Sunday, June 19, 2011

Making Healthy Choices While Traveling

Traveling is a “special occasion,” and I have previously written about the fact that my “special occasions attitude” got me into a lot of trouble at one point. That is, I went “all out” whenever I thought it was a special occasion and forgot all about healthy living. There were way too many “special occasions” in my life, and my unhealthy choices caught up with me.

While I like to enjoy myself while traveling, I don’t abandon my healthy living principles completely. One way to stay healthy is to bring quite a bit of food for the road trip as well as the actual vacation. We usually try to stay in places with a small kitchen, so that we can store and prepare at least some of our meals. I like to bring plenty of fruits, veggies, and healthy snacks. I wash and prep everything at home and transport the items in a cooler. That way the “cooking” time is kept to a minimum once we arrive at our destination.

Here are some of the items we packed for a recent two-night trip:

  • European Style Whole Grain Bread
  • Almond Milk
  • Coffee
  • Cheese crackers
  • Ak-mak crackers
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedges
  • Snapea Crisps
  • Raisins
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Avocados
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • String cheese
  • Beef jerky
We also took (not in the picture):
  • Pitcher with water filter
  • Cheese slices
  • Turkey meat
  • Tomato soup
We still ate some of our meals out. Generally, I like to allow for two treats per day while on vacation. Usually that means some wine or beer and some sort of dessert. I love Coldstone Creamery ice cream, but I have a rule that we only eat it on vacation. Hubby and I love to share the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection.Smile

We also like to stay fairly active on vacation. Whenever possibly, we go on a hike, and we also love to swim and walk everywhere. However, I also enjoy reading a good book for a bit and doing “nothing.” However, “doing nothing” is quite rare with the toddler around…

Questions: Do you ever take food with you on vacation? If so, what do you take? What is your attitude towards food and exercise while on vacation? I like to relax my “rules” a bit without completely abandoning them. Being active is also key for me to feel my best, so there is usually plenty of walking, hiking, and swimming.

Be well,


  1. We haven't traveled much in a long time but I LOVE your list!

    We take food from home when we go out to say parks and what not more to save money but also to make sure there are foods JJ can eat that he likes without it being junk.


  2. i ALWAYS travel with extra bars, snacks, etc. and then i never eat anything b/c i'm too busy trying out the local stuff!

  3. Sounds like we travel in a similar way except you are even more on top of it (impressed with the water filter pitcher!!)

    I pretty much clean out my fridge the day of a trip and either bring it with me or freeze it. And the non-perishables I bring sometimes go uneated: oats, bars. Other things: my protein muffins: I'll make some ahead of time, freeze them and bring them frozen. Or I'll bring the mix so all I have to do is add pumpkin and egg whites. Also I bring or buy nut butters, nuts and local bars. I've just recently divorced my blender for trips. Feels good, I must say.

  4. PS I should clarify that I can only bring the muffin mix if I'll have access to a microwave. OFten we stay in self-cater places, so we have access. Also, I am a big fan of jerky as well. Plus I bring some small-format treats for myself like the tiny 11-cal Tootsie roll midgees for when a chocolate attack strikes!

  5. looks like you had a great attitude and balance with this trip!

  6. I always take food. We rarely, if ever stop at fast food restaurants. I love your list of traveling foods and thank you for sharing pictures!

  7. I love what you packed for your trip!
    If there is refrigeration available, I love to pack food while on vacation.
    I love trying to get in activity as well. Looks like such a fun trip!

  8. I'm with you totally. I basically keep to my plan with drinks added. I love that you take a water pitcher and filter, that may be my favorite tip.

  9. MizFit6/20/2011

    for me it all depends on VAY CAY (recently Ive no recollection of what that word means :)) versus WORK.
    for work trips I bring healthy snacks etc etc and for vay cay I often dont.
    and let the food and exercise chips fall where they may may. ;)

  10. I completely agree that relaxing the rules a little bit while on vacation is a great way to be in "vacation" mode and truly enjoy where you are - and that way, you can try new foods and new activities which still keeping a healthy framework! Your tips are great, and the snacks and food you packed will keep you satisfied and energized :) Whenever my Peter and I travel, we tend to eat out most nights, so I don't bring a lot of food. I DO bring a lot of snacks (husbands get hungry!), like string cheese and nuts and fruit - yum!

