From Utah to Alaska, Utah to Montana and Utah to New York, I have spent a cumulative 15 days on the road this summer. Staying healthy while road tripping is not an easy feat. You are surrounded by the conveniences of fast food and unhealthy gas station snack options. Packing a cooler beforehand is worth it for the good things you will put into your body and the money you will save. Supplement your meals with nights out to dinner or local delicacies for lunch, and the occasional greasy spoon for breakfast.

Cut the Sugar
I don’t know about you, but I crave sugar while I am road tripping. If I don’t go ahead and pre-buy a limited amount of sugary snacks, I end up buying a candy bar at the gas station. I like to buy fruit snacks and high-quality chocolate beforehand and limit myself to what I have purchased.

Make a Menu
Ensure you are buying the right amount of food for the number of people in your vehicle or caravan. You can balance eating dinner at night with the healthy meals you have prepared for lunch so factor that in as well. Easy lunch items: Sandwiches, pasta salad, hard boiled eggs, prepackaged salad.

Don’t Forget Fruits & Veggies
Some produce does better than other kinds. Apples last the longest, but bananas are nice to have along for the ride. Clementines are easier to peel than oranges and less mess. Baby carrots are snackable. Other veggies can be cut up before departure and put into plastic gallon zip bags with a bit of water poured in to keep them hydrated.

Ice, Ice Baby!
Ice your cooler and keep your perishables fresh.

The Munchies
If you need a quick boost, eat a piece of fruit. Cravings to snack can be caused by a lack of water in your body, which is common when you are on the road. Crunchy, salty snacks are a craving too. Pack homemade popcorn, pretzels, or tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole packages instead of potato chips or a drive thru run for fries.

Drink Healthy Liquids
Avoid sugary sodas and coffees at gas stations by bringing your own beverages. Low-sugar alternatives include homemade cold brewed coffee, flavored sparkling water like La Croix, or plain old water! Pack a reusable plastic bottle and fill up your bottle with cold water at gas station soda fountains. Juices are good for you too, despite the sugar content. Make your own coffee in the morning (if camping) with a portable pour over or french press, or grab a cup from the hotel lobby. Be green! Use a thermos instead of styrofoam cups.

You can travel healthy on America’s highways if you show a little forethought before hitting the road! Happy road tripping!