Summer is the perfect time to travel! Whether you're opting for a family vacation, an adventure with your significant other or some quality time with friends, a trip can do the mind, body and soul good.
But, there's one thing that doesn't do your body any favors: fast food along the way.
It's easy if you're in the airport or along the highway to grab a greasy fast food meal or an unhealthy snack. Here are a few ways to avoid the temptation and keep yourself (and your family) a little healthier while traveling.
1. Plan Ahead
We've all been there: we're starving, there's nothing to eat in our backpack, or the kids are getting hangry. We seek the quickest option to reduce the whining or the hunger pains. Let's be real, this is going to happen sometimes. But, there's something simple we can do to prevent it from happening 90% of the time: plan ahead.
The week before traveling, add healthy travel snacks to your grocery list (don't leave it until the day before.) Seek out items that are easy to munch on and throw in a carry-on bag (or in a cooler in your car if you're road-tripping).
If you're driving, pack a cooler with items like string cheese, lunch meat, yogurt and even those bags of white-meat tuna. Ready-to-drink protein shakes can also stave off cravings along the way. Prepare the snacks ahead of time so they are easy to eat while on the go.
If you're flying and bringing a backpack, throw in some whole-food bars (Larabars, KIND or RX bars are good choices) and easy-to-eat fruit like apples and clementines.
Justin's makes convenient grab-and-go packages of peanut, almond and other delicious nut butters. Nuts travel really well, as do high-protein snacks like jerky.
Really short on time? Try Amazon, Shipt, Clicklist or other online shopping options. You can get your groceries delivered or prepared for you, saving you lots of time (and "mom, can I have this'?!" if you have kids!)
2. Reduce Temptation
Whether flying or driving, bring a water bottle and stay well-hydrated. Most of the time we think we are hungry we are either bored or dehydrated!
When you're traveling, reduce the temptation to grab greasy fries and salty snacks by avoiding them as much as possible.
If you don't see it, you won't want it.
Avoid packing bags of chips, donuts or other empty-calorie snacks so you won't reach for them while on the road.
Don't wander into the convenience store if you don't need to (see tip #1). Don't stop at the gas station that's next to a McDonalds if you can help it.
This will help you stay on track (and avoid having to say no to kids' requests, too).
3. Seek Balance
It is a vacation, after all, so we deserve to treat ourselves! In everything you do, seek balance.
A fast food meal might happen. There are going to be some Cheetos involved in snack-time once in a while. It's no big deal!
The important part is to balance all of these treats and, sometimes, last-minute unhealthy meals with fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks and meals.
Make goals for yourself or your family: how many meals do you want to eat out? What snacks can you pack ahead of time to limit last-minute choices?
Going in with a plan helps you balance out the maybe not-so-great decisions with better ones!
4. Stay Active
Flying all day or being cooped up in a car for hours can lead to feeling bad in more ways than one. Stomachaches, stiff muscles, cramps, back pain - you name it.
If you're on a long flight, make sure you get up every hour or two, even if it is just to walk down the aisle a few paces or stretch. When you're seated, actively consider your posture and breath. Relax your shoulders and neck.
Every half hour, focus on deep, belly breaths, inhaling and exhaling fully.
In the car, when you visit rest stops, get out of the car and walk around. An extra 10-15 minutes of activity and some good stretches and deep breaths will keep you more relaxed, happy and ready to enjoy that vacation (whenever you arrive!)
As you're grocery shopping and packing for your trip, make loading and unloading the car a breeze with Toolaloo! Carry multiple reusable bags at a time with our carrying handle, which supports 40+ pounds!