Prepping for a Healthy Road Trip: Travel Tips and Tricks

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With outings and trips all summer long, it’s important to plan ahead. Without a plan, your road trip can be filled with gas station snacks and very little movement. Plan ahead for a healthy trip wherever you happen to be going.

Pack Snacks and Meals

“Can I have a snack?” Before you are 10 miles down the road, passengers may begin asking for snacks, candy, and treats. Relying on convenience snacks at the gas station can lead to a car full of junk food with preservatives. Instead of relying on what’s out there to buy, plan ahead.

Prior to your trip, make a list of several snack options for your car group. A variety of sweet, salty, and crunchy foods will satisfy any snacker. Fill up on whole pieces of fresh fruit and chopped veggies for a nutrition-packed punch. Throw in some whole grains like popcorn or whole wheat crackers for some healthy carbohydrates. Protein bars, nuts, and peanut butter can add protein to balance out your snack.

Re-think your fast food stop. Fast food packs in lots of calories, sodium, and preservatives. Packing a fresh meal can help you stay on track with your health goals. A cooler packed with a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a side of veggies and an apple is a nutrition is much healthier than a greasy burger with French fries.

Set a Schedule

Many people find it easy to mindlessly snack all during a car ride. Instead of snacking all day, set a schedule. Try a planned morning and afternoon snack. Choose portioned-out items and avoid snacking out of open bags and containers, which could lead to larger portion sizes than you need. Before your trip, place appropriate portion sizes into small snack bags. Make a variety of baggies to help everyone find something they enjoy.

Plan for things to do during the rest of the car ride to minimize the desire to snack. Make a list of activities to do to keep the car busy and engaged. Podcasts and audio books can provide fun listening entertainment. Puzzle books, books, or magazines can fill time with exciting reads. Don’t count out story time, singing songs together, or just enjoying some quiet time.

Plan to Move

Road trips can increase sedentary time in a car. How can you incorporate physical activity when most of your trip is spent sitting? Consider exercising early. If you have a long car ride ahead of you, get up a little earlier to make sure you get some activity in. You’ll feel better about it from the beginning. Consider incorporating exercise time in short bursts. While stopping for gas, do a few parking lot laps. Stop at a rest stop to do some cardio or quick stretching. Many find themselves more focused on the car ride ahead.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

No one is perfect and travel situations can be tough. Remember that every little bit helps. Find the balance of a fun trip and some healthy choices!

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