When you go on a road trip, you might have good plans for what to eat.
You might have even brought a few healthy snacks.
But, like most people, you end up eating fast food for lunch and dinner.
So, how can you plan ahead to make sure you have a healthy diet on a road trip?
We asked the professionals.
Fresh Fruit Is The Perfect Car Snack
Bring fruit that doesn’t need to be packaged and can be left out of the fridge.
Bananas, oranges (the small ones without seeds that are easy to peel are great for kids), and apples are all easy to choose.
These and other fruits are easy to eat and good for you. Unstoppable Moms Fitness, Caroline Breen
Pack Fruits & Veggies
My number one tip for staying healthy on road trips is to bring some fruits and vegetables to eat as snacks.
Choose things like cherry tomatoes that don’t need to be kept cold so you don’t have to worry about them going bad on the ride.
This will help you stay healthy and full on your trip. — Tauras Sinkus, 21 Day Hero
Pack Some Fermented Probiotic Foods and Drinks
Fermented foods like Kimchi are good for your gut health because they are full of probiotics and can usually last for a long time.
If it’s not too hot, they can stay in your trunk for up to a week without being refrigerated.
Alcohol, cheeses, kefir, and sauerkraut are some other fermented foods.
Don’t bring foods that go bad quickly.
If you look after your gut, your gut will look after you. — Alex Harper, Girl with the Probiotic Review
Avoid or Limit Sugar
On a road trip, try your best not to eat too much sugar.
It’s easy to eat a lot of sugary snacks at the gas station or at the hotel’s breakfast buffet in the morning, but it’s best not to.
Instead, bring healthy snacks with you or choose foods that don’t have too much sugar. — Gout and You, by Spiro Koulouris
Practice Portion Control
Most of the time, when you’re on a road trip, you eat out.
And the portions at restaurants are usually bigger than what you’d eat at home.
So, you might want to share a meal with someone you’re travelling with. This helps you not eat too much while you’re on your trip. — Kristin Young, Snorkel and Hike
Focus On Non-Refrigerated Snacks
We like to eat a mix of dried cranberries, cashews, walnuts, and almonds when we’re on the road.
It tastes good, fills you up, and is good for you.
We also love to bring fruits, like apples, clementines, and bananas.
These snacks are easy to bring along because they don’t need to be kept cold and can be eaten anywhere, like in the car or while walking, hiking, or doing something else fun. — A Hedgehog in the Kitchen by Alix Stickland
Drink That Water
My number one tip for staying healthy on the road is to drink a lot of water.
When we start a road trip, we usually want to get to our destination as quickly as possible, so we forget to drink water.
Even if you have to go to the bathroom more often, you should try to drink enough water. — Gene Daniels, Learning CBD Oils
Bring A Reusable Water Bottle
No matter if you’re going by car or plane, you should always bring a water bottle that you can use again and again.
Bring your empty water bottle through security, and there will be water fountains on the other side where you can fill it up.
If you are in a car, you can ask fast food or sit-down restaurants to fill it up before you get back on the road. — Ashley Nader, Be Well By Ashley
Nuts Make A Great Snack
For a healthy snack on the road, pack a bag of mixed nuts.
Nuts are a good source of protein and a much healthier snack than most food you can buy at a gas station. — Alex Williams, Get Vegan
Skip The Restaurants
Instead of stopping at restaurants on the way to get food, stop at a grocery store.
A lot of grocery stores sell ready-made salads and rotisserie chickens, which are great for eating on the go when you’re on the road. — Pete Danylewycz, USAngler
Pack Kitchen Utensils
When you pack your car, it would be very helpful to have some knives and forks.
Just think about it: you can buy some whole-grain bread, an avocado, and some veggies and have a nice, healthy lunch with just a knife, a fork, and maybe a plate if you want to be fancy. — Bubble Green’s Diana Bazic
Fill Up A Cooler
For a healthy road trip, pack a cooler with food you can eat while driving.
Also, bring plates and utensils that you can use again and again so you don’t have to deal with trash.
Just wash the dishes in the bathroom of a rest stop, and you’re ready for your next meal.
The cooler is also helpful because you don’t have to stop to get food when it’s time to eat or snack. — David Douek, Beeco Green
Hummus Makes A Great Road Trip Snack
Fill a cooler bag with thick hummus and easy-to-handle veggies like baby carrots, green beans, and cut bell peppers.
Wraps are by far the best sandwich to eat on the go if you want to avoid crumbs.
