66 Clever Ways to Have a Healthy Road Trip

Stay healthy and stress-free on your next vacation on the road.

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How to Pack Snacks for a Road Trip (1:53)

Are you ready for a road trip? Start your journey with these healthy tips and then round up your family and friends and load up the car for an unforgettable and memorable vacation.

More: Dr. Oz’s Summer Safety Guide

1. Pack Compact Snacks to Avoid Overeating

Reuse a cleaned creamer bottle or fill up a new tackle box with healthy bites like nuts, seeds, berries, dried fruit, and granola. This way, you’ll cut down on multiple snack bags and boxes and won’t over-indulge because you can only have a small handful at a time.

2. De-Grime Car Headlights to Avoid Blurred Visibility

Oxidation on your car’s headlights can cause them to fog up and can be hazardous for you and other drivers. Make sure your car is seen in any weather by scrubbing down the headlights with a damp rag and a small amount of toothpaste.  Wash the toothpaste off with clean water and then dry with a soft paper towel or clean cloth.

3. Navigate Rest Stops Wisely for the Healthiest Options

Skip the hot pretzel stands full of salt and carbs, pass on the cinnamon buns high in sugar and saturated fats, and make healthier snack choices like fresh, cut fruit and pre-made salads. If you’re looking to satisfy a salt craving, try beef jerky that’s high in protein but low in calories.

4. Use Shoe Organizers to Corral Knickknacks

Maintain your sanity and your car windows visible by packing loose, small items like flip-flops, sunscreen bottles, hand towels, and sun hats neatly folded and in their own pockets in a fabric or plastic shoe organizer.

5. Keep Trash Confined in a Cereal Container

Line a cereal container with a plastic bag to use as a makeshift trash bin. The container makes it easy to brush crumbs, toss used napkins, and keep other litter contained on long rides.

6. Secure Your Cell Phone With a Binder Clip

Depending on your smartphone size, a jumbo or large binder clip (at least 2 inches wide) can help prop up your phone so you can use it as a GPS or reference a map before driving. Wrap the metal clips with non-slip black safety tape or wrap string around the metal so it doesn’t scratch your phone. With the handles folded up, add two snug rubber bands around the metal loops. Fasten the clip on your car’s air vent and gently slide your phone through the open space between the clasps.

7. Always Pack a Car Emergency Kit

Whether you’re on the road for a few hours or a few days, make sure your car’s emergency kit is stocked and ready to go. Include essentials such as roadside flares, glow sticks, a can opener, clean work gloves, a flashlight with working batteries, extra batteries, a flat-head screwdriver, jumper cables, rags, pliers, scissors, a tire inflator, wrench, blanket, and paper towels.

8. Organize Your Glove Compartment

Stash important documents like instructions for changing a car tire and your car’s manual in your car’s glove compartment. Other useful items include an atlas, a cell phone car charger, spare plastic bags, and a packet of tissues.

9. Take Photos Before Your Leave

If you’re renting a car, photograph each side of the car before you drive off so you’ll have evidence of the car’s condition in case you run into any future issues. Take photos of any important documents as well like your passport or driver’s license in case the real item gets lost. Have backups on your smartphone or camera and leave photo printouts at home.

10. Clean Car Windows With Flip-Flops

Don’t have a squeegee on hand? Repurpose the soles of flip-flops as a window wiper after it rains.

More: New Uses for Everyday Things: Summer Edition!

11. Conceal Valuables in Empty Bottles

Empty (and washed out) sunscreen bottles can hold more than just liquid. Stash car keys, pocket change, and even your cell phone inside to fool would-be thieves.

12. Keep Food and Drinks Chilled With Smarter Ice Packs

Fill water balloons with water and freeze before using them as ice packs in a cooler. When the ice melts, the water will stay in the balloon, making your cooler easy to clean out. Don’t have balloons? You can freeze wet sponges in re-sealable plastic bags for a similar effect.

13. Relieve Mosquito Bites With Deodorant

Stuck in the car with a mosquito? Shoo it out the window and quell any itchy bites with roll-on deodorant. The aluminum chloride can relieve the pain and suppress any swelling.

14. Prevent Stains With Cupcake Liners

Paper or foil cupcake or muffin tin liners can catch crumbs, dust, stray hair, and drips in cup holders or when poked through the bottom of a wooden ice pop stick.

15. Place Shoes in Shower Caps

Car mats can seem like magnets for dirt and grime. Keep them clean for longer by packing dirty or muddy sneakers and boots in plastic shower caps.