Tips to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip

eating in car

Did someone say road trip?

They are a great way to get to your destination but there’s no reason you can’t stay fit and healthy throughout the journey.

I actually eat healthier when I travel because I spend a lot of time camping and I have no fast-food temptations around me.

Just the thought of a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and canned tuna thrown together under the cover of Redwood trees or some sweet potatoes, quinoa and black beans made over a roaring campfire surrounded by friends, both old and new, reminds me of why I do these road trips in the first place.

The first and foremost important tip to remember is out of sight, out of mind. Wherever you end up stopping is where you’re going to get food. If you pull over near a street fill with fast food places, well low and behold, you’re probably going to eat fast food that will leave you feeling bloated, gross and tired. So instead, stop at a grocery store. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, canned tuna, bread, nut butters, crackers and beans. And don’t forget… You can never have too much protein! Things to avoid are sodas, fruit juices, sugary snacks, anything deep fried and non-fat desserts and sweeteners.

Related: 3 Foods You Should Never Eat

Make sure when you’re packing for the road trip that you bring a good knife for slicing up fruits and veggies. A cutting board never hurt anyone either.

Snacks are also important.

If you don’t have the time to stop for a sit down meal, at least have some healthy options to nibble on. If you don’t want to carry around a whole arsenal of spices, grocery stores and some restaurants or chains offer free individual packets of salt and pepper. Don’t buy throwaway plates and utensils. Bring your own set of bowls, forks, knives, etc. and wash them after every use. It may be just a tad more work but most campsites have some sort of running water, and you’ll be doing the environment a big favor.

Obviously, drink lots of water, and don’t buy a new plastic bottle every time you make a pit stop. Get a nice and big reusable water bottle that you can fill up at water fountains, gas stations, campsites, wherever. This will save you money and save the environment. If you start feeling hungry, first ask yourself, if you’re really hungry or just bored. A lot of hours on the road can be tiresome but you have to remember not to resort to food as an outlet. Make plenty of stops, stretch your legs, walk around, and do some exercise. It’s easier to tell then if you’re hungry or not.

Related: How to Travel with Friends and Keep the Peace

If you have to resort to fast food, there are a few possibilities that won’t have you feeling too guilty afterwards. For starters, did you know Burger King, White Castle, Red Robin and Denny’s all offer a veggie burger? If you’re in the mood for tacos or burritos, Chipotle offers easy vegan options if you order sofritas instead of meat. Taco Bell also offers quite a few vegetarian options.

If you’re lucky enough to run into a Mellow Mushroom, do yourself a favor and eat there! They offer an entire vegan menu that is to die for (so the animals don’t have to).

But remember, fast food is a last resort. Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat poorly. On the contrary, in fact. Whether your road trip takes you through cities or mountains, beaches or deserts, remember that this trip is about you stepping out of the ordinary and doing something bold, and daring in your life.

Related: Vegan Sandwiches That Will Seduce You Away from Meat


About the author

Laura Sanchez-Ubanell

Laura Sanchez-Ubanell is a graduate of Northeastern University with degrees in journalism, philosophy and ethics. She is a world-traveled multimedia journalist, having lived in Virginia, Boston, California, Nevada, Seville and now Miami. She has written on a variety of topics, anything from international politics to health and fitness. She is also an avid animal lover, Star Trek fan and creative guru. She plans to see as much of the world as possible.