Open Accessibility Menu

Road trippin’: How to maintain a healthy diet while traveling

Road trippin’: How to maintain a healthy diet while traveling

You’ve worked hard to overhaul your family’s eating habits this year, making a conscious effort to make better food choices. Now you wonder how to maintain a healthy diet while traveling to your summer vacation destination.

Even if you carefully follow a healthy diet while at home, it can be more challenging to maintain those habits away from home. It’s not impossible, though! Read on for some tips, courtesy of University Medical Center New Orleans.

Healthy eating habits on the road

If you’re taking a road trip to your vacation spot, you’ll want to pack healthy snacks for the ride. Having better-for-you options packed into a cooler can help you resist the temptation to stop for fast food along the way.

Put a variety of foods in your cooler, such as healthy breakfast options and sandwiches or wraps containing lean protein and veggies. Dips such as guacamole and hummus can be tucked into the cooler, too, to pair with precut vegetables.

You can also pack snacks for the ride, including fresh or dried fruit, whole-grain pretzels or crackers and nut butter, and nuts. Keep yourself hydrated by filling up reusable water bottles at home, then refilling at each stop.

Planning ahead for air travel

If you’re traveling by plane to your destination, sticking to your healthy eating habits can be a little trickier. You can still pack some foods to take along with you—you’ll just need to take TSA guidelines into consideration.

That means liquids are a no-go in most cases. To make sure you stay hydrated, bring along a reusable water bottle. If space is an issue, look for a water bottle that folds up or collapses. Once you’re through security, stop to fill it up.

Many of the snack options outlined above also work for air travel. Small packets of nut butter are still OK. Fresh fruits and vegetables, either whole or cut up, can also be a handy snack solution.

Need to grab a meal in the airport? Choose carefully, looking for a combination of healthy carbs (such as vegetables and whole grains), lean protein (such as chicken, lentils or fish) and a small amount of healthy fat (such as avocado or olives). Light meals are usually a better option to avoid digestive woes along the way.

Setting yourself up for success at your vacation destination

When you get to your destination, make the healthiest choices you can, whenever you can.

If you’re staying in a rental property or hotel where you have your own kitchen, plan out a grocery list that’s packed with the good stuff. Stock up on the healthy foods you normally keep in your home, with an emphasis on easy grab-and-go snacks.

It makes sense that you’ll want to enjoy some of the local foods, so why not start with fruits and vegetables that are in season and locally grown? If you’re able to find a farmers’ market where you’re vacationing, you may luck into some other local foods, such as fresh fish or spice blends.

If you don’t have a kitchen, you can still store some snacks in your room. Look for foods that taste yummy but are low in unhealthy additives such as added sugar or sodium. Air-popped popcorn, trail mix, fruit cups and whole-grain snack bars can be good choices.

With these tips, you can enjoy your vacation while also sticking to your eating habits but give yourself a little grace! No matter where you’re visiting, there’s bound to be some local cuisine. Let yourself indulge a bit without feeling guilty, then get back on the healthy eating train the next day.

Are you due for a checkup? Schedule a primary care appointment today to get a good look at your health!