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Whether heading out on a business trip or taking a vacation, even the most experienced travelers can fall off their nutrition game. Being away from home and routine is a powerful temptation to do too much, eat too much and throw caution to the wind.
A long flight or car trip can mean sitting stuck in your seat for hours on end, but that doesn’t mean you have to let boredom give in to temptation. Believe it or not, many of the unhealthy cravings we experience on the road can be satisfied with a simple, refreshing drink of pure water. Besides making sure you stay hydrated, water helps you eat less by keeping you feeling full and energized.
With so many fast food chains and large food portions served in restaurants, being too casual and having a mindset of, “I can eat whatever I want”, can wind up working against you, leaving you bloated, irritable and tired. The phrase “If you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing”, rings true as ever, especially when you are far from home.
Make eating healthy while on vacation a goal by sticking to a normal eating routine as much as possible.
When you go for long periods of time without eating, you’re far more likely to pick up something unhealthy. Live by the golden rule of eating something every 2-3 hours. It doesn’t have to be much, just a handful of nuts or a small tub of yogurt to keep your hunger at bay.
Being prepared is your first step. You can still indulge in a nutritious diet while on the go.
Ready for more? We’ve outlined 20 nutrition tips for travel and fun healthy travel food ideas to help you plan accordingly to keep you happy, healthy and energized when your life takes you next on the road.
In The Car
It always happens… you’ve finally hit the road, but everyone in the car has a ravenous appetite. The last thing you need to have is an endless supply of junk food. Instead, pack a few snacks and easy meals. To keep things fresh, bring some airtight containers and a cooler along. Here are some foods to eat while traveling in a car:
- Hummus and celery or baby carrots
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Quinoa black bean salad
On The Plane
While most airlines don’t provide healthy food choices, you can still plan ahead so that you can stay on track with your healthy eating goals. For long haul flights ask the airline ahead of time for a special meal: kosher and vegetarian are a special favorite!
Instead of spending money on expensive, salty fast food at the airport or junk food on board, you can save time and money by being prepared. Traveling with some protein sources and a full liter of water can help prevent dehydration and fatigue, as well as excessive hunger and overeating later.
Consider these healthy options next time you travel on a plane so when the flight attendant comes around passing out bags of pretzels, you’ll be able to reach for these healthy snack alternatives:
- Rice cakes with almond butter
- Homemade trail mix (raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts)
- WOLO WanderBar Protein Bars for delicious protein and energy
- Whole fruit
At The Hotel
Find out ahead of time if there is a supermarket nearby. The good news is there are supermarkets almost everywhere! Ask hotel staff for recommendations. You can also request a refrigerator or microwave in your room to keep anything that you've purchased from going bad. Stock your hotel refrigerator so you have snacks on hand when you get those late-night munchies.
- Pre-cut veggies (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery)
- Whole grain cereal
- Brown paper bags and pop corn kernels to pop in the microwave
By The Shore
When you need energy for a long hike, a long drive, or a day at the beach, make sure your diet includes high-quality, lean protein. It’s important to eat balanced meals throughout the day, but not having protein can leave you worn out before your time.
Get a good dose of lean protein such as eggs or tofu and add some veggies to your plate. Be sure to include some of these healthy foods choices:
- Collard Green wraps
- Wholegrain pasta salad
- Poached eggs
- Whole grain crackers
Depending on your accommodations, you might or might not have access to a kitchen. Modern vacation rentals and many Airbnbs can set you up with all the kitchen amenities of home. This is usually the least expensive option compared to a normal hotel – by far! This means you can buy and cook your own food, which can save you a lot of money on a trip and lets you make better choices about what you eat.
Here are some smart healthy choices for dining while traveling:
- Steamed vegetables
- Brown rice
- Wholegrain pasta
- Egg salad
No kitchen? Search out healthy restaurant options close to the hotel using Google Maps so are familiar with great ideas in the area you will be staying in.