You’re on the road when you get hit by the old hunger pangs. Normally what you do is head straight to a fast food joint and get a triple chili burger with a shake and cheese fries. But now you’re trying to eat healthy which means making smarter choices. The question is how do you make healthy choices when you’re in the unhealthy world of rest stops and gas stations? Do you order a chicken fried steak and take the breading off? Do you eat the lettuce and onion then throw the rest of your Big Mac away?
No, there are plenty of great ways to eat healthy when you’re on the go and we’re going to share them all with you so you can stay healthy and stay moving.
REMEMBER THE IMPORTANT THREE
When you’re searching through the foods at your gas station look for these three things to make sure you stay feeling full and satisfied after you eat: Protein, fiber and healthy fat. Aim for around 350 calories with 12-20 grams of protein and 5-10 grams of fiber per meal. It’s easiest to start by looking for a protein like nuts or jerky or peanut butter. Then look to add some fiber with fresh fruits or vegetables. Then it’s time to add some healthy fat with guacamole or nuts. Finally, try drinking water instead of that 64 oz. Big Gulp you usually put down.
DECONSTRUCTED YOGURT PARFAIT
This is a great, quick, healthy meal you can throw together at almost any gas station. Find a low sugar Greek yogurt and break pieces of a nut-based bar into the yogurt. Then add some fruit and voila you have your own personal parfait. You will thoroughly enjoy your meal while also keeping the calorie count nice and low. Filling and delicious is the best way to eat when trying to stay healthy.
PEANUT BUTTER AND APPLE ON CRACKERS
Get an apple and cut it up. Then buy some peanut butter or some other type of nut butter and add it on top of a delicious whole grain cracker for a light meal that is tasty and will leave you satisfied. If you have a hankering for sweets then this meal is for you. It is usually hard to satisfy your desires for sugar in a healthy way, but if you can do it with a meal like this then you have hit the healthy jackpot.
Gas Stations usually sell tuna and you’ll be thanking them for doing so. You can get condiments from the hot dog station to properly fix your tuna right then smear it on top of some whole wheat crackers and you got yourself a delicious meal. All you have to do is add some fresh fruit and you’ll be sitting pretty for a good long while on the road.
When in doubt, grab the jerky. Sure it may be processed, but it’s probably your best bet for processed food a gas station has to offer. Pair it with some fruit and some nuts and you will have a great meal that will put you into a savory based heaven. Just be sure to look for a low sodium option because jerky can be high when it comes to the salt.
Mexico Travel Deals: Win 20 Years’ Worth of Free Caribbean Luxury Vacations
One of the most affected industries due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is tourism. To offset the heavy financial loss, a few places like Mexico and those in the Caribbean recently reopened their borders to tourists.
Mexico, along with other places in the Caribbean, is a favorite pre-COVID-19 vacation destination for a number of tourists all around the world. So, to enliven the tourism industry once again, they created the trending hashtag, #Come2MexicanCaribbean (and its Spanish equivalent, #VenAlCaribeMexicanoX2) to promote post-COVID-19 tourism in these areas.
To further strengthen this campaign, would-be tourists are encouraged to remember their memorable visits of the Mexican Caribbean region and the different things they might like to do there in the future.
The said contest awards a lucky tourist with a 20 years’ worth of yearly vacation to the Mexican Caribbean area combined with a 5-night, all-inclusive stay in any of the 4- or 5-star coastal resorts there.
The competition is sponsored by several tourist hotspots including those of Cancun, Isla Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum. It is also backed by top hospitality developer Atelier Group and the Quintana Roo Tourism Board.
How to Join the Competition
If you are interested in the said contest, here are several guidelines for you to follow:
- Contestants must be 18 years old;
- You should be a resident of any of the following countries:
- Brazil, and
- You must have either a TikTok or Instagram account (or both);
- Post a video or a photo that features your favorite Mexican Caribbean beach vacation/s;
- Include the specific tags, #Come2MexicanCaribbean and @Come2MexicanCaribbean;
- Follow the said initiative’s TikTok or Instagram profiles, @Come2MexicanCaribbean;
- Tag their accounts on either of the platforms mentioned; and
- The post that garners the most likes, plays, comments, and shares gets to be the winner of the competition.
The contest begins on 9 November and ends on 27 November 2020. Entrants should be able to post their entries within the given period.
Mexico’s tourism industry comprises 8.5% of the nation’s overall GDP. Last year, an approximate of 24 million tourists visited the North American nation. Despite reopening its borders to visitors in July, the country’s roster of resorts and hotels still find it difficult to alleviate the effects of the lengthy lockdown imposed by the government earlier this year. The rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission is yet to slow down and the government aims to find more effective ways to flatten the curve.
The #Come2MexicanCaribbean aims to remind travellers of the country’s long-held tourist industry and the enticing spots that used to be go-to vacation areas in the region. It is their hope that by doing this initiative, the height of tourism will come alive again once everything goes back to normal.
Where Can Americans Vacation Internationally Right Now?
