The official start to summer is only a few days away. Perhaps you’ve been working hard all year to maintain your fitness goals and eat nutritiously, or maybe getting more active outdoors has you contemplating better eating habits. Either way, we’ve got lots of suggestions to help. Just because you’re on the way to your cabin, cottage, or even setting out on a road trip, real nutrition doesn’t have to take a backseat. For inspiration and tips about maintaining balanced eating on your vacation, keep reading!

Pack snacks

One reliable way to stick to a balanced regimen is getting your snacking situation sorted before you leave home. This tactic will help curb junk food binges and potential “why did I eat that?” moments that can get the best of us when we travel. A few of our favorite travel-friendly, nutritious snacks include roasted nuts, nut butter, seeds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate. Depending on whether your holiday itinerary involves a hotel stay, a posh Airbnb Plus, or getting back to nature at a cabin without refrigeration, you can choose whether or not to bring along fresh produce. A few travel-friendly fruits we love include apples and grapes—the latter is fantastic for freezing and can even be a handy substitute for an ice pack in your cooler.

Quick Tip
Keep your eyes peeled for potential roadside farm stands where you can stock up on seasonal berries, lettuce, sun-ripened tomatoes, and more.

Choose a cheat day

If you tend to gravitate to guidelines and structure, it may make sense to select a “cheat day” when you indulge in foods that you usually refrain from. For example, if you take a week-long vacation, perhaps Saturday is the day you’ll indulge in campfire s’mores, a roasted hotdog, a sweet frozen treat, or a second serving of potato salad. Sometimes just knowing that you’ll be able to enjoy anything your heart desires for one day is a great motivator when you’re staring down a plate of salad greens.

Re-frame expectations

Staying flexible about your summer eating habits is essential. Just because you’ve skipped a few days at the gym, or your attempt to follow the Mediterranean diet fell by the wayside this particular week doesn’t mean all your previous efforts have been all for naught. Rather than get discouraged about any less-than-great eating choices, make a mindful decision to squeeze in an extra helping of vegetables at your next meal, and get moving.

Pack a picnic

Studies have shown that treating eating as an enjoyable, social occasion is a great way to get more out of your eating experience. Conversely, eating and multitasking can actually lead to gaining weight. What better way to enjoy your holiday to the fullest than packing up a picnic? We even have some fun picnic food hacks to inspire your next al fresco occasion.

Plan ahead

Sometimes the most effective way to stay on track is to make just like you’re at home—at least in terms of meal planning. Rather than relying on restaurants and takeout meals that overuse sodium and added sugar, plan to pick up a week’s worth of convenient frozen meals on your way out of town. Just picture what you’ll be able to do (or not do) with all the time you get back, not having to shop for ingredients or spend time prepping in the kitchen.  Just make sure you’ll have a working microwave, freezer, or cooler in your RV, cottage, cabin, or hotel suite before stocking up.

What helps you stay on track with balanced eating while you’re on holiday? Let us know in the comments. Did you enjoy this post? Get more nutrition tips, and exclusive promo offers—join our newsletter.