Road trips sometimes seem to be the end all be all of sticking with your diet if you do not make a pre plan for meals.  There is a barrage of options in “Fast Food” available for you to drive in and keep on the road to your destination.  Limited choices of healthy options make us opt for the classic burger and fries which generally pack a wallop of 900 calories or more in just one meal, and that is just the regular sized portion not the super-sized portion.  Each time you eat out, and generally if you are on the road for an extended period it can be multiple meals that you are stopping to grab, for a couple you will spend an average of $15 at these quick drive thru choices which adds up to about $45 in just one day.

Over the Memorial Day holiday this year my husband and I traveled to Texas to pick up his mother and head out on a mini-vacation for her.  That road trip just to pick her up is a 14 hour drive, one way.  Four out of five exits that we passed on our trip contained only McDonald’s and/or Burger King as their only food options and one out of five offered Subway as a restaurant option.  So needless to say, I am glad that I wanted to make sure we had food options already on hand to eliminate the need for stopping at these fast food temptations.  We were on the road for five straight days.  Before we left I made a plan, right down to what we would snack on between meals and drink options.

Here’s what I opted for –

  • Homemade pulled BBQ chicken and buns as an option for a sandwich (cooked all day before we left in the crock pot)
  • Fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries (they are in season and on sale!)
  • Almonds
  • Smartfood’s White Cheddar Popcorn as a crunchy alternative
  • Roasted eggplant, asparagus and zucchini
  • EAS Protein Shakes
  • La Croix Berry Flavored Sparkling Water
  • Plain H2O

We did stop off at the occasional gas station for a fill up here and there, surprisingly, our lowest gas price we found was $3.11 in Arkansas, and my husband succumbed to his Peanut M&M temptation.  Having those options available for us saved us almost $200 just in food and drinks for our five-day trip.  With gas prices up and down and the costs of lodging, why not do some pre planning and have food options that you really enjoy and splurge on things to do on your trip?  I’m not saying not to stop at all, just have quick options available so you make some better choices.  We packed our cooler and kept it in arm’s length in the back seat for easy access and grabbed as we went.

It was a really nice trip even though it was five days in a car.  I also pre planned my entertainment for the drive by brining my laptop and some of my favorite DVDs along.  I stopped off at Wal-Mart before leaving town and invested in an adapter for my car ($29.95) to be able to prolong the battery life.  This really made the trip seem less monotonous and less time for thinking about snacking because we were bored.

So the next time you set out on a trip for the weekend or a holiday road trip, do a little planning on the front side to avoid sabotaging your good eating and to help you save some money by shopping before you leave.  Good things are all in the planning.