If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my traveling the last few years, being prepared is key. No matter what diet you’re on or your lifestyle requirements, if you want to stay on track and feel your best, you have to come prepared. But being prepared can look a little bit different for everyone? Something that works for car journeys might be a bit much for a plane ride. So today I’m sharing the first part of what is sure to be many travel guides or what to pack so you stay on track during your next car journey.
When I was a regular Atlanta resident, I found myself traveling quite a bit. Mostly I would end up in the place I live in now lending my parents a hand. But I would also go to South Georgia to see family or to many other places that my little Prius would efficiently carry me. The perks of a hybrid and saving on gas!
Some friends have always been great at helping to make sure I can eat whatever they are cooking. But when it comes to small towns, finding foods on the go that are nutritionally satisfying and don’t make me feel terrible can be a struggle. So like any good girl scout, I always come prepared. Here’s what in my regularly packed food travel bag:
You will almost always find me with at least 2-3 drinks. It’s a struggle. These days I carry around my hydro flask* constantly. But I also like to snag one of those extra large bottles from the grocery store and use it to refill my bottle on the go. I know that if I’m thirsty, I’ll start snacking if there isn’t any water around. And staying hydrate is key to keeping me on track.
In most of my travel bags, you’ll find a stash of activated nuts. The combo of healthy fat and protein is great for keeping me fuller for longer if I find that I’m eating a lacking salad on the go. Instead of reaching for chips or something else my body won’t love, the nuts give me that crunchy, salty satisfaction but don’t spike my blood sugar as much. You could also carry around almond butter or nut butter packs as well. I tend to have both in my car and my bag.
If I have any dried or fresh fruit options, I’ll throw them in my cooler as well. I like to give myself nutritional dense options. Plus, if they sit at home for several days while I’m gone, then they will go bad. It doesn’t hurt me to pack them so I have good food choices and I’m wasting less. Win win! I’m a sucker for dried mango or bananas when I’m on the run. Perfect for settling any sweet cravings and easily transported no matter where I go.
Again, this is one of those if I have it on hand kind of things. When I’m visiting family, it’s much easier to just reheat my own leftovers than to have to do a full grocery shop for myself when I get there. Less waste and it guarantees I have something I can eat. Plus, it invites the conversation for them to try new foods.
Protein Powder & Non-Dairy Milk
One of my favorite money saving travel tips no matter where I’m going is to bring your own breakfast. It may seem silly or simple but it saves me every time. I always struggle with what to eat for breakfast so if I bring an option along I don’t have to worry. And if I don’t eat it every day, then I’ll have a snack option or another meal. Sometimes I’ll make muffins before I travel but packing protein powder*, my shaker bottle and almond milk is an easy way to make it work. These days almond milk isn’t so hard to get ahold of so sometimes I buy it when I get there. But I know I’ll have on meal option taken care of and it helps me limit my excuses.
As I’ve decreased the sugar in my diet, I’ve noticed more and more how hard it can be to get a good latte on the go. Most of the time, with the exception of Whole Foods, non-dairy milks used in coffee shops have added sugar. Occasionally, I’ll make the exception but in my prepared travel’s kit I like to have tea. It’s normally a mix of decaf and regularly because you just never know. Plus, I find that a good cup of decaf tea can help me feel settled in anywhere I go.
Honestly, this could go with the tea but I also use it with coffee and almond milk. I’ve found that making sure I have enough healthy fats in my meals helps me stay fuller for longer. If I’m feeling a little hungry after a meal, adding in a bit of coconut oil ton my tea helps satisfy the hunger. When I’m at home I use MCT oil but for traveling I found these coconut oil packets at Trader Joes that work great.
These are just a few of the things I pack and most often they vary depending on what’s in my fridge. Hummus with veggies is also a go to option or dates with almond butter. Regardless, I try to pick clean foods that won’t make me feel sluggish if I’m in the car for a while. The most important part is that you are prepared and have no excuses to hit up that drive through for something that won’t benefit your body. I’d say being prepared is half the battle.
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