Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash
Even though health and nutrition is my passion, travel has always been up there as my number one. Discovering new places, cultures, and food just fills me with energy and inspiration, whether its a one-day city trip, a long weekend away, or a multi-week holiday somewhere exotic!
Over the years I’ve developed some helpful tips and habits for trip planning and travel itself to make it as enjoyable as possible while still staying healthy and feeling my best. I hope this mini series of healthy travel posts can give you some insights and inspiration for your next journey!
Check out all the posts in the series here!
Healthy Travel Tips – Road Trip
Road trips are probably the easiest travel type to plan in a healthful way, because you have the freedom to bring along much more food than any other travel type. If you’re going on a road trip, but have to take a flight first, some of the items below you could still bring but I would then recommend making a local grocery store one of your first stops to load up on the rest!
Be prepared – things to pack:
Water – hydration is key! Especially if you’re spending a long period of time in the car, it can be quite drying to your system. Plus, more water means more pitstops, which might seem negative but you need those breaks to move your body after long hours sitting! Just make sure you are using a glass or metal water bottle. If you do have plastic water bottles never leave them in the car – the heat causes the plastics to leech into your water.
Supplements & medications – naturally make sure you bring any supplements you take or medication you might need. There is nothing worse than feeling unwell while travelling, and you don’t want to lose any of that exploring time!
Tea & coffee – I definitely prefer travelling with my own tea and coffee, since you never know what you might get at hotels or AirBnbs. If you suffer from car sickness (like I do), be sure to bring some ginger tea along to help settle your stomach. In addition a good thermos to take it on the road, and a small coffee filter means all you need is hot water to make your brew!
Easy breakfast bits – Bring some chia seeds and drink-box sized cartons of non-dairy milk to easy make a chia seed pudding, plus the small cartons are easier to store in mini-fridges if you don’t have a full size fridge. You could do the same thing with oats, making overnight oats in your fridge. You can also bring other nuts and seeds and granola to toss on top, or have with some yogurt that you pick up on the way.
Fruit – The easiest thing to toss in your bag! Bring along whatever snack fruit you fancy, but bananas, apples, oranges, and pears all work well and can also be easily mixed into your breakfast bowl. Grapes are another good one and nice to snack on during your long drives.
Avocados – An easy, nutrient dense snack while on the go. Eat it on its own, with some fruit, or put it on top of a boring pitstop meal for extra nutrition!
Nutrient-dense meal – On your first day out, you still have the luxury of bringing along a full meal. Pack it full with healthy fats, protein, and veggies to keep you full on the journey and help stop mindless snacking. Use a nice big glass container and then you’ll have it handy to re-use throughout your trip (restaurant leftovers, more on-the-go meals, etc.).
Tinned fish – Bringing along some tinned salmon, anchovies, or sardines, is a great way to get a good dose of healthy fats and lots of vitamins and minerals. Look for fish canned in water or olive oil – avoid those junky vegetable fats. It’s probably best to eat these during a pitstop to avoid stinking up the car (your travel partner will thank you!).
Snacks & treats – It’s a road trip after all! Just try not to do too much mindless snacking. I like to bring along some homemade popcorn and a bar of my favourite dark chocolate. The nuts you bring for breakfast can also double as an easy snack.
Basic cutlery/dishes – Make sure to have one full set of cutlery per person. You can wash them in hotel rooms, and they will be handy when eating on the go! A couple mason jars can also be useful for making breakfasts in the morning, or storing leftovers. As mentioned, you’ll also want a glass or metal water bottle and a thermos.
Yoga mat – Great for getting some stretching or a simple workout in while on the go or in your accommodations. I also like to bring along my acupressure mat to help relax and recover from long days in the car.
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash
Make sure to stop often
If you’re drinking enough water, you’ll need these regular bathroom breaks! They also give you a chance to breath in some fresh air, move your body (do some stretches and squats or lunges to get your blood moving!), and just enjoy your surroundings.
Not only is it more pleasant to travel in comfortable clothes, but bring along a pillow and a blanket. When it’s not your turn to drive (if you get that luxury!) you can stretch out in the backseat or curl up in front and feel nice and cozy. It makes long hours in the car so much more pleasurable. If you need to look more presentable when you arrive at your destination, just hang your outfit in a garment bag in the back seat and change when you arrive.
We just went for a 14 hour road trip from Belgium to Italy, so I got to put all these tips to good use! Planning in advance can make your road trip much more enjoyable so you can enjoy the journey and not just look forward for the destination!
Have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments!