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Is It Possible To Eat Healthy While Traveling?

Here are some ideas to keep in mind when traveling this summer that will keep you eating healthy.

Nashville, Ark. – Many families will be hitting the road this summer to wonderful destinations to relax and enjoy themselves. When you are traveling, it can be hard to stick to your healthy eating plan. After all, vacation only happens once a year, and why not enjoy that extra ice cream, dessert, or other treats along the way? The temptations are endless.

            Before you know it you give in; but wait, it is possible to travel and still follow a healthy eating plan. As you hit the road this summer, keep these ideas in mind:

  • Pack Your Snacks – Just like you carefully consider what you will pack to wear, pay the same attention to packing snacks that fit into your diet. Planning ahead allows you to always have healthy choices on hand. Some portable options include nuts, fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, low-fat granola bars, mini carrots and water.
  • Fill Up – Before leaving the house, eat first. Traveling on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Everything looks good, whether it is at a convenience store, airport terminal, or fast food billboard. If you have a healthy, satisfying meal before you go, you’ll be less tempted to reach for something to stave off hunger pangs.
  • Search Out Options – As you begin sightseeing at your destination, take a few minutes to find nearby restaurants and shops that will fit in with your meal plan. I’m not going to lie - it can be a challenge, but there are some healthy options out there.
  • Calories Count – Sorry, but a calorie is a calorie no matter where you eat it. It’s important to keep track of calories. There are several apps available to help you log your calories and exercise.
  • Order on the Side – Control portions of high-calorie extras by asking for salad dressings and condiments like mayonnaise on the side, or requesting that they be left off altogether. This way you can control the number of calories and fat grams you get.
  • Indulge in Moderation – Eating the local fare is part of traveling. Don’t deprive yourself of trying new foods and enjoying the local cuisine. However, if you know you will be eating a high calorie meal, eat lighter meals throughout the day. Also, keep portion sizes in check and make healthy choices whenever you can.
  • Keep Moving – Squeeze in as much exercise as possible when vacationing. Make it active by walking around the airport terminal while you’re waiting, stroll along the sidewalks in your destination city, ride bicycles to see the city instead of driving, go for a swim in the hotel pool, or check out the fitness center at the hotel. Pack workout clothes in your suitcase. Staying active will help keep you on track. There are several apps available you can download to keep track of your steps. Make sure you are hitting at least 10,000 steps each day. That’s two miles of walking!

            Vacation is a time to relax, connect with your family or friends and de-stress. Balance is the key when it comes to vacation food and a healthy eating plan. For more information on eating healthy, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.

Recipe of the Week

            This recipe was demonstrated at the recent Southwest Arkansas Experiment Center Field Day at Hope. It was enjoyed by all! Why not serve it at your next family get-together? You might want to attend the EHC Leader Training program, “Picnic Foods” scheduled for Tuesday, June 26 at 10:00 a.m. at the Howard County Extension Homemaker Educational Center in Nashville. I’ll be sharing ideas, food safety, and recipes for you to try at your next picnic.

Watermelon Tomato Salad

5 cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed

3 cups cubed tomatoes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 lettuce leaves

            Combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and stir gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in onion, vinegar and oil. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Serve on lettuce leaves if desired. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Yield: 6 (1 ½ cups) servings

Nutrition information per serving: 100 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 105 mg sodium

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


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