The pandemic situation is unfortunately not getting better any time soon, so if you’re an avid traveler, getting in your car and hitting the open road might be your only way of traveling for the time being. And actually, going on a road trip is one of the best activities you can imagine—it’s fun, exciting, educational and relaxing, of course, as long as you do a few things to stay healthy while driving and plan your meal in advance. When we go on a road trip, we have no idea where we will stay or eat. And if you’re a vegan, finding a nice vegan restaurant and knowing what to eat as a vegan gets a little more challenging.
However, there are now a number of sites that help us to find vegan restaurants in our locality. Therefore, it’s important to look for vegan restaurants in the area where you’ll be travelling so that you don’t miss out on your vegan meal.
When on a road trip, your body has to go through a lot of pressure and routine changes, but you can easily combat any issues that might arise by taking good care of your health. Here are a few tips for a healthy road trip:
Invest in a cooler
Before you embark, you need to be equipped with a few necessities such as a first aid kit, flashlight, some spare parts, new tires and a handy cooler. When you’re bringing some foods with you on your trip, you’ll be happy to have a place to keep them chilled and safe from spoiling. But keep in mind that in summer, your cooler can help with spoiling but not prevent it so make sure to eat perishables early in your road trip.
Make sure to eat regularly
With a cooler by your side, you can bring a lot of great food with you, now you just need to push yourself to make regular stops. Usually, people eat something every four to five hours, and this should stay that way on a road trip as well. If you don’t stop to eat or grab a snack regularly, you might risk overeating later or making some silly decisions on the road.
Make smart stops
While driving through an unfamiliar area, it’s hard to play your meal well and hit up quality restaurants—you usually just go for the first thing you see which is a fast food joint. While this is understandable in a pinch, it’s a great idea to plan your stops around good meals. For instance, before you embark for the day, you can study the map, find a good eatery along the way and figure out how to divert your route and make it practical for you to have your healthy meal. Who knows what kind of amazing things you might see due to your little detours.
If you must hit up a fast food place due to not having any other option, don’t worry, you can still make healthy choices there. To reduce empty calories and unnecessary sugars, stay away from ‘meal options’ that include fries and soda but feel free to enjoy any individual order. If you can choose your sides, opting for a salad, steamed veggies or baked potato is a much better choice. And finally, go through the menu and look for things that are grilled or baked instead of fried—these contain much less oil and calories.
Bring plenty of healthy snacks
When driving, we all get a little peckish between restaurant stops, so make sure to prepare for those situations by packing plenty of snacks. And try to avoid regular potato chips and similar junk foods dosed with sugar. Instead, you can look into tasty and healthy vegan snacks like nuts, granola bars and dark chocolate. These don’t even have to be refrigerated, so you can keep them at hand all the time and munch on them when you feel like your body needs some extra help to function.
Drink plenty of water
Water is the most important substance on Earth for humans, and it’s a vital thing that keeps us healthy and stable. H2O helps with digestion, keeps you focused and calm, prevents headaches and keeps dehydration away. Pack a few reusable bottles with you and make sure to top them off every time you stop.
When driving for a serious amount of time, you will most definitely start feeling sleepy and fatigued. Many road trippers choose to reach for coffee or energy drinks during that time, but be careful how much you take these. Caffeine from these beverages can leave you stressed and anxious which doesn’t mix well with driving. It’s best to get rest when you’re tired and continue to hydrate with water, organic juice and tea.
When you’re in your car, getting hit by the sun on the highway and having no place to hide, you’ll be glad that you’ve packed plenty of sunscreen. Apply sun protection before you start your day of driving and make sure to reapply in case you make beach stops.
Help your spine
Sitting is deadly for your spine, especially sitting in the car where you usually don’t have too much space to move and shift. So to help reduce pressure on your back, make sure to position your seat so you can reach the steering wheel comfortably. Also, keep the angle of your seat at 100 degrees and add a small pillow to support the small of your back—this will minimize slouching and reduce pain in the lumbar area. When you can, use cruise control so you can rest your feet on the floor and reduce strain on your back and hips.
Stretch your legs
As stated above, regular stops are necessary for a healthy and fun road trip, so make sure to stop your car every 60 minutes and stretch your legs and back (especially if you experience any chronic pain). Giving your legs a break will also prevent deep vein thrombosis caused by prolonged sitting. And finally, you will get to stretch your road trip, see more things and spend more quality time with your passengers.
If you usually find driving stressful, there are a few things you can do to reduce road trip stress and prevent stress headaches and emotional outbursts. Firstly, drive during light traffic times. Secondly, play some relaxing music and engage in relaxation techniques (deep and slow breathing) in case you get stuck in traffic. And thirdly, make sure to switch drivers whenever you feel unfit to drive.
When you take good care of yourself, road tripping can be the safest, healthiest and most fun way to travel. Use these tips to organize a fun trip that will allow you to return home feeling invigorated, fit and stable.