Healthier Ways to Eat When Traveling

It’s hard to eat healthy on the road. You’re driving hours to your final destination and the last thing you’re worried about is what you’re eating. All too often people focus on arriving as quickly as possible and overlook taking care of their own bodies. And it leads to exhaustion before you even arrive.

There are many tactics at your disposal to ensure a refreshed and invigorated feeling when you arrive. Believe it or not, nutrition is pretty basic. Step No. 1 – drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue and make you feel just plain lousy. Yes, this will mean more rest stops and bathroom breaks. Trust us, it will be worth it in the long run. As a special note, alcohol causes dehydration. Drinking alcohol on the plane (or even the night before your trip) is not the wisest course of action. If you do order a glass of wine or two, make sure to match every drink with an extra cup of water.

Try eating an extra-healthy meal the night before leaving. Your body will be better prepared to handle the rigors of traveling. Load up on foods you think you might be skimping on during the trip, such as fruits and vegetables. Don’t go overboard on the calories; just make sure you’re getting as much out of your meal as you can, nutrient-wise.

We all know that rest area food and airplane meals aren’t so great. Either they taste horrible, or are so loaded with the bad stuff (fat, grease, sodium) that you know you’ll be doing your body a disservice by consuming them. So what can you do? Bring some food with you! That doesn’t mean packing an oversized cooler (although you can if you have room in the car). It means bringing small, easy to pack, easy to eat, nourishing foods. Items such as nuts, fruit, energy bars, granola, or raw veggies are simple snack ideas. Individually wrapped items are especially useful when traveling. Pull one out, munch down, and at the next stop, pitch the wrapper (in a trash can of course).

It’s key to eat at regular intervals throughout the day. Don’t skip meals just because you’re "making good time." You’ll need the energy. When it comes down to it, use your head. Try to eat as healthy as you can, just as you would any other day.

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Member Comments

I take fruit or veggie mix, sometimes a sweet treat when taking a road trip Report
I love this because when my parents and I went on a rode trip last year, we often stopped at a gas station for snacks or ate unhealthy breakfast before coming home. Report
Thank you Report
Great article Report
good ideas Report
good suggestions Report
Having driven cross country this year of Covid-19, I found that many truck stop/ gas stations now carry salads or at least fresh fruit & hard cooked eggs. I ate a light breakfast of protein powder & water ( when I ate), skipped lunch or ate one thing I wanted like a hot dog & mostly had a dinner. Just didn't get too hungry sitting all day. Also didn't want to get sleepy driving.
Drank lots of water & walked at each rest area. Kept an Altoid Cinnamon tin on hand just to give me some taste now & then. Kept a cooler of deli meat, cheese & fruit on hand plus crackers; also soy milk & dairy free yogurt. Nuts or trail mix is another solid option. You could also try jerky or PB. Report
Great tips Report
thanks Report
Good info Report
Always! take a cooler filled with fruits and veggies! Report
Bring good food with you. Report
healthy, healthy keep tracking honestly. Report
When traveling by car, Dearly Beloved and I always add a cooler to the list so we have fruit, cheese, and our own sandwiches. We stop at interesting rest stops or find a park. Report


About The Author

Liz Noelcke
Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.