One of the best rules I made when I started traveling a lot was that, unless impossible, I would stay at hotels that included breakfast.
As a hypoglycemic, breakfast is a crucial part of maintaining your blood sugar. When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar is really low. I recommend eating a snack right away and then heading down for the included breakfast.
Why does an included breakfast make such a difference? Learn from me, it’s not a good idea to be running around with low blood sugar looking for a breakfast place that’s open. And I have’ had instances where I’ve planned ahead and thought, “Oh, there’s a place right across from the hotel” and then, upon arrival, found out it’s closed, or the prices are ridiculous. By staying a hotel with breakfast included, you eliminate most if not all of the risk of an emergency first thing in the morning. It’s also short walk to breakfast, and you can leave your wallet in your room.
“Continental breakfast” = a bad idea
I’m often attending events that offer a “continental breakfast” and I still stay at a hotel with breakfast included and eat breakfast the hotel. Similarly, I avoid any hotels that say they offer a “continental breakfast.” While the definition varies, from experience a continental breakfast means all carbs and low or no protein; essentially a recipe for a really bad hypoglycemic episode.
I only stay at places that offer a “hot breakfast” or “full breakfast” and I look for photos or call to see what’s included in breakfast. Primarily, “Do you have eggs?”
My favorite hotel chains for breakfast
When traveling personally, especially overseas, I try to opt for bed and breakfasts, but when I’m traveling for work, it’s almost always a hotel chain that I stay at.
Here are my favorite hotel chains that offer free breakfast:
Hyatt Place: By far my preferred hotel to stay in while traveling. The rooms are nice, spacious, always include a mini-fridge, they have a 24/7 reasonably-priced food ordering service, and their breakfast is mostly consistent and always has several high protein options.
Residence Inn: Second of my favorites, most rooms have a full or almost full (missing the oven) kitchen in them and also include free breakfast with good protein options. The last Residence Inn I stayed at I noticed they put a lot more effort into breakfast during the week than weekends, with more options and real plates/napkins on weekdays and more limited options and paper plates/napkins (which kills the environmentalist in me) on weekends.
Double-Tree Inn: Honestly I don’t have much experience with these, but I stayed in one recently and it was nice, had a mini fridge, and the breakfast was good with lots of protein options. Obviously I skipped the warm chocolate chip cookie, as tempting as it was.
Not my favorites, but good secondary options
Courtyard by Marriott: They have a “set” breakfast menu you can order from as part of special room packages. However, it’s limited to about 3 or 4 options and only one, at last count, fit my diet. And they are calorie-dense (700-800 calorie breakfast sandwiches).
Fairfield Inn or Hampton Inn: The breakfast at these still has decent protein options, but you’ll notice that the food here isn’t nearly the high quality level as, say a Hyatt Place. And, they always use paper plates/napkins, which, again, kills me as someone who cares about our environment.
What if no hotel in the area offers free breakfast?
Then I look for a hotel with a chain nearby that offers breakfast options. And no, I’m not talking a Waffle House.
Starbucks: Make sure it’s one that offers breakfast sandwiches (some don’t). I opt for the whole wheat turkey bacon and egg white sandwich , a piece of fruit, and a small nonfat latte.
Tim Horton’s: As a Michigan native, I consider myself partially Canadian, which means I love Tim Horton’s (even if they are owned by Burger King now). I opt for the egg white and cheese sandwich.
Chick-fil-a: Remember, they aren’t open on Sundays, so make sure you’re travel doesn’t include a Sunday if this is going to be your breakfast solution. I opt for the Grilled Market Salad and/or a yogurt parfait (usually not a healthy option, but decent there) and coffee. They do have the Egg White Grill sandwich too, but it’s not my favorite because I’ve had a few that weren’t that great, but an option nonetheless.
And remember, the point is to eat healthy, so think carefully about what you pull from the buffet breakfasts!
Up-to-date information on hypoglycemia
This blog reflects my journey of learning and understanding hypoglycemia. This means that some of my older posts may have information that is out-of-date as I’ve learned more or research has changed. For the most updated macro-level information on living with hypoglycemia, please visit Up-to-date info on hypoglycemia (start here) page.
If you’re curious if the information in a particular post is still accurate, please feel free to leave a comment on the post asking and I’ll respond letting you know if there is any updated information.
Thanks for reading!