Here are 7 tips for making healthier choices during those long travel days:
1. Bring trail mix to snack on.
You can either buy a pre-made trail mix or make your own. Trail mix is usually just a mixture of nuts and seeds and dried fruits, occasionally with a little bit of chocolate.The healthiest trail mix options are MOSTLY nuts and seeds, with a little bit of dried fruit (like cranberries or sultanas). You don’t want to go too heavy on the dried fruit because of they are high in sugar and carbs.
Also, if you’re craving a bit of chocolate, go for a trail mix with dark chocolate bits instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is made from the seed of the cocoa tree and is a great source of antioxidants. So you can add it to your trail mix guilt-free! (Healthy tip: Choose dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or higher.)
I prefer to create my own trail mixes when I can so I have more control over the ingredients. And you can get a lot more bang for your buck by buying the ingredients separately from the grocery store.
2. Pack fresh fruit for buses and trains.
When you’re traveling domestically, fresh fruit is the best way to keep your belly full and energy high.
Fruits that travel well are the ones with tough skins that don’t need to be cut open with a knife, like bananas, apples, grapes, and blueberries.
Oranges or tangerines are another option, but can potentially get a little messy with the peels and juice, so if you go for an orange then make sure you have a bag and napkins handy.
3. Bring easy and non-smelly snacks.
Don’t be that guy or girl that stinks up the whole bus with your hardboiled eggs or garlic dip. Snack considerately.
Plain hummus and veggies is a common (and personal) favorite.
Veggies that travel well and are good for dipping include baby carrots, celery, sliced cucumber, snap peas, broccoli, or pre-cut bell peppers/capsicum.
Protein bars are essentially meal replacements, so one of these bad boys should hit the nutrient hot spot and leave you feeling satisfied until your next meal. Look for protein bars that are relatively low in sugar and doesn’t have an outrageous carb count.
4. Like I mentioned in my previous post 13 Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling, preparing and eating a healthy breakfast before traveling will go a long way in holding you over until your next meal time and preventing unnecessary junk food snacking.
Oatmeal with fresh fruit or greek yogurt with nuts and seeds are two quick and easy options. You can use granola instead of nuts and seeds, but moderation is key. It may be healthier than a bowl of Captain Crunch, but it’s still processed and very high in sugar and carbs. Adding a little bit to your Greek yogurt is fine though.
5. During particularly long travel times when just snacking won’t cut it, try to prepare as well as possible in advance with a veggie sandwich or wrap.
I don’t eat gluten often, but when I know I have a long day ahead of me with little chance of having healthy vegetarian options available to me, a sandwich or wrap will certainly fill me up and prevent me from caving into the junk food available…or eating my own arm.
If I have the right supplies available to me (including sandwich bags) I’ll make it myself with veggies, avocado, and cheese. If I don’t, I keep an eye out for the perfect fresh-made sandwich days in advance and pick it up the night before my departure. And sometimes, when all that seems like too much work, I’ll just arrive at the airport early to weigh all of my food options and find the right meal to bring onboard.
6. Last, but not least, choose wisely from the free beverage service.
When in doubt, stick with water. It will keep you hydrated (which will help with the jet lag), and make you feel more full.
If you need a pick-me-up, you can order tea or black coffee.
And if you’re a nervous traveler, order a glass of wine to take the edge off!
Just be sure to avoid the soda, juice, and beer.
What are some of your healthy travel hacks for snacks? Share in the comments below.
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