It’s that time of year again…
Tell me if this sounds familiar – you hop in the car for a long drive. Maybe it’s just a longer-than-average commute. Maybe you’re going on a trip. Regardless once you’ve been on the road for like 12 whole minutes, your stomach starts thinking for you and says, “man, I’m hungry, I could use a snack…” And we know once we enter the pit-stop without a plan — it can quickly go downhill from there. But with just a little bit of planning, staying on track this travel season doesn’t have to feel as tedious as it seems.
Examine your itinerary and think through all the meals on your trip
With technology, it’s easy to see everything in the range of the highway or your hotel while traveling. Knowing that I’m likely to run into rural areas where options look bleak, I always pack snacks for gaps.
Excellent options include:
- Nuts and seeds or portion-sized mixes
- Squeeze packets of natural nut butter like Justin’s or RxBar
- Fresh fruits or unsweetened, preservative-free dried fruit
- RX Bars or ONE Bars
- Kodiak Cups
- Tuna with whole-grain crackers and pre-popped popcorn (3 cups counts as a whole grain serving)
- Jerky or beef sticks
Many of these can also be found on the road as well, just go into the store with a plan and a list and stick to it!
Start your travel day with breakfast
I mean, duh right? But seriously. Although you are breaking your routine for travel, your best chance of success starts with maintaining consistency where you can. Starting your day just as you would any other. Grab breakfast at home (or whatever you normally do in the morning) – don’t rush yourself out the door without anything in hand. If it makes sense, take some snacks with you, or even try packing a meal!
Avoid the scarcity mindset on the road
Most of us start a travel day with a mindset of scarcity as we treat every stop like it might be our last to get food. Think of your normal day, how often do you go more than a couple of hours without eating? But when we travel, we allow our mindset to shift into thinking we need to fuel it at every possible turn. Just because you have to stop and put gas in your vehicle every couple hundred miles doesn’t mean you need to the same for your body. It definitely doesn’t mean you need to grab a big gulp with a side of doughnuts at the gas station. Similarly, a bathroom break doesn’t need to mean a snack break.
Check the food radius around your stops and stays
Try taking it one step further even. Convenience doesn’t mean it has to come from a convenience store. When you travel, you’re likely less a few minutes from a grocery store, especially if you plan your stops a bit. You can find all the options to keep you on track then!
Taking a few minutes to detour to grab healthy options like lean meats, fresh veggies and fruits and fiber-filled snacks can not only keep you on track with your goals but leave you feeling better and fuller longer than junk food. No one wants to go on vacation and worry about how their tummy feels right? Take care of yourself so that you can truly enjoy your time away.
Know your healthy options where you stop
While we would never advocate skipping fun meals when you’re traveling to new places, we know getting there sometimes means having to eat at roadside chains along the way. Get a good sense of the healthy options available, most have their full menus and nutrition information easily viewable online.
Give your hard work more credit — you’ve earned it!
You work hard all year to make sure your meals are planned, prepped, and packed for your busy lifestyle. Just like it keeps you accountable at home, these same habits can keep you on track while you’re on-the-go or visiting some amazing places on your next trip!