Traveling is definitely good for the soul, but it can wreak havoc on your diet if you're not careful. Because it interrupts your daily routine, traveling makes it difficult for you to maintain your normally healthy eating habits. Fortunately, you don't have to throw good nutrition out the window when you're on the road; with just a little planning (and let's face it - will power), you can keep your healthy eating standards while enjoying your trip. Below are eight healthy travel eating tips for you to take with you while you're traveling or vacationing.
1. Be mindful of where you stop. When you're out on the road trip, it's very easy to stop at fast food joints and because they're typically the most accessible means to get some grub. Unfortunately, you also know what you're going to get--mostly calorie-laden foods that will probably do more harm than good to your body. If there's any way you can stop at a local supermarket or grocery store to get some healthier foods such as fruits, nuts, baby carrots, etc., you stand a better chance of keeping the calories at bay while feeding your body some much-needed nutrients at the same time.
2. If fast food is the only option, you can still manage a decently healthy meal by optimizing your menu choices. For example, if a fast food place offers a choice between grilled and fried chicken, go for grilled. If there are any prepared salads on the menu, consider making one of them your meal choice. Choose water instead of soft drinks, and abstain from upgrading or "super-sizing" your meal. Making minor adjustments such as these will not only save you some calories, but they can also sometimes help you save a little bit of money as well.
3. You can forego at least a couple of stops by packing a cooler with some healthy meals. The convenience of having food on hand is hard to beat, and it'll often save you money on your overall eating bill. Why not pull off at a rest stop and have a quick "on-the-road" picnic?
4. If you're flying somewhere, be sure to choose snacks that will be able to make it through airport security. Think ahead and pack some dry goods like roasted peanuts, oat bars, protein bars, rice cakes, fiber cookies, etc. The best snacks will be compact, easy to store and non-melting. In addition, make sure to double-check the airport's policies regarding bringing liquids (e.g., bottled water, soft drinks, etc.) through the security screening area, as many airports simply won't allow you to do it.
5. Drink a whole lot of water. Not only will this help to curb your appetite, but it'll also help flush toxins out of your system and keep your body hydrated. Water is especially important if you're taking an airplane trip, as flying can dehydrate you due to factors such as the higher altitude and the typically low level of cabin humidity in most airplanes. Yes, this may mean more trips to the bathroom (or more stop-offs if you're on a road trip), but it's a small price to pay in order to keep yourself healthier.
6. If you're staying in a hotel, keep your room stocked with plenty of bottled water, healthy snacks and fresh fruits. This will help you avoid the temptation to gobble up everything in the mini-bar (which often comes with an extra charge), and it can provide extra convenience if you're dashing in and out on a busy day of vacation activities or business meetings.
7. If your hotel offers a breakfast buffet, scan the food choices for quality proteins, which most of the time means eggs. Eating protein instead of carb-heavy foods such as waffles or croissants will do a better job of stabilizing your blood sugar in the morning, which will prevent the sugar crash that can often come from eating high-carb foods for breakfast.
8. Make sure to pack your vitamins and other nutritional supplements. Traveling can sometimes take a toll on your immune system, so it's a good idea to fortify your body's defenses with some quality nutritional supplements while you're out and about on your travel adventures.