Wraps can be filled with combinations like grilled vegetables and fresh mozzarella, egg salad and smoked salmon, or turkey topped with pre-shredded slaw mix from a bag and a dollop of ready-made black bean dip. — Tina Marinaccio MS RD CPT
Avoid Fast Food
Skip fast food when you’re on the road and need a quick meal.
If you don’t pack food to eat on the way, it’s not a good idea to eat fast food because it’s not healthy.
Instead, look for places that offer healthy food.
Salads are usually for sale even at Starbucks. — The Oxford Gold Group and Henley Griffin
Bring A Slow Cooker For The Car
My friend and I were on the road for four and a half months. We went from coast to coast in a zigzag pattern, stopping to see national parks and work on organic farms.
We both thought it was important to eat well.
My number one tip for long trips is to get a slow cooker that plugs into your cigarette lighter.
My friend and I would go to the store, buy a lot of chicken and vegetables, and put them in the slow cooker with some salt.
A few hours later, we’d stop at a visitor’s centre, pick a picnic table under the trees, and eat a healthy, hot meal. — Yvonne McArthur, Guate Adventure
Keep It Moving
Even though it’s not food, you shouldn’t forget about fitness when you’re on the road.
There’s a lot of research that shows how important a fitness routine is for your health, and a road trip isn’t a good reason to stop doing it.
So, when you stop to eat, stretch and do something like jumping jacks to get your heart rate up. Wholistic Research, Jacob Kovacs
Roasted Chickpeas Make A Great Snack On Trips
Roasted chickpeas are a great substitute for meat because they are full of Vitamin B6, protein, and fibre. They are also one of the best snacks to bring on a road trip.
Since they are high in fibre, they will help you control your hunger while you’re travelling. They will also give you the essential proteins you need while you’re travelling.
Rohan Arora, Getting Strategies
Don’t Drink Too Much
People often think of vacations as a time when they can do whatever they want, including drink more than usual.
If you want to stay healthy on your road trip, you should avoid this, no matter how tempting it might be.
On a road trip, there’s no reason to drink more alcohol than usual.
And it should go without saying, but don’t drive after drinking. — Angela Wills, Savvy Homemade
Eat At Grocery Stores
Find a grocery store is my best advice for eating healthy while travelling.
Every grocery store has a deli with green salads and cooked meat that are ready to eat.
This is a fast and easy way to eat a big salad without making a mess.
There are always a lot of different ways to get protein. You really only need a cooler for the leftovers. The Perfect Balance, by Pam Sherman
Pack This Surprising Super Snack
My number one travel tip is that hard-boiled eggs are a great snack for any trip, not just road trips.
They have a lot of protein and make you feel full for a long time.
Most grocery stores and Starbucks locations have a cold case where you can find these.
Add a little salt and pepper, and you have a great snack for a road trip. — I Know the Pilot by Garth Adams
Graze, Don’t Gorge!
Everyone wants to make as few stops as possible on road trips so they can get to their destination faster. This means that people often only stop for one meal over a very long time, which makes them eat too much.
Before the meal stop, you’ll be tired and hungry. After the meal stop, you’ll be tired from eating too much, and you won’t have the same amount of energy throughout the day.
Instead, you should focus on grazing all day.
One great way to do this is to make a bunch of snacks and have one every hour.
Even if they aren’t the healthiest snacks, they will give you energy throughout the day, keep you full, and lessen the bad effects of a large meal. — Jason Kraemer, Flaskpacker Co
Cook Your Own Food On The Road In An Instant Pot
I think that bringing your Instant Pot on a road trip is the best way to stay healthy.
This is a great way to feed your family healthy meals, and it’s usually cheaper than going out to eat.
You can cook in your hotel room or in rest areas with electrical outlets. The Hobby Kraze, by Lillian Dodd
Bring A Good Veggie Knife
Bring along a good paring knife on your trip. This lets you stop at grocery stores along the way to buy food.
For example, you might want to buy some avocados, which you can’t eat without a knife.
This one small kitchen tool can help you eat healthy while travelling in a big way. — Andy Wang, Knives Sensei
Cook Food In Advance
You can take snacks and meals with you on your trip if you cook some food ahead of time that won’t spoil.
You could, for example, pop some popcorn and put it in bags.
Or, make some granola bars or cookies with less sugar to eat as a snack. All About Pools, by Austin Henderson
Don’t Neglect Your Sleep
On a road trip, it’s important to get enough sleep, even though it’s not really food.
Sleep is very important for our health, so you shouldn’t skip it just because you’re on vacation. — Kristy Lynn, Luciding