Whether it is a summer vacation or a winter getaway, both adults and children look forward to enjoying some time away from home.  However, the healthy habits that we create for our daily routine tend to fly out the window when we leave home.

Planning meals before you go
A little planning can go a long way when it comes to eating healthy during the travel portion of a vacation, especially if you have unexpected complications (car troubles, canceled/delayed flights, etc).  First, consider how long you plan on actively traveling to your destination—a 3-hour flight, a 12-hour drive, or a 2-day trek?  Now add in the unfactored travel time. For example, you may need 1 hour to get to the airport, 2 hours to check in, a 3-hour flight, and then 1 hour to get to the hotel.  Your 3-hour flight is now, realistically, 7 hours of travel.  That is the difference between planning one meal or two.

Once you know how many hours you will actually travel, think about where you will get your meals—at the airport, train station, an exit off the highway?  First, consider bringing as much food as possible from home.  Not only will this help you ensure that you have healthy foods to eat during the trip, but it will likely save you money and time.

Traveling by car

If you are planning a longer trip, especially by car, consider packing a cooler with some healthy perishables, such as: fruits, vegetables, yogurt, low-fat string cheese, hummus and healthy sandwiches.

If bringing a cooler is not an option, you still can pack the following: fruit, snackable vegetables (string beans, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, pea pods), whole-grain bread with a little hummus or peanut butter, meal-replacement bars—high-fiber, moderate-protein, low-saturated fat bars are best.

Traveling by air

If you are traveling by air and are not planning on bringing food, see if you can scope out the food options at the airport as soon as you get there.  Find the healthiest options that are closest to your gate, and make sure you go there once you start to get hungry.

Do not forget about what you may want to eat on the plane.  In-flight food usually is limited, unhealthy, expensive, or some combination of the three.  Buy or bring some extra food for your flight, so if you experience a delay, you are not caught off guard and hungry.  Many bad food decisions are made when you are hungry and have limited food options.  Did you really need that $5 can of Pringles® potato chips?

Traveling by train

These tips apply for trains and train stations: bring your own food, scope out the healthiest food options at the train station as soon as you get there and remember to bring some extra food onto the train, so you are not caught off guard and hungry because of unplanned delays.

Whether traveling by train, plane, or automobile, use these tips to help your family and you eat healthier when traveling.