There’s something undoubtedly thrilling and exciting about travel. The promise of an itinerary full of new sights and sounds, upcoming adventure, and a break from your work and obligations for the next few days…ahhh, bliss! That is, of course, unless you’re traveling for work. (Womp-womp.)

Of course, even if your job requires you to travel extensively, you can still make the most out of your trip. Nobody says you’re not allowed to explore your destination city while you’re there, right?

The problem with travel is that many people – possibly yourself included -- tend to see it as an eating free-for-all. Without the structure and stability of having your own kitchen and healthy food at your fingertips, it’s far too easy to go off the rails.

Plus, new cities are always full of fun, new foods to try, too.

Heck, who’s going to travel to Italy and skip gelato? And if you go to the Deep South and turn your nose up at authentic barbeque, you’re probably going to regret it.

The thing is, traveling doesn’t have to automatically mean that your diet is doomed. You can still continue to eat healthy, whether you’re on an epic road trip or stuck on a major layover in an unfamiliar city.

If you’re going on a trip in the near future and need some advice in your back pocket to help you stay healthy while on the road, look no further.

These three key pieces of advice will help you stay slim and healthy while traveling – no matter the reasons for your trip!

Pack Plenty of Healthy Snacks for the Road

One of the biggest traps you can fall for when traveling is giving in to the misguided belief that you have to eat junk food while on the road.

And of course, there are a lot of companies out there that are banking on you feeling that way. Fast food companies count on you thinking you have no other choices.

Even places that have just grab-and-go options want you to feel like you’re only allowed to eat chips, candy, or cookies when you’re traveling.

Instead of falling prey to this mentality, you need to instead challenge it. To be successful at eating healthy, you need to plan to eat healthy.

When you’re on the road, make sure you bring several different healthy options with you. Fruit travels extremely well, especially hardy fruits like apples and bananas.

You can also bring vegetables like carrots and celery, and single-serve tubs of hummus, too.

Nuts, trail mix, and jerky are also great options that offer steady energy as well as healthy protein and fat.

The fiber in these foods will help you stay full between meals, allowing you to feel satiated. The last thing you want is to get overly hungry and accidentally overeat when you’re finally sitting down for a meal.

By keeping shelf-stable, nutritious snacks with you, you can be confident that you are nourishing your body when traveling. You’ll be less likely to overdo it on empty carbs and junk food.

In turn, you’ll avoid feeling bloated and gross when you finally get to your destination.

Avoid Temptations at the Airport

What’s the first thing you notice when you step off an airplane?

The smell of food, that’s what!

Sure, there are other things that are dueling for your attention, too. But when you disembark your plane, you’re probably starving and are eager for a hot and filling meal.

It’s almost as though every single fast-food kiosk and restaurant at the airport are competing to win you over with their inviting smells.

While it can be tempting to make a beeline to the first fast-food stop that you see, you need to pause and practice mindfulness.

Sure, that cinnamon roll or that pretzel dog will taste good in the moment, but how will you feel later?

Probably pretty crummy, to be honest.

Instead of diving face-first into the first restaurant, you see, instead, do a lap or two around your terminal. For starters, it'll give you a little exercise and let you stretch your legs out after a long flight.

It’ll also give you a chance to be a little bit choosy, too. Who knows? You may find something you like more a few gates down.

When you finally pick a meal, make sure you try to pick something that has a little bit of protein, and some produce, too. Most shops sell salads or packaged fruit.

By taking the time to eat healthy at airports, you’ll be starting your trip on a healthy foot. When you land at your destination gate, you’ll be happy you arrived feeling comfortable instead of overly full and bloated.

Be a Picky Eater (But Don’t Be Too Strict!)

Look, you’re not traveling the world to stay cooped up in your hotel room, nibbling anxiously on a salad.

Every single culture out there has an amazing cuisine that can’t be missed. It can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy these foods.

That said, you need to remember that the food is just one aspect of your trip. You’re not going to Paris only to eat pain au chocolat. You’re also going to see the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

Food is just one small part of your trip, really.

That’s not to say that the food isn’t important, though. It would be both silly and impractical to undermine it.

You need to find a healthy middle ground between acknowledging that yes, you want to eat all of these delicious foods. But no, you’re not going to stuff yourself sick on them.

You want fresh pasta in Italy while admiring the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Go for it! But try to eat healthier earlier in the day before you serve yourself a heaping dish of fettuccine.

And be particular about what you’re eating while traveling, too.

Skip foods you can get at home, like potato chips and generic cookies. If you’re going to splurge, make sure it’s a real treat, something special.

And don’t overeat to the point of queasiness, either. Eat just enough that you’re satisfied, but not overfull.

Do you want to try tiramisu? Eat a bite or two, then pass it off to your spouse or best friend. Sharing is the keyword here.

If you deny yourself tastes of all of the yummy food when you travel, you’re just setting yourself up to binge eat later.

By practicing mindfulness and moderation when you travel, you can come home from your trip feeling light, healthy, and happy!

Making the Most of Your Trip

At the end of your trip, what do you want to remember when you look back?

Do you want to reflect on all of the amazing things you saw and experienced while you were there? Do you want to have lots of memories of spending time with loved ones while exploring a new city?

Or do you want your memories of your trip sullied by frequent trips to the bathroom due to stomach distress?

Eating past the point of discomfort? The shock of gaining five or ten pounds when you step on the scale back home?

Ugh, no thank you.

By planning ahead, you can help avoid unwanted weight gain on a trip. Not only can you prevent weight gain, but you can also feel good about how you treated your body.

Your health is, ultimately, your priority. It doesn’t suddenly stop mattering when you’re traveling.

If you take care of your health when you travel, you can help ensure your trip is a positive and enjoyable experience – no matter where your destination takes you!

Author's Bio: 

Misty Jhones