Eating Healthy when Traveling

Tips from the CA Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Summer is here and Californians are getting ready to vacation once again. Use this guide for packing and traveling to help you eat healthy while traveling on the road, whether it’s across state lines, to the beach or your neighborhood park.

  • Before you go, pack foods with care.
    • Clean your produce. Rinse all fresh produce under running tap water before packing it in a cooler, including produce with peel-away skins or rinds.
    • Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in coolers with frozen gel packs or ice. Stashing it at 40°F or below prevents bacterial growth. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another since you are likely to grab beverages most often. Sliced fruit and veggies, hummus, guacamole and yogurt are good snacks to store in the cooler.
  • Pack healthy non-perishable snacks. No matter how you travel, you can keep eating healthfully with these simple options:
    • Whole or dried fruit.
    • Nuts (pre-portioned into snack-size bags).
    • Nut butters (travel packs are great).
    • Whole-grain pretzels, crackers and popcorn.
    • Trail mix.
    • Snack bars. Look for bars made with whole grains, nuts and fruit with few added sugars.
  • While traveling, these healthy choices are easy to carry and are available in many gas station marts and most airport terminals:
    • Part-skim mozzarella cheese stick.
    • Whole-grain sandwich with lean meat, vegetables and mustard.
    • Salad with lean protein.
    • Vegetable soup.
    • Fat-free latte.
    • Fruit cup.
    • Pre-cut veggies.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. These come in handy for washing your hands or other surfaces.

For more tips on nutrition and health or to find an RDN near you, visit