Skip to Content

How To Eat Healthy on the Road: Food Choices & Tips

This guide looks at how to eat healthy on the road and what food to consume along the way.

It's expected that if you're on a road trip, the most obvious choice for food would be fast food. That's because you'd be looking for a quick fix so that you can continue with the trip. 

However, this is not the best way to eat while on the road, and it's essential to plan for healthier meals, too.

Eating health on the road can help you maintain energy levels. (photo: Averie Woodard)
Road trip (photo: Averie Woodard)

Eating Healthy on the Road

Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated. Let's look at how you can keep it healthy even on a road trip. 

Make Plans

Your healthy eating habits shouldn't stop because you're on a road trip. What you need is to plan so that you'll have healthy food for the journey. 

We recommend working on your packaging skills as you may have to decide what to pack and leave behind. Consider getting dark chocolate chips, water, breakfast bars, and more. 

Where You Stop Matters

Other than buying and carrying your food, it might also be wise if you could plan where to stop.

No need to stop for fast food or gas station snacks. It'd be nice if you could stop in places with restaurants that can offer good food for you. You can also look for a health food store nearby to get more supplies.

Make Google Maps your friend to find more details about your location and the restaurants close to you.

Eat More Protein

Proteins will always be vital in your diet; they're essential for building muscles and do a lot to enable the body to function normally.

Hard-boiled eggs and grilled chicken are two easy protein options available almost everywhere. Get the right amount of protein in your daily diet, and you can maintain good energy levels during your trip.

If you have to eat carbohydrates, try to keep the portions low. Whole grain bread, for example, is not so bad. Just make sure you're also eating vegetables with your proteins.

While proteins can be more expensive, they should also fill you up longer than carbs; they have the potential to help you control your cravings better. 

Related: How to Save Money on Food

Picnic in mountains (photo: Ana Curcan)
Picnic in the mountains (photo: Ana Curcan)

Avoid Eating Your Emotions

If something happens to cause you stress or anxiety, you may find yourself eating potato chips or other foods that make you feel good at that moment.

Eating your emotions is not highly recommended. When you're on the road, such junk food can quickly leave you with low energy or deflate your mood.

Instead, aim to consistently eat foods that improve your health. Try out a trail mix with dried fruit to get the health benefits of the different nuts and seeds.

We recommend you avoid deep-fried foods and those with added sugar as they'll make you feel like eating more and more. 

Stay Hydrated 

Just as eating healthy is essential, so too is staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water during your road trip.

The water is essential for flushing toxins from your body. Other benefits of staying well-hydrated include healthy-looking skin and eating less food overall. 

Water is critical in helping deal with travel lag and calms junk food cravings. Consider keeping your water bottles filled, so you don't have to buy single-use water bottles at every stop you make.

Don't Forget Your Greens

Lindsey Desoto, a clinical dietitian, advises we embrace using super greens all the time.

Since they're made of leafy vegetables, we recommend that you don't forget to head to a local grocery store and get enough greens for the trip if necessary.

Consider dried fruits, salad bars, and baby carrots, among many other vegetables you can get. 

Fruits play an important role in a healthy diet too. Buy freeze-dried fruits too, and have smoothies in a cooler to make the whole trip fun and healthy. 

HealthCanal largely advocates taking supplements during your road trips. A supplement such as melatonin can help you acclimate to a new time zone, and it can help you maintain a regular sleep schedule, which is vital for your overall health.

You can always consult your doctor for supplements you might need. Other than travel snacks, you can improve your health with supplements. 

Related: How to Beat Jet Lag

Camping in Montana (photo: Chris Cordes)
Camping in Montana (photo: Chris Cordes)

Minimize Booze

It's best if you can keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Drinking too much booze can cause a significant increase in calories and leave you feeling less up to the task of driving.

Getting drunk is not the best thing for your image if you're at a work conference. Focus more on networking and building new and valuable connections.

Scan the Buffet Options 

Whenever you have a buffet as a choice, there will be many options, such as a hard-boiled egg, cottage cheese, and fruit juices. So, how do you manage a healthy meal from it?

Focus more on the protein and watch the portion sizes. Get foods that'll leave you feeling full for longer. High protein foods are recommended because they help you avoid craving pizza later. 


Aim always to make the healthiest choices when you buy food for travel, whether by air or land. If you make intelligent choices and pack healthy snacks, you'll have more energy to enjoy the experience.

Eating healthy isn't for the home alone. Try to eat healthy as a matter of practice, whether at home or on the road.


This story is brought to you in partnership with HealthCanal.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends: