Ah, the good old hotel breakfast bar. Many people will overlook this staple and immediately venture out to find breakfast elsewhere due to the stereotypes associated with hotel breakfast buffets like a pan of warm scrambled eggs, a few cereal boxes, and some stale muffins. PSA: Not all hotel breakfast bars share these same traits, many actually have some really nice options to choose from. Also, no one said the food has to be eaten in the dining area at breakfast time.

Some may view this as cheating, but really it's just getting creative with the free food available (well, it's free if it's included with your room). There's no rule saying that you can't enjoy your breakfast and then sneak some goodies back to the hotel room, or even outside for your daytime adventures. Pllease don't interpret this as sneaking out whole plates of eggs and pancakes, but more so the packaged snack options that are available.

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These seven snack options are offered at almost all hotel breakfast bars and should definitely be taken advantage of for snacking throughout the day.

1. Fruit

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Caitlin Shoemaker

I'm talking mostly whole fruit here, but you could also toss some of the cut up stuff in a small container. Fruit is probably the healthiest option when it comes to snatching food from the hotel breakfast bar, so definitely take as many pieces as you can grab! It's a light refreshing snack that should definitely be taken advantage of while available.

2. Mini Cereal Boxes

It's safe to say that most people in America are big fans of cereal, so it didn't surprise me to see someone take six of these small boxes from a hotel breakfast bar one time. Cereal is a super steal because it isn't immediately perishable; save it for the flight or long ride back from your travels. There's usually a nice variety of boxes available at the buffet ranging from Frosted Flakes to Cheerios, so there's something for almost everyone. Also, the mini boxes are sized for a portion, so you can't overeat (unless you eat more than one box, and if you do, go you). 

3. Yogurt

Yogurt is definitely a solid food to take from the hotel breakfast bar; it can act as a great midday snack. You can even use some of your other "stolen" goods such as fruit and cereal to make it a complete meal. Some of the common yogurts found at hotel breakfast buffets are Yoplait, Dannon, and Activia. The only problem is that yogurt isn't the type of food that can be kept in a backpack all day and then eaten at night, it should be eaten shortly after taking it from the hotel or kept in your room's mini fridge. 

4. Breakfast Bars

Breakfast (granola) bars are my ultimate weakness at the hotel breakfast bar. The usual suspects tend to be Nutrigrain bars, Nature Valley bars, Pop Tarts — basically, everyone's unhealthy favorites. Similarly to cereal, these bars aren't immediately perishable, so take a bunch.  Also, breakfast (granola) bars are normally small, slim, and don't take up much room; perfect for storing in a purse or backpack. 

5. Breakfast Pastries

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Denise Uy

Breakfast pastries are a classic component of any hotel breakfast bar. The usuals include bagels, croissants, English muffins, toast, danishes, muffins, etc. Every hotel puts their own twist on which pastries they choose to include, but they're always a main star in the bar. It's definitely vital to bring some napkins or a plastic bag, as these treats can be on messer side and create crumbs. I wouldn't recommend taking too many because they are a bit perishable. No one likes a stale, rock hard bagel.

6. Oatmeal Packets

Instant oatmeal packets are probably the most underrated gem found on the hotel breakfast bar. Sometimes hotels choose to have a pre-made vat of oatmeal alongside large containers of dry cereal. Other times, hotels choose to offer individual packets. These oatmeal packets are super awesome because they honestly will stay good for so long, and usually, no quality is compromised because, hey, oats are oats. You could even make your own overnight oats in a small disposable cup or bowl and let it sit in the mini fridge overnight. The next morning, bring your trendy creation back to the breakfast bar and top away with fruit, granola, yogurt, peanut butter, and more. 

7. Individual Breakfast Condiments

Smuckers has these small little "individual portion control packs" that are really only available on wholesale restaurant supply chain websites, but they're convenient and useful for the average person. Normally hotels will carry the individual peanut butter, honey, maple syrup, and jelly, and you can add them to almost any breakfast food or drink. Or, eat a bit of peanut butter with some of that fruit you stashed away. 

Each hotel is different in regards to the location and cost of the stay, but one thing will always remain the same—the breakfast bar. It's time to get creative and truly take advantage of all of the breakfast snack options that can be taken with you on your travels.