Healthy Travel Hacks for Spring Break Season
- Written By:Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN
With spring break around the corner, there’s likely travel in your future. Keeping your nutrition routine up while you’re on the road can be challenging, but it shouldn’t feel impossible. We have all witnessed food options at truck stops and in airports and it’s certainly not the picture of health. So, what's a healthy traveler to do? That’s why I’m here! From travel hacks to pool side snacks you can now enjoy your vacation and feel great afterwards with just a little planning.
Never Travel Without Snacks
Yes there will always be food available but often times not what we want. Travel with a small bag of snacks or a simple meal that passes security to keep you covered for your travel period. Some of my favorites include:
Nutrition Bars: R.E.D.D., GoMacro, RX Bars and Health Warrior Chia Bars are my top picks for bars.
Fruit and Veggies: Security safe and whole food based! I always travel with both in my Stasher bags.
Nut Butters: Barney Butter, RX Nut Butter and Justin’s are portion controlled, mess free and can be paired with the above or enjoyed right out of the packet if needed during travel to keep you satisfied thanks to the heart healthy fat and protein they provide.
Pack a salad or a sandwich: Grab a Sweetgreen salad to-go or make a quick sandwich, both pass through security and pass our nutrition test!
Protein Powder: Add this to an empty water bottle and when you get through security head to the nearest coffee shop and ask for a coffee or even a latte. Stir in your protein powder or Collagen for a drink that will keep you full for hours.
Skip the "Freebies"
They still contain calories! The free pretzels, cookies or chips your flight attendant offers you with a smile are often full of chemicals and processed ingredients. We would suggest saying yes to an extra water or seltzer.
Ditch the Drive-Through
rest stop break? Avoid the drive-through and park your car far from the entrance to stretch your legs. Break up your drive with movement rather than french fries. If there’s a Starbucks nearby (we’ve found they almost always are) pull up there first. From egg bites to salads, Perfect Bars to Kind Bars and assorted nuts, you can fill up on some healthy grub to help you go that extra mile.
Vacation Rule #1: Nail Breakfast
Yes you heard me, this is the first meal of the day, make it count! Skip the baked goods, bagels and cereal and head straight for something with protein and fiber. An omelet filled with veggies, avocado toast, yogurt and berries with seeds/nuts or a smoothie are great ideas that will keep you going all day long. Remember you have the rest of the day ahead of you, so nail breakfast and you’ll have wiggle room for later.
Empty the Mini Bar
No, not with your mouth! We rarely plan on inhaling the mini bar, but after a few drinks or during a juicy movie those chocolate covered cashews or potato chips start to look really tempting. If you’re the type who just might break into those goods, call ahead and ask the front desk to empty out your mini bar. Yes, they’ve heard the request before, no you’re not the first. Added bonus: this will give you extra room to fill your mini bar with healthy items such as fruit, veggies, water or leftovers!
Lounging at the pool all day can really work up an appetite. I recommend taking a break from the sun and ordering a solid lunch to keep you going, these days are long! Salads with protein, grilled seafood, even burgers without the bun are my top recommendations to keep you satisfied and your hands out of other people fries. And no, nachos are not a healthy menu choice however if guacamole is calling your name just order it with a side of crudite instead of the chips and munch away.
Keep these healthy tips in mind this spring break, in fact keep them in your back pocket all year long because nutrition tips aren’t seasonal and healthy eating is important all year long!