Finally!! It’s summer! If you’re like me, you’ve been anxiously awaiting this – the chance to take time off, pack up the car and head out on a trip to the beach to visit with family and friends.
We take a trip home to Boston every summer and we’ve got our healthy meal and snack planning down to a science. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely splurge on treats, too! We always hit up Salem Willows for the best popcorn bars and ice cream, and this tiny hole-in-the-wall place in Quincy that makes amazing onion rings!
Some things you just HAVE to have when you’re on vacation! I GET IT!
However, not EVERY meal needs to be a treat. Unless you want to come home from vacation bloated and uncomfortable, you’ll need to alternate your treats with healthy meals and snacks.
This is why I’ve come up with some quick and easy healthy food ideas that I’m going to share with you.
Whether you’re driving or flying – week-long or day trips, it always helps when you can bring or find real food wherever you go. Technically, these tips can also be used right here at home, but they’re really helpful when you’re running through airports or spending hours at a time in the car.
Here are my top 3 tips to help you eat healthy while you’re traveling:
Tip #1: Bring your own snacks for the trip
This is important because it can keep you from overindulging in rest stop fast food or airport cafes. It can even hold you over until you’re able to stop at a grocery store at your destination for some real food
Here are a bunch of my favorite on-the-go snacks to have on hand in your bag and/or cooler:
Kind Bars or Organic Bars of your choice
Sliced veggies such as carrots, celery, cucumber, or broccoli with a dip such as hummus, guacamole, or salad dressing. Pack them in containers like these to keep them separate.
Find good quality protein bars like RX Bars
Good quality granola cereal, such as Purely Elizabeth
Savory snacks like roasted chickpeas or fava beans.
And don’t forget your drinks! Bring some water with you. Or if you’re flying, choose water in the airport and on the plane and bring a self-filtering water bottle to save money!
Tip 2: Cook when you get there
When booking your hotel room, look for one with a kitchenette. Being able to prepare even one meal per day can save you a few hundred calories per day. If you can’t get a kitchenette, at least ask the hotel if you can get a room with a mini-fridge. This will help you store some of your healthy snacks and groceries while you’re there.
Tip # 3: Find restaurants at your destination that serve healthy food
Of course, you can always Google your destination and search for grocery stores or healthy restaurants. But there are a couple of resources that may be helpful for you:
FindMeGlutenFree – A website that searches for gluten-free restaurants around the US.
HealthyOut – An app that helps you find restaurants that cater to your dietary preferences such as gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, etc.
TL;DR – Travelling often means we eat convenience foods, which are usually junky, high-calorie and lacking in any nutritional substance. An occasional stop at a fast food place isn’t going to ruin you, but having it day after day for an entire vacation can easily derail your healthy lifestyle.
Planning ahead and being prepared can be simple, and help keep your health goals on track even when you’re on the road!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or Registered Dietitian. The information presented is purely to share my experience and for entertainment purposes. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.