Healthy Tips To Survive Your Next Road Trip (Plus My 5 Travel Essentials)
Not that we encourage dining in your car…but if you must, rest assured that it is possible to stay healthy on the road and avoid the drive-through temptation.
Summertime is officially here, and with it comes the start of vacation season when we break from our normal routines and jet off to spend quality time with our friends and family. Oftentimes, this equates to an uncomfortable number of hours spent in the car with less-than optimal food choices at hand. If you’ve ever driven outside of a major city, you’ve likely been in the scenario where you and your travel companions reach a point of near starvation with only neon fast-food signs in sight. Yes, the healthy options on the road are less than stellar—but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed for the drive-through. A little planning can help you eat well and feel well as you reach your destination.
Before you say bon voyage, consider these general tips:
Can you limit the number of meals/eating occasions in the car? Ask yourself:
Can I eat breakfast (or lunch) before I go?
Is there a place with decent choices along the route where I can stop for lunch?
Will I arrive at my destination in time for dinner (or my next meal)?
To prevent mindless munching or eating out of boredom, it can be helpful to pre-portion out your meals and snacks.
Stay hydrated. Though stopping for restroom breaks may increase the total trip time, it’s well worth it to avoid dehydration and the unpleasant side effects that come along with it. Though you may not consume as much as you normally would on a non-travel day, do not avoid drinking altogether! Water also helps regulate digestion, which is especially important when you’re traveling and sitting for hours.
Aim for a combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fat to keep your blood sugar (and road rage) stable.
Our picks to keep your energy (and spirits) high while traveling, include:
Overnight oats – A portable, make-ahead option, oats are a great way to start your day with fiber. You can ramp up the nutrition even more by adding chia seeds, collagen, nuts, berries, etc.
Hard-boiled eggs, blueberries, and walnuts - I love this combo of protein from the eggs and nuts along with the boost of antioxidants from the berries.
Smoothie – Requiring only minutes to prep, smoothies are another great option to blend together just before you head out the door.
Healthy(ish) muffins – No need to be tempted by pastries and baked goods when you’re armed with a healthier version of your favorite muffin. Bonus points for easy transport!
Lunch & Dinner
Hummus wrap – Wraps are a bit more car-friendly than sandwiches. Pack with raw veggies, greens, chicken or chickpea salad.
Mezze platter – Throw together some of your favorite Mediterranean snacks such as fresh veggies, artichokes, hummus, olives, and whole grain pita bread.
Layered salads – Stack a mason jar with your favorite salad combo. Put the dressing on the bottom with bulkier items, topping with greens to prevent them from getting soggy.
Bean salad – Beans are an excellent source of protein. This recipe looks delicious.
Falafel – In a pita or on top of a salad, falafel holds up well for the road.
Kale Caesar salad – Massage the dressing into the kale and you’ll not only soften the leaves but reduce the number of containers needed. Try making a healthier version of Caesar dressing at home. Though sardines pack a nutritious punch, you can also top with chopped grilled chicken or roasted chickpeas.
Trail mix (homemade is best and so simple)
Bananas and nut butter packet
Pre-washed berries and almonds
Pre-cut veggies and hummus or single-serving container of guacamole
Perfect Bars (or Rx Bars)
Spend a few minutes planning and you can save your splurges for the actual vacation (beyond the car ride). Read more about our tips for healthy eating on the go this summer.
My Five Travel Essentials
These are my favorite items that I can’t leave home without. Watch our IG stories on Thursday for more detail
1. Reusable water bottle.
2. Stasher bags with cut up lemon
3. 8Greens tablets
4. Collagen peptides
5. Tea bags