Summer is the season of trips. Day trips, road trips, long trips, short trips. We like to travel during these three months out of the year and who could blame us? The weather is great, people have more leisure time, and there are so many fun things to do! There is a downside to all this travel though. People don’t tend to eat their best on their vacations. Between loading up on all the snack foods at gas station stops and the decadent meals out, you might find it hard to stay healthy. It can be frustrating to be doing so well and then all of the sudden feel like you’ve taken five steps backwards after a two week vacation. It doesn’t have to end up like that though, and I thought that I would share some of my traveling tips with you to help you stay on target with eating well.
Plan Ahead. This is my best tip when it comes to traveling healthy. It seems like kind of a no brainer, like you shouldn’t even consider it a tip. But you would be surprised how so many people plan every single detail of their trip and totally forget to plan anything food wise. Not having even a basic eating plan for your vacation can have you grabbing whatever food you can find, more often than not something void of any nutrition. By just taking a few minutes to plan out where you can eat, what you might eat, and snacks here and there, you can save yourself (and your health) a lot of frustration. You don’t have to be super specific, just make a basic plan of where you can get your meals or what food will be available to you.
Pack Snacks. What good is a road trip without any snacks? While I know the typical car fare is candy, chips, and soda, try packing your own healthy snacks. Make your own trail mix, or granola bars, roast some chickpeas, cut up some fruit or vegetables, air pop some popcorn, or make your own tortilla chips. Portion out these snacks so that you have some for the trip there and the trip back. Snacks are also good to bring on day trips to help tide you over between meals. Another bonus, you won’t waste a ton of money at the gas station by loading up on junk food!
Pre-check Restaurants. The internet is a wonderful thing when it comes to trying to eat well while out and about. Most restaurants put their menu online so you can go check it out before you even get there. If you go out to eat while on your vacation, check the menu first and pick what you are going to have before hand. That way when you get there you don’t have to be tempted by any of their less than healthy meals and can order right away. If there doesn’t seem to be anything you feel comfortable eating, try making your own meal out of sides or call the restaurant and see if they would be willing to help accommodate one of their meals to your needs. Many times restaurants are happy to help their patrons, especially if you take care of it in advance. Never be afraid to ask!
Prepare Your Own Meals. If you’re really good at planning ahead and are going on a short trip, you can even make your own meals. Try dishes that will hold up with travel and won’t spoil easily like salads with beans or whole grains. Invest in a cooler and you can load it up with portioned meals for your trip. Or you can check the area where you will be staying and see if there are any extended stay hotels. These hotels generally have a small kitchen area where you can make your own meals. Then when you get there you can find the local grocery store and make your own meals. This is also a good way to save some money because buying and making your own food, even for just a few of your meals on vacation, is cheaper than eating out the whole time.
Pick Up Some Water. This is another tip that seems pretty simple, but make sure you stay hydrated. Travel tends to dehydrate the body, especially if you’re flying, and with all your vacation activities it’s easy to forget to drink some water. Invest in a good water bottle and make sure that you’re drinking and refilling it throughout the day.
In the end, try not to stress out too much about food on your trip. Yes, it is important to try and plan ahead and do what you can to make sure that you’re eating well. But it isn’t the end of the world if a few things slip through the cracks. Do the best that you can with what you have and make sure that instead of stressing over food you’re enjoying your time off! With a little bit of preparation, you can make your next trip both fun and healthy!