I recently went on an amazing trip to Daegu and Seoul in South Korea and to Tokyo. I love Korean and Japanese food but one thing I didn’t realize until I was there was that breakfast isn’t a big focus for Asian countries. A common morning meal is simply rice, which would’ve had my American stomach grumbling way before lunchtime!

South Korea is known as the Land of the Morning Calm and most restaurants and shops don’t open before 10:00am. For the first time in my life, I saw a “Seattle-based coffee shop” that wasn’t open at 8:00am! I’m a breakfast lover and would be happy to eat it for lunch and dinner too. And, while our hotel offered Western-style breakfasts, it was $25 per person—way too much for a long trip!

Korea Peanut Butter Jar

Peanut butter toast with fruit became my family’s go-to breakfast.

Luckily, I found a store that sold peanut butter made with USA-grown peanuts (don’t ask me why someone who works for America’s peanut farmers forgot to pack peanut butter!). I also picked up sliced bread, fruit and yogurt. Peanut butter toast with fruit became my family’s go-to breakfast—plus whenever we needed a snack, a spoonful hit the spot and kept us energized for all the walking and sightseeing. We went through the whole jar by the end of the trip!

If you’re planning an international summer adventure, I definitely recommend packing a jar (or two!) of your favorite peanut butter in your checked baggage along with some easy-to-prep breakfast and snack options like packets of oatmeal, single serve cereals, granola or energy bars and dried fruit. If you’re going to a populated area like I did, you should be able to find the other fresh items you need, like milk, fruits, veggies and bread, to make well-rounded and nutritious breakfasts and snacks.

The virtues of traveling with peanut butter aren’t limited to the places I visited. This article from thekitchn.com shows how peanut butter came in handy during the writer’s trip to Ghana, on a boat in Ecuador and while hiking in Seattle. Safe and happy travels!