Staying Healthy While Traveling

With spring break coming up (seriously how did we make it to March?!) Follow these tips to help you stay on track when you’re traveling. Airports, planes and rest stops can be a breeding ground for germs and unhealthy foods – but fear not! I included some delicious, healthy restaurant meal ideas at places you typically see in airports, as well as some ways to keep your overall health in tip top shape while on the go. Below are some of my favorite pics for healthy meal ideas, broken down by meal and food group!

Whole grains: Options to look for: oatmeal, buckwheat pancakes, whole wheat toast, whole grain granola – all great choices!
Lean Protein (including dairy): Most restaurants offer low-fat yogurt options, eggs and nut butters making it easy to hit this food group!
Fruit: Fruit options are usually pretty easy to find at breakfast time – berries, bananas, apples, dried fruit, 100% fruit juices, smoothies, the options are pretty much endless!
Vegetables: I find the easiest way to get vegetables in at breakfast is to look for omelets packed with veggies like mushrooms, spinach, onions, peppers, etc.  I’ve also been to a few places that have offered side salads as well!  Another way is to look for 100% vegetable juices or smoothies that contain veggies.
Healthy Fats: Ask your server for olive oil rather than butter to put on your toast and opt for avocado in your omelet anytime it’s offered!  Other sources would include walnuts that can be thrown into oatmeal or natural nut butters to dollop into your yogurt!

Whole grains: Whole wheat breads for sandwiches, whole grain corn or wheat tortillas, quinoa, whole grain corn chips and whole grain pita breads are all great options!
Lean Protein (including dairy): Getting your hands on lean protein while out for lunch is fairly easy – opt for grilled chicken breast, salmon or other fish, turkey, beans, tofu, hummus, etc.
Fruit: Most places you go you should be able to ask for a side of fruit.  When I can’t find fruit at lunch places however, I load up on veggies and plan for a fruit snack later in the day.
Vegetables: Vegetables are usually pretty easy at lunch time.  You always have the choice to opt for entree or side salads, you can load your sandwiches up with lettuce, tomato, onions or get a side of steamed or raw vegetables if they’re offered.
Healthy Fats: The majority of breakfast options for healthy fats still apply for lunch – look for things like nuts, avocado or go for salmon which also contains some healthy fats.

Whole grains: Most of what you’re looking for with lunch is also what you’ll look for at dinner.  For whole grains you can choose brown rice, whole wheat buns for burgers, whole wheat pizza dough and whole wheat pasta if it’s available.  Other grains like quinoa, bulgur and farro are also options!
Lean Protein (including dairy): Again, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding lean protein options for dinner – fish, poultry like turkey or chicken, beans/bean burgers, lentils and tofu are great picks.
Fruit: You most likely won’t be eating much fruit for dinner – but there are several restaurants that will throw some fresh fruit into their salads!
Vegetables: Finding vegetables for dinner shouldn’t be hard.  Like with lunch, you can always opt for a side salad and most entree dishes come with at least a side of steamed vegetables.  You can also choose vegetable sushi and top your pizza or fill your calzone with them as well!
Healthy Fats: No surprise here – look for olive oil, nuts, olives, fatty fish like salmon and avocados.

And now a word on warding off any sickness during traveling! It is nearly impossible to avoid all germs (read: they. are. everywhere.) but there are plenty of ways to boost your immunity while traveling!

  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! Dehydration is one of the most common things while traveling, so carry a reusable water bottle with you that you can get through airport security or refill on your roadtrip. I love to infuse mine with cucumber, mint or strawberries!
  • Vitamins & Antioxidants – Traveling can certainly wear down our immunity, so be sure to pack your vitamins! Particularly, magnesium and packets of emergen-C are ones that I never forget. Magnesium is great for insomnia (jet lag is a real thing y’all), loosening up tight muscles after a long plane or car ride, and is great for digestion.
  • Sanitizer and Essential Oils – The first one is kind of a no brainer, but I never like to travel without some form of a hand santizer/wipe! Germs breed on airplane seats, so try to wipe yours down first to ward off any germs from the passenger before you. Having sanitzer on hand is also helpful when you want to eat a snack with your hands that haven’t been washed in a few hours. Essential oils are wonderful to bring along when you travel because they have antibiotic and antibacterial properties. They’re also calming and help you sleep (bonus!) Some great ones to have on hand are: peppermint, lavender, sage or lemon.


I hope these tips will be helpful when you’re planning that spring trip! They sure have helped me when I’m in a pinch and don’t have all of the conveniences of home and keep me in my best shape while I’m on the go!  

Meet the Author

Hillary Macias


My name is Hillary Macias, I graduated from the University of Mississippi with my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and completed my dietetic internship through the University of Delaware. I am currently studying for the R.D. exam and working at Chicago Family Health Center as a Nutrition Specialist. Chicago has such a fantastic Nutrition/Fitness community and I have been actively trying to stay as involved as I can!
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