Following the surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., one of the top trending questions among Americans today is, “Where can Americans internationally travel to now?” At the moment, only a few countries and territories are open to travelers originating from the United States.
Fortunately, several places in Mexico and the Caribbean are opening their borders to U.S. tourists. As a result, new reports mention a surge in flight bookings to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
The border between Mexico and the United States remains closed to non-essential travel until at least the end of August. Nonetheless, U.S. tourists are allowed to fly to some of the country’s reopened locations including:
- Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos)
- Puerto Vallarta
- Riviera Maya (includes Playa del Carmen and Tulum)
- Riviera Nayarit (includes Punta Mita and Nuevo Vallarta)
For these places, masks and temperature checks are mandatory upon arrival at the airport. Tourists are also required to fill out a risk factor questionnaire both during arrival and departure. A COVID-19 test is not needed, however.
Caribbean and its Nearby Islands
U.S. tourists entering Aruba are required to take a PCR test. Those coming from certain states with COVID-19 cases on the rise, a PCR test must be taken 72 hours before a flight and uploaded together with the filled out embarkation/disembarkation forms. A PCR test must be taken 72 hours before a flight and uploaded with the same embarkation/disembarkation forms for tourists originating from all other states. However, for this second group, an option to be tested at the airport is a given option, which requires a separate payment of $75.
Also, tourists must pay for the compulsory Aruba Visitors Insurance with premiums varying depending on age. Visitors between the ages of 15 to 75 must pay $15, allowing them to remain in Aruba for seven days. The said insurance policy can solely be purchased online and must be accomplished 72 hours before a flight.
Besides mandatory face masks, health checks, and border interviews, visitors must take a PCR test 72 hours before a flight. The said test results must be submitted electronically, and a copy of the same test must be brought during embarkation.
COVID-19 testing is required. Travelers must have a negative testing result that should be taken no longer than seven days before the flight. Second testing is done upon arrival, and a quarantine period of typically 24 hours follows while waiting for the results. Besides that, tourists must accomplish a Bermuda Travel Authorization plus the payment of $75, covering COVID-19 tests done while staying in Bermuda. Testing is done after 4, 8, and 14 days. Masks are mandatory in public places as well.
Aside from the areas mentioned earlier, Americans are also allowed to travel to several other locations. Note that specific requirements must be accomplished, as well, prior to ticket reservation.
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten
- U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix)
- United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases must be noted when planning a trip abroad. American need to check developing updates regularly to know the current regulations set in place by the different areas they plan to visit before buying a ticket and embarking on a trip abroad.
Which Countries Suffered the Biggest Losses in Tourism Revenue Due to COVID-19?
The Official Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Official ESTA), the Visa Waiver processing agency, releases a report enumerating the countries that suffered the most massive losses due to the present COVID-19 pandemic.
Jane Forrester, the Official ESTA Director of International Development, asserts, “As travel came to a standstill for many months, countries around the world that rely on tourism for their economy and jobs are now seeing significant drops in revenue and GDP.” She adds that when we take “…into account how travel and tourism contribute $8.9 trillion to the world’s GDP alone, it is devastating to see a total loss of $195 billion worldwide in the first four months of 2020 alone.”
Below are the top nations that took the most massive tourism revenue blows due to the said crisis.
The US currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, amounting to 6,135,598 as of writing. The country tops the list with $30,709 million losses for tourism revenue alone during the first four months of the year. On March, 31 US states were placed on lockdown with the State Department issuing a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ restriction that prohibits international travel while urging residents traveling abroad to return immediately.
It reported a massive tourism revenue loss of $9,741 million in June due to the said pandemic. Almost as soon as COVID-19 transmission slowed down and foreign travelers were allowed to re-enter the country, the United Kingdom placed a quarantine restriction on British residents originating from Spain. This further deterred British citizens from traveling to Spain in the hopes of enjoying the summer.
Another country that suffered significant tourism losses is France. The country reported an $8,767 million tourism loss, making it the second European nation to suffer such great damage.
The country was able to halt COVID-19 transmission, reporting no new cases during the last 87 days. Nonetheless, the government announced its intention to perpetuate its closed borders until 2021. During the first four months of 2020, the nation lost $7,822 million tourism earnings due to the crisis.
Germany closed its borders in March, resulting in a tourism revenue loss of $7,225 million. The country recently reopened its doors to tourists originating from the European Union, Iceland, Britain, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway.
The country became the center of the pandemic back in March. Because of this, fluid movement across the nation was halted during this year’s first four months, which resulted in a tourism income loss of $6,187 million.
One of the few nations that did not immediately impose a travel ban against travelers coming from abroad, the country’s COVID-19 cases quickly escalated. Thus, numerous countries placed restrictions on people originating from the country and on those planning there. As a result, the UK reported a $5,816 million loss in tourism revenue.
Due to the massive wildfire that occurred during the start of 2020 and the rise of the on-going pandemic, the country’s tourism industry was heavily affected as well. The Land Down Under reported a loss of $5,674 million.
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