Hitting the road does not mean that your healthy habits have to fly out the window! Whether you are traveling for business or for fun, the change of routine can sometimes uproot all of your healthy eating habits. It doesn’t have to be that way! Just because you will be going through airports or rest stops, or eating out while traveling, doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your healthy eating. You do need to prepare and have a plan, though!
As moms, we go to so much effort to make sure that our children are fed well when we are away from home, but not ourselves! We have an entire diaper bag dedicated to healthy food and drinks for our little ones to be taken care of while we are traveling, but nothing for ourselves. You need to make sure to pack your own bag of goodies! You don’t have to put a lot of effort into packing healthy snacks and meals, but you do need to make it a priority.
Whether you are flying or driving, you can still eat well. The strategy and plan is a little different with each, though. I suggest that you take the foods with you that make sense and fill in any gaps after you arrive at your destination.
If you are driving, you can pretty much take anything with you that you would normally eat at home. You have so many options! The key is to prep and plan beforehand what you are taking with you. You can take a cooler filled with all of your normal refrigerated foods and pack a bag with all of your dry goods. Pre-assemble some meals and snacks so that they are easy to eat while you are on the road. Don’t forget utensils!
If you don’t want to pack a cooler or take a lot of food with you in the car, you can still eat well. Rather than stopping at gas stations or fast food restaurants, go to a grocery store to grab something healthy. You can usually find pre-made salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit, sushi, soups, and vegetables at most grocery stores. If you want to stop somewhere to eat, there are a lot more healthier options out there these days. You just have to find them! So, make sure to look at your phone and locate them before you are starving. There is also an awesome free GPS-based app called Food Tripping that will tell you exactly where to find healthy eateries, juice and smoothie bars, farmers markets, organic coffee bars and much more! It is available through iTunes and Google Play.
Taking It to the Sky?
If you are flying, you obviously won’t be able to take as much as you could in a car, but you can still pack some great healthy foods. When you are packing items in your carry-on bag, make sure that they won’t be tossed by security! That means no liquids or cream or paste consistency items larger than 3.4 ounces. I’ve had way too many hummus containers confiscated by TSA! If you are checking luggage and have some extra space, then fill it up! Some of the things that I put in my checked bag are extra nuts, crackers and fruit bars. Make sure that you only put foods that won’t leak or spill in your bag.
When I am flying, I usually pack a small lunch cooler with fruit, crackers, raw nuts and chopped veggies for the trip. Every airport is different with the types of foods that they have available, but you can often find something healthy to eat or snack on. I can usually find fresh fruit and hummus at an airport, so I will typically buy them to add to what I already packed in my small cooler. At the airport you can also sometimes find fresh salads, healthy wraps, and protein bento boxes. Starbucks is at most airports and they have some good options for food. If you don’t like the airport food options, then you have what you brought in your carry on bag to tide you over until you get to your destination.
Once You Arrive at Your Destination
When you arrive at your destination, make a plan to go to the grocery store and buy some good food. Even if you plan on eating out a lot, it’s great to have some healthy items for snacks and small meals. I’ve included a few suggestions below, but make it work for YOU! If you will be eating out a lot, I would suggest using the Food Tripping app again to find healthy restaurants near you.
Accommodation with no fridge or kitchen? No problem!
If you drove to your destination with a cooler, you can continue to use your cooler as a refrigerator. If you don’t have a cooler, you can still bring or buy foods that do not need to be refrigerated, like some fruits, avocados, crackers, single serve nut butters, whole grain bread, water, raw nuts and seeds.
Accommodation with a fridge? Awesome!
If you have a refrigerator in your room, you can add even more of your favorite healthy foods! I always have baby carrots and hummus with me when I travel. If you have a microwave, you can also take or buy any foods that need to be heated up.
Have a kitchen? You’ve got it made!
If you have a full kitchen, then you are set! You can make and do whatever you would do at home, so take advantage of it! Even if you eat out a lot when you are traveling, you can still take advantage of having a kitchen. You can use it for preparing some of your small meals and snacks.
Bottom line, planning and packing is the key to your success with healthy eating while traveling.
Plus, it can save you a lot of money! Think about the healthy foods that you like to eat and figure out how to make it work for you! If you are on vacation or in social situations, you can still indulge and have fun. Having a healthy eating plan for traveling just helps you to not sabotage all of your healthy eating!
How do you usually eat healthy when you are traveling? What you like to take with you or buy at your destination?