Whether camping, road tripping, or traveling by air this summer, a little preparation can help fuel your summer adventures with healthy, delicious foods. Read on for tips for eating well, wherever the summer takes you.
Sometimes there aren’t many nutritious food options along the highway, so packing your own foods and beverages can be a better bet and enable you to eat when and where you want to.
- For any trip lasting longer than two hours, pack foods requiring refrigeration in a cooler with ice.
- Freeze water bottles to help keep the cooler cold, and enjoy the cold water as they thaw.
- Bring portable silverware and paper towels and wipes for easy clean up in the car.
Healthy and affordable food options can be hard to find in airports, so bring along your own snacks and meals.
- If you bring an ice pack to keep foods cold, remember that it must be completely frozen to pass through security.
- When you reach the concourse, if you prefer to purchase foods, look for healthier options such as nuts, grilled chicken, salads, and raw vegetables.
- Drink lots of water when traveling by air to prevent dehydration. Bring an empty reusable water bottle and fill it after going through security.
- When camping, make a menu to avoid bringing too much food. Eat the most perishable items first.
- For car camping, bring a large cooler. Make foods at home, freeze them, and then let them thaw in the cooler as you travel.
- Quick-cook brown rice, pre-cut vegetables wrapped in foil, and whole fruits are great cooked over a fire.
- Backpacking trips require more planning. Make your own snacks and dehydrated meal mixes to save money and extra weight in your backpack.
Try these travel-friendly snacks on your upcoming summer adventure:
- Single-serving yogurt
- Individually-wrapped cheese sticks
- Whole-grain crackers
- Clean, cut fresh vegetables
- Hummus or guacamole for dipping
- Fresh or dried fruits
- Nut butter packets
Read more about keeping foods safe during hot summer conditions in the USDA’s ‘Food Safety While Hiking, Camping and Boating’
(Thank you to Janie Jacoby, a graduate student in the Department of Food Science Human Nutrition, for assisting with writing this article.)