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  • Robin Thomas


Updated: May 26, 2020

Summer is here, and almost everyone has a trip planned. Whether you are headed to the beach, the mountains, or flying across the country, it’s no fun if illness gets in the way of the fun. It is almost inevitable that our usual daily diets are disrupted, and that can affect our overall health.

Would you like to have the energy to enjoy your trip and come home healthy and rested while still having fun on your vacation? Here are 5 tips which boost your nutrition and help you stay healthy while traveling.

Tip # 1 Pack a Picnic Lunch

Long car rides often mean stopping at fast food restaurants. Instead of stopping there, pack a cooler with some of your favorite healthy foods that are easy to prepare and share. Interstate rest areas and state parks are great places to stop for lunch and stretch your legs.

When traveling long distances by air we frequently don't have access to healthy options. I always take both snacks and an empty reusable water bottle that I can fill at the airport after security. It’s important to stay hydrated while in the air. What are good airplane snacks? Consider the foods you eat often. Bonus points if they don’t need to be refrigerated. For me, I pack nutrition bars, carrot sticks, apples, and almonds. If it’s a long flight, I take prepackaged smoothie mixes I can add to water in a shaker bottle.

Tip #2 Boost Your Immunity

Another travel concern is the number of new people and germs you’ll encounter. Even if you aren’t flying (and especially if you are), give your immune system a boost by adding a powdered Vit C supplement to your water. My favorite is from USANA Health Sciences and contains Vitamin C ascorbates, zinc, and black elderberry and echinacea extracts to support a healthy immune system and help avoid catching the latest virus.

Tip # 3 Enjoy Fresh, Local Cuisine

Woman eating healthy food at a restaurant
Stay healthy while traveling by sharing large restaurant meals with your partner or friend.

One of the best parts of visiting unfamiliar places is having the opportunity to experience local cuisine. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, all with their unique local flair are delicious ways to enjoy the local culture. I enjoy shopping at local markets to find healthy foods I love. Avoid too many sugary foods that cause a sharp rise, then fall, in blood sugar levels, which saps our energy. Instead, choose foods containing some protein and fats, providing a more consistent level of energy throughout the day. These low glycemic foods will help you thrive while on a trip while the high glycemic ones will leave you feeling tired and unmotivated.

Tip # 4 Pack Some Probiotics

Sometimes eating foods that out of the norm can mess with your belly’s biology, especially in certain countries. This might cause uncomfortable temporary bloating or other mild digestive issues. I help prevent these digestive issues by choosing where I purchase my foods carefully (no street vendors) and by taking a probiotic. When traveling, I like the convenience of probiotic powder stick packs which need no refrigeration.

Tip #5 Go Ahead and Snack!

Snack between meals
Go ahead and snack, but make the snacks healthy and low-glycemic

Keep yourself fueled throughout the day and avoid binge eating by snacking on satisfying, protein-rich treats. Have plenty of water and a serving of nuts, berries, cheese, or other satisfying, natural foods between meals to keep yourself at the top of your game.

Consider these snack options under 300 calories:

1 medium apple + 2 oz. cheese

1 oz. almonds (approximately 23) + ¼ c. dried cranberries

1 cup Greek yogurt + ½ c. granola

2 Tbsp. peanut butter + 1 banana

Wherever you are traveling this summer, to the neighborhood pool or across the world, spend a little time preparing and you will enjoy a healthy and happy trip!

Live Well!

I help individuals stop feeling powerless about their health by guiding them through ways to get started with healthy habits without becoming overwhelmed. This is a time for connection, not for “going it alone”. Please feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to talk.

Robin Thomas worked for 25 years in Medical Research at UNC. She left UNC to start her own Wellness Business in 2004 and founded Living Well Connections, a community for people whose passion is healthy living, in 2015. Learn more at

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