commuting, no hassle. Sitting down for a continental or cooked breakfast is all very well and good, but not everyone can afford the added cost of eating out every meal.

Some of us with dietary restrictions struggle to find a good choice of foods on offer and sometimes just want to avoid the hassle of having to make prior checks and arrangements. Hotel breakfasts are often less healthy or even when a healthier option is available, the smell of friend bacon and sight of sugary treats may be too much to resist.

There is also the question of ethics – are ingredients ethically sourced, is it from sustainable sources, fairly traded and fresh to the table? It is easy to make ethical food choices at ethically managed hotels, but when away on a short-break having grabbed the most convenient or cheapest alternative, sourcing green foods can turn into a bit of a chore.

The solution to all of the above? Pack your own. The list below is not exhaustive or varied, it’s a small selection of mainly healthy breakfast foods and beverages that doesn’t break the bank, is gluten and dairy free, doesn’t involve supermarket shopping or cooking and is pretty tasty to taste buds of all ages.


Granola & muesli

I prefer granola – it can be eaten with or without milk or yogurt. Muesli is the healthier choice – less simple sugars and higher fibre.

Alara Luxury Gluten Free Muesli 30p per 50g serving
Alara Crunchy Oats Gluten Free Honey Granola  47p per 50g serving
Biona Organic Oaty Granola 44p per 50g serving

Milk/Dairy-free milk

I prefer long-life soya milk. All milk has to be refrigerated, so if you don’t have access to a fridge, smaller portions is the way to go. Provamel soya milk is organic, sustainable and ethically sourced, vegan, gluten and lactose-free.

Provamel 250ml serving  – 50p per carton
Provamel 500ml serving – 96p per carton

Graze Snacks

Graze snack boxes are excellent for traveling. Graze snacks are not organic or gluten-free, but their ingredients are high-quality, 80% healthy, long-life and portions are individually packaged and travel very well. They do snacks as well as breakfast boxes.

I usually pack whatever fruit I happen to have left over from the organic fruit and veg box.


Most hotels and self-catering accommodation provide hospitality trays with instant coffee, tea, UHT milk and sugar. Ethical and sustainably sourced ingredients that avoid common allergencs are not usually an option. Pack your own.

Coffee maker

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker  – Makes delicious filter coffee using hot water and ground coffee. Highly recommended.

Ground Coffee

Percol Fairtrade & Organic Americano Ground Coffee  £3.41 f0r 227g
Cafédirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Organic Roast & Ground Coffee 227g £3.50 for 227g pack
Clipper Fairtrade Organic Roast and Ground Papua New Guinea £3.49 for 227g pack
Taylors of Harrogate Organic Good Morning Ground Coffee £3.29 for 227g pack

Dairy free milk

Soya milk pods for beverages – Not organic, but dairy free and works out as 10p per serving. We open a big carton of organic soya milk at breakfast and save these for later in the day.


English Tea Shop Rooibos Fairtrade and Organic Loose Tea
Clipper Organic Redbush Tea Bag
Clipper Organic Everyday Teabags
Clipper Fairtrade Organic Green Tea


I prefer making use of what there is and traveling light. I have served breakfast in a coffee mug eaten with a teaspoon. The only extra item I pack for 3 is a Light My Fire Mealkit 2.0 and a small fruit knife.


Finally you just need a bag to put it all in.

This post contains affiliate links. First published on 23 November 2015.