Low Carb Road Trip On A Budget



I’m on my 5th Annual Low Carb Road Trip to the Okaloosa Island beach, and this time I brought the girls with me – which has been a lot of fun so far!

Normally I spare no expense on my travels – or my fun in general. But since I have two college aged girls with me (my daughter and her bestie) who have “living on a budget” pegged… I thought it would make a fun theme for this trip. 🙂

I’m always up for a good challenge!

Speaking of their budget, neither of them have a car at the moment, so first I had to drive halfway across the state of Tennessee to pick them up – lol.

It was worth all the extra hours on the road. My daughter and I both travel a lot so I rarely get to spend 3+ days straight with her like this! She’s been out on her own for two years now, and I’m lucky to get to see her 2 or 3 times a year. 😛

I prepaid for my hotel on the beach by the way. I booked online, and Hotels.com is on Ebates, so I also got cashback for that. 🙂 If you haven’t joined Ebates yet, you should! It’s free money. Who would pass that up?!

When you prepay for your hotel stay you get a discounted room rate.

Look for that option if you’re booking online, or always ask for it if you phone in your reservation. It’s a non-refundable option so you can’t cancel, but if you KNOW you’re going it’s an easy way to save money on your trip.


My Low Carb Road Trip & On-The-Go Meals

I left on Thursday afternoon and ate before I left home. I had some leftovers so I just finished those. I also packed up my single-serve Keurig coffee maker and brought my own coffee and Coffee-Mate sugar-free powdered hazelnut creamer.

Single Serve Keurig

That alone saves good money when you drink as much coffee as I do. 😉

Here’s the Keurig K250 Coffee Maker if you’re looking for one, and the Solofill Chrome Cup is great if you want to use your own coffee. Pods get expensive!


I brought a large bottled water and a bag of pecans from home, plus a large coffee in my Contigo travel mug. I did stop close to halfway into the trip looking for some cheese to go with my pecans (I should have brought that too!) but no luck finding “real cheese” – so I ended up getting an all-beef hot dog w/mustard ($2.18).


Staying On Track / Low Carb Junk Food

I ate a lot of low carb junk food on the first part of my trip, mostly while on the road, but I’m staying on track at least! Junk food is kinda nice sometimes (low carb of course), and I knew I would eat MUCH healthier once we get to our destination.

Sometimes you just have to “wing it” when you’re eating low carb on the go… and make the best choices you can.

There were a few temptations of course. Especially my first stop where I got the hot dog. I walked through aisles of muffins and chips and all kinds of EASY foods looking for something quick to grab that was low carb.

It can be a challenge to find low carb food in a gas station. 😛

Speaking of, the last stop I made was a gas station that carried Atkins bars! I was tired from the 4 hour drive so I grabbed 3 of those bars while I was getting gas.

I had breakfast and lunch at home, pecans and the hot dog on the road, then I snacked on some colby jack cheese and an Atkins bar once I got to my daughter’s. My day ended at 21 net carbs, so that worked out great!


We headed out early Friday morning, but we did have a filling breakfast first so we could just snack in the car and make good time on our 9+ hour road trip of 594 miles from Johnson City, TN to Okaloosa Island, FL.

I had sausage & eggs from McDonald’s and got a large coffee to take on the road. I think breakfast for all three of us was close to $20 but that included coffee and drinks… and I think they overcharged me a bit on my double mcmuffin. 🙄

We made two pit stops on the trip for gas, snacks (coffee! lol) etc and I grabbed a few snacks here and there. A big heavy meal really didn’t appeal on such a long road trip. Eating light kept us all from feeling lethargic and car sick. 😛

A photo posted by Lynn Terry (@lowcarbtraveler) on

Yes, I finally found “real cheese” lol. 🙂

Obviously it would be smart to shop cheaper and pack a cooler. I didn’t think that far ahead, lol. But on a road trip it’s easy enough to pack your Keurig and a cooler and save tons of money!

We used the $10 gift card I got when I joined Ebates to grab a few things for the stay (bottled waters, etc) and I had a $25 Chili’s gift card I got from cashing in credit card points awhile back that we used for a healthy dinner when we got to Florida.

I wondered if I would even have an appetite for dinner after being in the car for that many hours (ugh lol) and snacking along the way, but I wanted something GREEN.

A salad is what appealed most. I didn’t feel like “deconstructing a salad” on the Chili’s menu though, so I got a Bacon Avocado Chicken Sandwich (with no bun, toppings on the side) with Loaded Broccoli. 🙂


I couldn’t finish all of that, and the girls couldn’t finish their (huge) meals either, so we got take-out boxes. We have a refrigerator and microwave in our hotel room, so leftovers meant we didn’t have to spend money on another meal later. 😉

I’m determined to stay on track through this road trip & beach stay.

If something off plan appeals to me, I’ll consider it… but lately off plan foods just haven’t tempted me at all. Plus I’m used to weighing myself every morning, so I’ll be anxious to weigh myself when I get home. 🙂

Besides, being bloated and miserable on vacation would stink! lol…

This trip is always a lot of fun. It’s my 5th time coming down for the beach meetup with my business peers, and my second time bringing my daughter along. It’s such a great destination. And it’s usually an easy drive for me (straight south) – when I don’t have such a big detour across Tennessee first, lol.

Now that we’re here and settled in, I’ll share some more photos and updates – and much better low carb meals!! I had a beautiful breakfast at the hotel buffet this morning, and am heading to The Crab Trap for my business lunch shortly…

I hope you’re having a great weekend too. 🙂

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. I’m posting along the way throughout the trip on Instagram so you can see my updates there. There are lots of fun shares, and more to come! 🙂 *cheers*

Netrition – The Internet’s Premier Nutrition Superstore!


instagram low carb @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler pinterest low carb


About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Low Carb Daily Journals, Travel Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.


8 Responses to Low Carb Road Trip On A Budget

  1. Edith Bice says:

    Terry, I don’t know if you are aware but Atkins nutritionals has issued a voluntary recall on some of their products so I am posting the link for you. https://files.atkins.com/Affected-Product-6.3.16.pdf

  2. Gigi says:

    I just saw that on the news too.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thanks for the heads-up! Fortunately I didn’t get sick from the 3 bars I ate on my trip. WHEW! I rarely eat bars/shakes (or “products”) so I’m safe now that I’m home. 🙂 *cheers*

  3. Margaret Tombs says:

    I find hard boiled eggs to be massively useful when travelling, I took 6 with me when we were on a train all day a few weeks ago, I also took pepperami sausage, slices of cheddar cheese, which I ate first because it doesn’t keep well, cherry tomatoes, 85% dark chocolate and diet soda.

  4. Dorle says:

    Good morning Lynn ,
    I need your advice…. Don’t want to do it on FB because you get hammered with all kinds of advices and some of them are not very nice .
    I have lost 25 lbs since I started this diet, but for the last 3 weeks I have not lost one ounce.
    Don’t do anything different from the past. I Ike to loose about 15 more lbs.
    do you have any suggestions ?
    Thank you have a wonderful Sunday and a saved trip back home .

  5. Pingback: Low Carb Vacation: Healthy Meals & Fun At The Beach! | Low Carb Diet Tips for Busy People

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *