Traveling can throw off healthier eating habits, especially at the airport where options appear to be limited.

It used to be that junk food was the only choice, but today, nutritious and satisfying meals can be found in just about every corner of the terminal.

I admit to sometimes purchasing the big bag of peanut M&M’s with a design magazine and a giant bottle of water before a long flight. We don’t have to give up these small rituals, but can make better choices when it comes to staying balanced.

5 tips to help arrive at your destination feeling your best:

1Always pack and prep your own snacks!

The best way to control what you eat while traveling is to pack what you need. Make a special trip to the grocery store to pick up a few healthy staples:

Fresh or dried fruits and nuts such as almonds and walnuts.

Packable cheeses.

Prepared hummus and veggie slices.

Whole grain or rice crackers with nut butter.

A pre-made whole-grain sandwich.

2Eat like you would at home

Stick to simple and fresh! Choose fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

If you’re not going to prepare a foot-long breakfast sub of egg, cheese, and six slices of bacon at home, why choose to eat it before boarding a 7 a.m. flight?

Look for the kiosk selling fresh fruit slices, granola, or cereal with milk. Grab some yogurt and a banana with that Starbucks latte and you’re on the right track to keeping your gut healthy, too.

3Fast food—if you must!

Imagine you’re Indiana Jones standing in the food court of the Holy Grail. Choose wisely.

Wendy’s has a decent selection of protein packed salads and sides. Opt for the small salad with grilled chicken and a baked potato with broccoli.

Mexican-inspired restaurants offer protein and fiber-rich bowls of beans, vegetables, rice or quinoa. Skip the tortilla chips, go light on the cheese, and pile on avocado for heart-healthy fat.

4Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Lack of humidity in the pressurized cabin leads to dehydration, which can cause problems ranging from dry skin to itchy eyes, or potentially more serious problems for passengers with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Being in a low-humidity environment also increases the risk of catching a cold or virus.

When the air we breathe is too dry, the mucous membrane is unable to do the job of keeping viruses and other bacteria from entering the body.

Buy a big bottle of water before boarding and sip from it throughout your journey.

Consider also packing:
A rich moisturizer for face and hands.
Eye drops, especially if you wear contact lenses.
Rose water facial mist for a quick and heavenly pick-me-up.

5Limit the booze!

Airport cocktails have also come a long way, but be extra-mindful. Imbibing in too many alcoholic drinks is dehydrating and will lead to some serious jet lag.

Safe and healthy travels!

Featured image by Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash