Besides flying to Italy, all of my travel has been by car this year. I’ve made numerous long car trips this summer. I’m talking about trips ranging from six to ten hours. Those days are hard to get my steps in and hard to eat the way I want. I struggle with this so all I can do is share some of the things I try. I’d sure appreciate hearing from others how they handle long car rides.
Entertainment on Car Trips
Now, I’m usually alone when I take these trips. In order not to be bored and not to have to rely on the radio while driving through the West Virginia mountains, I make sure to have some music downloaded onto my phone. I also make sure to have a variety of podcasts downloaded. (Hint: you might download a few episodes of the Becoming Elli podcast for your next road trip!)
Eating on Car Trips
I make sure I have a couple of water bottles in the car. I also try to have a travel mug filled with coffee. It’s a challenge to find coffee sometimes on the road. Since I’m not really a soda pop drinker, this suffices for me.
Travelling to my destination
When I leave home and head out, it’s a bit easier to pack food. I try to pack things that I know won’t make too big a mess and that I can handle while driving. That usually includes a protein bar and maybe a Kind bar, a couple of cheese sticks, a snack pack of mixed nuts, and fruit such as apple or banana, and crackers.
I have not figured out how to avoid snacking while driving. I think I get bored, so I eat. It’s frustrating because I’m not really a snacker. When I’m at home, I don’t graze all day long, but I sure turn into a grazer while driving. I rummage through my lunch bag almost the whole trip.
Because I’m snacking all the time, I tend not to be hungry when it’s lunchtime, so I don’t get much to eat as a proper meal.
On the trip home, I don’t have the option to take as much in the car with me. I end up stopping at gas stations or fast food restaurants. It’s amazing how I end up suddenly feeling compelled to buy white cheddar popcorn or some other junk food that I would never buy at home when I’m in that convenience store. It’s not like they don’t have better choices, even if they’re not great choices.
It usually takes me a couple of days to recover from the trip home’s junk food mania. Also, my car ends up totally trashed from all this snacking, especially if I buy that white cheddar popcorn.
Getting Steps on Car Trips
The other thing about car trips that I really struggle with is getting in my steps. I try to get some in before I leave. That may be the result of carrying luggage to the car and running back and forth making sure I have my coffee, water, phone charger, etc. I always think that I’ll get up early and go for a walk or a run but that hasn’t happened yet.
When I stop along the way, I try to walk the long way around to the rest room or to just walk around a parking lot. Sometimes I do calf raises while pumping gas. Usually when I arrive at my destination, I’m visiting someone so saying “hey, I need to walk” doesn’t usually work. On my return trip home, I often go for a quick run or a walk around the block to clear my head and get some steps in.
As you can see, I lose all sense of healthy living while driving in my car. I want to eat well and I’d like to at least get in some walking but I really struggle. I usually just say, “oh well, there’s always tomorrow.”
Please, if you have any advice for me, please share it with me.
Note: The photos that I’ve used here were taken as a passenger in a car. I was NOT taking photos while driving.