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Couple on a road trip.
Outdoor Getaways

7 Tips for Planning Healthy Road Trip Meals

Skip the drive-thru, and let us help you start planning better, tastier, healthier road trip meals. Join the ride.

How many times have you been tempted to stop at a gas station or a fast-food restaurant while you’re on a road trip? Odds are, it’s probably more than any of us would care to admit.

Road trips are challenging enough to a fitness regimen as it is. Think about it, as a passenger you spend hours and hours just sitting in a vehicle while you wait to get to your destination.

As the driver, you barely move throughout the entire trip either, even though it can be mentally exhausting focusing on driving for extended periods.

Even if you still do your morning fitness routine or plan hotel room workouts, before you hit the road each morning, you still have to take into consideration that you probably won’t do much physical activity until you reach your destination.

Because of this, if you’re trying to Getaway Well on a road trip, you need to consider healthy road trip meals. This could involve pre-made meals that you take with you in a cooler, or it could be healthy road trip snacks that take the edge off hunger between meals.

Rather than bombard you with tons of disconnected healthy recipes for meals, we’d like to offer some suggestions that you should keep in mind when you want to plan healthy road trip meals.

Healthy packed meals for a road trip.

1.) Make Meals Ahead for Road Trips

Of course, this is probably the easiest way to avoid temptation at rest stops – schedule and make meals ahead for road trips.

If you have food readily available, you can easily stop at the side of the road and have something to eat anytime you’re feeling peckish.

Meal planning also helps keep the costs down, rather than splurging on expensive convenience purchases.

One major factor to keep in mind when you plan to make meals ahead for road trips is that you may not be able to eat all of the meals hot. Even if you bring something to cook with, there’s not always going to be somewhere safe to use it.

Your meal plan needs to include healthy road trip meals that you and your travel companions can enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Sometimes, it’s a smart idea to prepare certain parts of a meal, but not entirely finish putting it together. This way its quality doesn’t suffer from sitting until you’re ready to eat it.

Salads are a great example of this. Just have separate containers with all your salad toppings and cut up veggies or fruits, and then mix everything when you’re ready to eat. Tasty fresh, and not wilted from being premixed.

2.) Pack Road Trip Camping Meals

Road trip camping meals may sound somewhat confusing. The truth is, they’re just regular meals that function well for camping, which can easily be converted to healthy road trip meals.

Before you dive into trying these types of meals, you should probably invest in a portable grill that you can take with you in the car. Regular fire pits and wood fires will work fine, but they’re far less convenient to use if you’re planning to stop at a campground or rest stop parking lot to make some food.

Once you have everything you need to do some cooking, think about some of your favorite camping recipes and adapt them to your trip. All the classics like burgers and hotdogs will work, but they may not be the healthiest alternatives. Of course, you could try making your healthy homemade hamburgers, and then bring them with you on ice.

Try grilling some fresh vegetables. Bell peppers are delicious with a little char on the outside. If you feel like a sandwich, grill up some seasoned eggplant and throw that on a bun. There are dozens of great camping sandwich recipes you can find, but this might be our favorite. The options for road trip camping meals are only limited by your tastes and your imagination.

Healthy Packed meal for road trips.

3.) Try Some Vegan Road Trip Meals

Vegan road trip meals are often some of the healthiest road trip meals you could plan to eat.

Also, because you won’t need heat to melt cheese or cook meat proteins, it’s much easier to plan vegan road trip meals if you won’t have access to a portable cooking grill.

Berries, nuts, fruits, veggies, and vegan-friendly bread are wonderful, filling options for any vegan road trip meal.

You can even try vegan egg products like follow your heart if you are going to be bringing a portable camping grill with you.

Trust us, you’ll be shocked by how great some of these vegan-friendly products are, and how much they taste like the real thing.

4.) Cheap Road Trip Meals Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Unhealthy

Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean having to eat expensively. There are plenty of cost-effective tricks you can use to cut back on the costs of your road trip snacks.

Cheap road trip meals are a great option for you if you’re running on a tight budget, or if you would rather spend your food money on other excitement.

If you’re making meals ahead for road trips, be thrifty in where you’re purchasing your ingredients. Do some coupon hunting before you buy all of your groceries and save a few dollars where you can.

Try making batches of food, instead of small individual portions. This is often far more cost-effective, and while it may not offer you as much variety in your healthy road trip meals, it will help you ensure you’re making cheap road trip meals.

Healthy snack ideas for everyone

5.) Keep Lots of Road Trip Snacks Handy

This might seem counterproductive to your healthy road trip meals, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you plan healthy road trip snacks, you won’t feel guilty about snacking throughout your trip.

Plus, if you are having trouble planning enough healthy meals for your trip, or you’re someone that enjoys snacking throughout the day while you work, healthy road trip snacks can solve both of those problems – without leaving you to rely on sugary, salty treats between meals.

Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas

There is such a huge market of perfect, healthy road trip snacks available, it’s hard to even narrow down some road trip snack ideas.

Here are just a handful of great brands that you should consider including for your next road trip:

  • Nature Valley
  • Hippie Snacks
  • Enlightened

Of course, you could create your own road trip snack ideas using combinations of things that you love. There’s nothing wrong with going back to old favorites like ‘Ants on a Log’, (also known as peanut butter and raisins on celery sticks).

Just keep your caloric intake in mind when you’re deciding on what road trip snack ideas to choose, and you can enjoy some smart treats between your healthy road trip meals.

Healthy snacks for a road trip.

6.) Leave Space in the Cooler for Fresh Produce

It’s easy to buy a lot of pre-made snacks for your trip, but easy isn’t necessarily better here.

Even the healthiest snack brands still offer products that aren’t great for your diet in large amounts. Instead of reaching for another pre-packaged snack every time your stomach grumbles, go for some fresh produce.

Celery and carrot sticks cut up cucumber or radishes. Broccoli and cauliflower florets, snap peas, and green beans. Can’t forget about the peppers. There are so many veggies that we love, and pretty much all of them are delicious even before they’re cooked or seasoned.

If you’re going to be doing salads on your road trip, cut up a little extra of the vegetables you’re planning to use. Then you’ll be free to snack on some pre-cut veggies, without worrying about eating your salad prep.

This is one of our favorite tips since we’re all about that fresh veggie CRUNCH.

Vegan Snacks for a road trip.

7.) Try Intermittent Fasting

Depending on what type of meal planning you’re doing, this concept may already be familiar to you.

If you’ve never tried it, intermittent fasting involves only eating during a certain period of the day. Most often, it involves doing a schedule of 8/16, which means you choose 8 hours a day to eat all your food. The rest of the day is devoted to remaining hydrated with lots of water.

For people who’ve been struggling to get their metabolism revved up, intermittent fasting can be a great choice. Plus, road trips are the perfect time to try out an intermittent eating schedule, since your normal routine will already be interrupted.

Just be careful not to overeat during those chosen hours, otherwise, you could end up putting on weight.

To Getaway Well You Can’t Disregard Your Diet

All of these tips lead to the same piece of advice – be mindful about what you’re eating on road trips.

It’s extremely easy to let ourselves overindulge on vacation, and road trips tend to have a bad influence on our willpower. Boredom is too easy an excuse to cheat on our normal healthy habits.

Don’t become your own greatest enemy in your healthy journey. Follow these healthy road trip meal tips, and you’re sure to Getaway Well.