Healthy Eating Travel Tips & Checklist (Road Trip / Restaurant) – PRINTABLES
It’s easy to let our nutrition slip while traveling. Three years ago, my family and I relocated from CA to Key West, FL. We loaded a truck and drove for 12 days, making a few sight-seeing stops along the way. During that time, I tried to make healthier choices at restaurants, but I didn’t have a plan. I remember feeling sluggish during our trip, and I know I gained about 10 pounds just over the course of a couple of weeks!
Since then, I’ve become a healthy lifestyle coach and learned a lot about portion control and proper balance of food groups. I’ve taken my kids on several road trips (though not as long as that CA->FL trip!). Having the tools and knowledge to be better prepared before we go helps me make smart choices during all of the excitement and chaos of our family road trips.
Now, my family is preparing for another long relocation road trip – this time from FL to NY! I am determined to not pack on the pounds this trip. I will use the same tips and lists I’ve shared with you over the past couple of years to stay organized and consistent with my family’s healthy eating habits during this trip.
For those of you who saw my pictures of the food I packed for our spring break road trip last year and told me, “I could never do that – you are so organized!”
… I promise, I’m really NOT that organized! Being organized is one of my biggest challenges and something I’m not very good at day-to-day. Honestly, as I type this, I’m pushing back a stack of papers on my desk so that I can reach all of the keys on my keyboard! There, now you know my dirty little secret! Ha! (Click HERE for the prep schedule I created for that trip!)
With that in mind, know that YOU CAN do this too. To make it super easy for you (and easier on myself this time around!), I went back to my past blog posts. I took the packing tips for what to bring for in the car & hotel and created this printable checklist to share with you! Now we can print this out, put it into a sheet protector, and use it as a shopping list to get ready. Then, when it’s time to pack, use a dry-erase marker or china marker to check off the things you have put into your bag and cooler so nothing is forgotten!
As I plan, I realize having a concise checklist that I can keep with my supplies will help me keep track. Also, I know that a lot of times, especially in an unfamiliar restaurant, so many new menu options can make it very tempting to splurge on a less-than-waistline-friendly choice. I know I will tell myself “just this once – and I’ll get a salad next time.”
The trouble is, unless I write things down, I will lose track of make-ups for bad choices and forget (or minimize) how many fatty foods I’ve actually indulged in. Being tired from traveling can also make it easier to just order whatever sounds good without thinking about the aftermath!
I also know that when I start to eat super refined foods, like white bread/bagels/pancakes from the free hotel breakfast buffet or anything fried, my energy level plummets almost immediately.
I don’t want to spend our trip feeling bogged down and sleepy – I want to feel energized and light! I also want my clothes to still fit when we get to our destination! I know that packing in some solid nutrition and a little prep will make these things happen.
So I also took the restaurant tips from that blog post and reorganized it into a simple reference sheet. I broke it down by meal type – just like on menus. When we’re at breakfast, I can just skim that section really quick for guidelines before I look at the menu so I know what foods to look for. The same goes for the lunch/dinner section.
The bonus section is just a few tips that apply to any meal you’re ordering. I especially want to point out the Kids Menu tips. Because Kids Menus typically consist of 4-5 choices that are notoriously not very nutritious, and usually a plate of fried and/or white foods, I highly recommend choosing a healthy option from the adult menu and either splitting it with your child or splitting it between 2 children. This seemed more expensive to my husband and I at first, until we realized that for about the same price as 2 kids meals, we could get one adult meal and a side (like an extra salad or fruit cup). ALSO, because the adult menu portions are bigger and the items we choose are more nutritious, they’re also more filling, alleviating the kids’ want to eat again within the hour after we get back into the car, so less time/money spent on stopping or munching snacks!
CLICK on the printables images above to have them emailed to you right away!
THEN click these links to access the related recipes I have on the blog
(print them out to keep with your checklist!):
Honey Cinnamon Flax Granola
Rainbow Pasta Salad with Lite Vinaigrette
Light & Fluffy Whole Grain Pancakes
Mango Raspberry Muffins
Tropical Pineapple-Mango-Coconut Muffins
Golden Sunrise Apricot Muffins
Click this link for more info or to order: Shakeology
Wherever you travel to this summer, and whatever the reason, I hope you and your family have an amazing adventure! If these tip sheets and checklists help you, or you have a great tip of your own to share, please COMMENT below! I love to hear from you!
Also, if you liked this post, you might be interested in joining me for my next 7 DAYS to Less STRESS 5-Day Clean Eating Workshop! This will start in a few weeks (I’ll give you some time to get settled from your travels before we kick it off!). If you would like an INVITE to join this online workshop, and get the application & details, click HERE.
Safe & healthy travels to you and your family!!!