Take a healthy, green road trip

No, a "healthy, green road trip" isn't an oxymoron. With a little planning and forethought, it turns out it's not impossible to bypass fast food and plan the most energy-efficient route. We've got some ideas to make your vacay a little healthier for you and the planet.

Pack a mini-kitchen
You'll be equipped for anything with reusable water bottles, a mini-cooler, ice packs, a can opener, wet wipes, dish towels, and flatware. Bring along lightweight melamine plates or eco-friendly disposables.

Wear sunscreen!
Just because you're in the car, doesn't mean you're immune to the sun's rays. Plan to drive during the middle of the day so that your activity breaks fall in the morning or early evening when the sun is less powerful. And still wear sunscreen! Get Consumer Reports' top picks.

Join the Better World Club
An auto club for the modern era, Better World offers the usual roadside assistance and towing and maps, but also helps route trips with energy-efficient itineraries or via scenic byways (if you're itching to get off the interstate). You're eligible for gas rebates, deals on hotels and eco-friendly car rentals, and you can buy carbon offsets to compensate for the CO2 damage you do.

Pick-your-own and farm stands
Is there a more delicious way to get a sense of an area than to eat the local produce? Stop at farm stands to support local farmers and pick up corn and tomatoes for dinner (yum). Or make your calorie-torching activity for the day wading through a berry patch for dessert.

Go the grocery store.
Tired of french fries and value meals? Skip the drive-thru and hit up a local grocery store where you can find healthier, cheaper food for meals and snacks like hummus and baby carrots, a rotisserie chicken, or peanut butter sandwiches.

Slow down
Turns out speeding isn't good for your wallet or the environment. Go 70 mph instead of 60 mph, and you're paying 40 cents more per gallon of gas, and one second of speeding produces the same amount of CO2 emissions as a half hour of normal driving.

Stop in college towns
Universities tend to attract healthy restaurants and natural grocery stores, making them picture-perfect pit stops. Plus, you'll be supporting the local communities you pass through.

Schedule daily activity breaks
Bring a soccer ball or frisbee to have some fun in a park or grassy rest stop. Scope out hiking trails along your route at trails.com or drop into a local college or high school to take a few laps around the track.

What else do you do to make your road trip a little healthier?

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