Often when taking on a time consuming or stressful project, eating nutritious and healthy food takes a back seat. This is particularly true when people travel, especially long distance. When you’re on the road, accessibility takes precedence over pretty much anything else. We are also more likely to indulge our cravings on such trips and opt for food that will provide some empty calories instead of putting a lot of thought into each meal. Oftentimes it is not even possible to be particularly choosy. With a little bit of planning and these food ideas for long distance traveling projects, however, everyone can make sure to stay healthy and well-fed while on the road.
How much food should you take?
This is one of the most common mistakes people make. You have probably been there – reaching your destination with less than half of what you had prepared eaten. However, spending a lot of time on different means of transport can make you go hungry more frequently than you usually would. You should definitely pack enough so that you are able to snack whenever you feel like it. Being careful with the amount you are taking is especially important if you are going backpacking, for obvious reasons. You do not want to be lugging too much food around, but you also want to have enough. Everyone is different, so the best way to know how much you will need personally is to think about your previous experiences.
Planning your stops
Instead of prepping super hard and carrying a lot of food with you, one of the best food ideas for long distance traveling projects is to analyze the route you’ll be taking. If you are going by car, you will be able to stop wherever you want and you may want to know in advance what kinds of options your stopovers will offer. With a little bit of planning and research, you can make sure your meals are healthy but hearty. One of the fun parts of traveling is definitely trying out local flavors and new things. Your road trip should be no different. Even when relocating to a distant place, you can still make the most of your trip.
Keeping your food fresh
If you do not think you will be able to stop often and will spend extensive amounts of time in the car, consider taking a cooler or something similar to keep your food at an even temperature. You want to pack a variety of different food groups so be careful how you plan on storing them in your car or bag. The more variety you bring, the more options you’ll have once you’re on the road. Think fruit and veggies, healthy fats and complex carbs. While you probably want to keep your on-the-road snacks really healthy, make sure you pepper in some things that are simply just delicious and will make you happy. You need a lot of energy when traveling and you also want to keep your mood levels up. Balance is key, like with everything else in life.
Food ideas for long distance traveling projects
No matter the food group, you want to make sure the things you’re bringing with you are easy to pack and keep somewhat fresh. You also do not want anything that requires too much attention when eating. You can leave the more complex, full meals for the times when you decide to take a break.
Some of the easiest sources of protein when on a road trip are local cheeses or other individually wrapped cheeses. These are easy to snack on as well as useful for making an impromptu sandwich. Any nuts, seeds and dried fruits are all great food ideas for long distance traveling projects. They’re also road trip food ideas that are actually healthy. Jerky is also a great source of protein and easy to eat on the go. Hummus is another healthy and accessible snack.
Fruits and vegetables
As per comedienne Chelsea Peretti, bananas are such great portable snacks. They stay fresh pretty long, they do not need any special treatment and they are so easy to eat while driving. They are rich in potassium and fiber as well as other nutrients. Bringing fruit with you is an important part of staying healthy on your long-distance travels because it will keep you away from overloading on sweets and fast food. Fruit will keep your blood sugar levels even.
As for vegetables, carrots are a great veggie to bring along. They can be great with hummus or a small cup of Greek yogurt. You can bring other sliced vegetables for this purpose as well. For an extra dose of freshness, bring a cucumber or a sliced bell pepper.
In thinking about different food ideas for long distance traveling projects, don’t forget to bring enough water. Your best bet is to bring a couple of refillable bottles that you can easily refill at your stops. Besides water, you can also bring vegetable or fruit juice (freshly squeezed/juiced). Both of these can be a great source of nutrients.
In order to avoid spills when transporting liquids, be very careful when packing them, though. One thing that is a staple for road trips that you may want to avoid is coffee. While it can be quite useful in keeping you awake and energized, it also makes it harder to stay hydrated. You would be much better off taking more frequent breaks than filling up on coffee and then having your energy levels inevitably crash.
Cassie David is a food writer who particularly loves traveling and sampling local dishes. She hates restrictions and loves spontaneity in all aspects of life.