Road-tripping is all about spontaneity and convenience. But thinking ahead in terms of your health is never a bad idea, especially since gaining a pound or two while on the road is frightfully easy to do. First step—choose your travel buddy wisely. You want to be on the same page with the person you’re sharing a vehicle with. For instance, if you’re attempting to be healthy, you don’t want to travel cross-country with someone who wants to stop at every Five Guys on the way. Scroll through for our top tricks for keeping your body and mind healthy while on the road.
Williams-Sonoma Solid Cashmere Throw ($249)
On the road, there is no one to impress. Dress for yourself and luxuriate in the freedom of wearing a driving blanket or sweatpants all trip long. Skinny jeans and tight yoga pants may look good, but after hours in the same position, your legs with feel paralyzed, and your skin will be begging for a breather.
Target Igloo Sportsmans 100 Quart Cooler ($50)
Bring a fully packed cooler with healthy, homemade options to munch on during your travels. We love homemade breakfast cookies, carrots, apples, almond butter, and dark chocolate squares to satisfy any persistent sweet teeth.
Sur la Table Copper Measuring Cups ($15)
It never hurts to bring along a set of measuring cups. An extra 1000 calories per day can cause you to gain two or more pounds per week, so keep your snacking in check by measuring how much you consume. When you’re not paying attention (or even when you are), a family-size bag of chips can vanish before you know it. Keep track of “healthy” foods like trail mix, hummus, and granola bars, and consider some of these nutritionist-approved snacks instead. Too much of a good thing can quickly put you in the food danger zone.
Yeti Yoga The Sam Yoga Mat ($60)
There has been a lot of talk about how sitting is the new smoking. Most often this refers to the many hours we clock sitting at our desks, but driving time counts as well. So keep a yoga mat or a pair of running shoes in the back of your car and use them as often as you can. We recommend performing a few sun salutations after each 100 miles.
Lumo Back Sensor ($70)
Posture affects your mood, your health, and your overall brain function. So what better time to practice your posture than when you’re sitting for hours in your car every day? Road trip and prepare for success simultaneously? Sounds like a dream multitasking combo if we’ve ever heard one!
On the Road by Jack Kerouac ($24)
Sometimes it’s best to cut the chatter and just keep it silent on the road. Rather than listen to the same tunes on repeat, we recommend engaging your mind by playing an audiobook. Channel your inner Jack Kerouac and listen to On the Road as you traverse the American Interstate System. We recommend planning to turn this audiobook on as you meander up Pacific Coast Highway on your way to Big Sur.
Moroccanoil Sun Lotion SPF 50 ($32)
Most of us don’t think about sun exposure when we’re driving. This is a costly oversight. According to SkinCancer.org, melanoma is much more common on the more UVA-exposed left side of our body than on the right side. Why? Because when driving, our left arm is hit with constant sunlight. Make sure you lather up with sunscreen every morning before you hit the road, and reapply every two hours.
S'well Sparking Champagne Stainless Steel Water Bottle ($45)
Drinks, even non-alcoholic ones, are always tempting. But please try your best to ignore gas station fridges, and beeline for the water section instead. Gazing at a rainbow of sugary, carbonated drinks will make you think you want to buy one. But your stomach will thank you later for sticking to the classic H2O. Also, skip the booze if you can. A beer or two after a long day of driving is a nice reward before turning in for the night, but going overboard makes morning driving awful. There is no reason you should be hungover on the road.
Have you mastered the art of the road trip? Share your healthy secrets with us in the comments!
Opening photo: via Travel News Digest