Tips to Save Money & Eat Well on Road Trips

17 Jul

The highway isn't always filled with healthy eating options.

It’s always great to hop in the car and get out of town for a few days. Although you’re on vacation, there’s no need to spend extra money and calories on food that isn’t even worth your time. Follow these tips to save money and eat well while traveling the highway.

1.) Bring your own food, or at least enough for your first meal. When my boyfriend and I are headed out for a road trip on the Pennsylvania turnpike, we always bring lunch or dinner with us. I’m not talking about anything elaborate – a sandwich from Subway, or an MTO from Wawa – but it sure beats the offerings on the PA Turnpike. There’s nothing worse than being tired and starving, when the only available food options involve sweaty pizza from a revolving glass case or Roy Rogers. No thanks. Bringing enough food to last us until we’re off the turnpike allows us to eat well, so we can save our calories for something that’s actually good.

2.) Snacks. You’re bound to get hungry while sitting in the car for hours. Unfortunately, the rest areas and gas stations along the highway aren’t usually stalked with the most nutritional snacks on the planet. Not only are most of these snacks fat bombs, they also won’t fill you up, and are overpriced, because of the lack of competition out on the open highway. Outsmart the service centers of the world, by purchasing your own snacks ahead of time, and bringing them along with you. You’ll save a lot of fat – both from your waistline and your wallet. Healthy snack suggestions: apples, baby carrots, baked chips, low-calorie granola bars, pop chips, and pretzels.

3.) Water. Bringing your own water will have you saving money like crazy, and will help you to stay healthy while on the road. No matter where we go – when traveling by car we purchase beforehand, and when traveling by plane we purchase as soon as we’re set free with the rental car – we bring our own case of water. Buying a case of 12 bottles of water from a grocery store will cost you about $3. Buying one bottle of water from a store will cost you about $2 per bottle. You do the math.

4.) Eating Regular Meals. When traveling out on the open road all day, you might not find it convenient to stop and eat lunch or dinner, if you opt to not bring them with you. As a result, you will be snacking mindlessly all day, and racking up the calories like mad crazy. This is bad. You need to eat well, even on the road. Take the time to stop for lunch and dinner. This will keep you from bingeing on high-calorie fattening foods later on, and eating inhumane amounts of snack food in the car.

5.) Eating Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants. No matter how hard to try to avoid them, you just might find yourself with no other options than fast food while on a road trip. Take a deep breath, relax, it’ll be okay. If you think creatively enough, you can find healthy anywhere. For example, at McDonald’s you could get a hamburger and a side salad, at Wendy’s a plain baked potato and a side salad, or at taco bell straight up crunchy tacos won’t harm you too much (maybe in other ways). Look up nutritional information for these restaurants online, or on your phone if possible. So there you having it, it’s possible to eat well anywhere, regardless of the circumstances.

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