    Have a lovely week, Andrea!

  11. I always try to take tons of fruits and veggies to snack on when I travel. Nuts are a good one too. This makes me want to travel!

  12. I think it's so hard to eat well and travel, even packing lots of good stuff! I struggle with that balance of enjoying the vacation and travel and making the best choices for my body. I love the idea of hard boiled eggs, though! Why hadn't I thought of that?!

  13. Very cool list! I'll keep in my the beef jerky pack for my next road trip :D

  14. Andrea, I'll definitely take some of your tips...although our next vacation will be a food is all over all the time...but I'll be packing some healthy snacks.
    Hope you have a wonderful week :-)

  15. My husband and I are departing on July 2nd for 2 week roadtrip with 4 kids (2 with restrictive diets) and a Jack Russell Terrier. You can bet we'll be packing food, and much of it is already on your list! Add to it Gnu bars for extra fiber (plagued with familial hypercholesterolemia here that is somewhat responsive to diet). I'm going to share your post on my Facebook page.

  16. Just went over the list with the kids and they yelled "peanut butter!" They eat the kind that is simply peanuts and sea salt, and like it with fresh fruit or low-sugar fruit spread.

  17. Very timely post! I was just thinking about linking to my post last year about how to travel without coming home with extra baggage!

    I do take food with me and have even been know to ship a box of stuff ahead of time if we are flying instead of driving.

    I take a similar list of foods with the addition of Greek Yogurt, whole wheat bread and turkey lunch meat.

    I don't treat every meal away from home as vacation meal but rather choose a few things over the course of the week that I other wise wouldn't eat. I like your idea of limiting yourself to two items a day! Great idea.

  18. Great list Andrea!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  19. Great ideas! I am working on getting more 'active' on vacations - it doesn't always work and when I work out (like at a gym) it's sometimes a disconnect from what we're doing if that makes sense. But i'm trying!

    And you know I bring all of our meals with me - I just can't help it!

  20. Anonymous6/20/2011

    oh andrea this is so smart! unfortunately i am still in the mindset to go all out......i have not learned my lesson. you are proof you can do it and enjoy as well. maybe i should take heed!

  21. My daughter and I took a trip this past weekend. We both love to eat light and made lighter choices except when it came to dinner. We allowed ourselves to enjoy the local cuisine. It's all about balance, don't you think?

  22. I'm super impressed. It try to eat well while traveling but I'm always tempted by the Cheetos at the gas station. I better pull it together since we are going on the road for a year!

  23. Look at all those goodies you packed! Actually, I love packing food for vacations. I think it's fun, and it's a challenge too, which makes it even more fun :) Not only does it force me to continue eating healthy, but it's a money-saver.
    So, you like Coldstone? That's one ice cream I just can't eat. I don't know why! But anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! PB cup always makes ice cream taste good, in my opinion.

  24. Anonymous6/21/2011

    I'm like you, I'd relax a little bit when traveling because I want to try local food and focus on enjoying the travel experience rather than my food-workout habits. It's a unique experience traveling to a new place and I think it worth the try.
    but if I'm going to a place that I'm not sure about the food, in term of safety mostly, I'd rather bring some backup solution just in case. :)

  25. I always bring food along with us on road trips. It looks like someone likes Trader Joe's as much as I do!

  26. Andrea, how thoughtful are you! I usually go travelling with some of my own food as well. But still it depends on where I'm heading to. Your toddler looks like having so much fun.
    Hope you're having a great day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  27. My husband and I usually drive to LA for a long weekend each year. We've learned to pack a lunch, as opposed to stopping at some gawd awful fast-food joint along the way. The hubby usually packs a salami or roast beef sandwich, pretzels and soda. I usually pack a tossed salad with lots of veggies and cheese(with dressing in a separate container) or a container of yogurt with a bag of berries and another bag of granola. Beats a greasy, over-processed burger any day of the week. ;)

  28. You're a better person than me when it comes to traveling. I'm ready to throw caution to the wind and sample the local delectables. In the name of research mind you.