Memorial Day Road Trip Fuel

Memorial Day is here, which means many of us are traveling to see family or friends to celebrate the holiday and ring in summertime! If you’re hitting the road this Memorial Day, or anytime in the summer, that doesn’t mean that your eating plan has to go out the window. As someone who travels frequently, I know how hard it can seem to eat healthy when you’re on-the-go. But the truth is, a little bit of planning ahead can go a long way.    Here are a few quick dietitian-approved tips for travel days!

Plan to pack. Pack pre-portioned, shelf stable snacks to keep with you on the road, such as homemade trail mix and beef jerky. You may even want to consider bringing a small cooler so you can pack things like string cheese, yogurts, hummus dip for veggies, and more. If you’re going to be on a longer trip, you can prep a simple wrap with turkey or hummus, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or tuna salad for sandwiches. Fruits and veggies that are easy to throw in your travel bag include apples, oranges, grapes, baby carrots, and/or sugar snap peas. 

Always stay hydrated. It may seem logical to refrain from drinking lots of water during a road trip to avoid having to stop and use the restroom often, however you’re likely doing more harm than good, especially if you’re the driver. Dehydration can cause a lot of undesirable symptoms, such as confusion and fatigue, which are not safe for drivers. Not to mention, you’re still exposed to elements such as heat and sunlight while driving. This means that even though you may not be physically exerting yourself, you’re still losing fluids. Pack a large water bottle and fill it up before you leave. You could even buy a water bottle with timestamps on it, or just set a reminder on your phone to take a drink every once in a while. 

Make smart gas station swaps. Sometimes, life just happens and we don’t always have time to prepare ahead. If you find yourself in that situation where you have to stop at a gas station to grab a quick bite, you don’t have to give up and go for the large soda, chips, or candy. If you can help it, try stopping at a larger gas station that may have more fresh options. Many gas stations now carry better-for-you swaps like fresh fruit, granola bars, unsalted mixed nuts, yogurt, and even small wraps and sandwiches.   This Memorial Day, don’t let your healthy eating habits hit the road on your road trip. A little planning and prep can help keep you well-fueled on your journey.