Post by contributor Alexandra Maul
‘Tis the season for travel. Whether you’re off to see your family or taking a vacation with friends, the holidays are a high-travel time for a lot of us.
I get a lot of questions from clients and friends about how to keep your healthy lifestyle going while traveling. I know it can be hard!
I’ve been traveling almost every week recently, and although it’s fun, it’s also taxing on my body. I prioritize self-care and healthy eating (read my story here), but when I’m on a trip, it can be tough to take care of myself. When my body is not up to snuff, I know I won’t enjoy my trip as much, so I really try to use the following practices – after all, we want to enjoy every moment of our adventures, right?!
Here are 20 tips to help you get your glow on while traveling!
Whether you’re a clean eating enthusiast, or you have a dietary restriction, finding real food choices on the road can be hard. Try these tips to give yourself a leg up on keeping a healthy diet while traveling.
1. On travel days, pack your own food to eat so you don’t have to depend on the nearest fast food jaunts. I’ve made some pretty strange but good combinations when trying to clean out the fridge!
2. Pack snacks for your trips. Here are some of my faves: plantain chips, apple chips, travel-size packets of nut and seed butters, fresh fruit (I think apples and persimmons hold up the best), cut veggies, dried fruit, dark chocolate, chia squeeze packs, fruit and nut bars (Larabars, That’s It, and Kind bars are great), roasted chickpeas, dried oatmeal packs (just add hot water), and seed crackers.
3. Research food stores and restaurant choices near where you will be staying. Before I leave on a trip, I’ll put the address where I’m staying into Google Maps to see what is around me. Yelp, Find Me Gluten-free, and Healthy Out are great phone apps for finding choices around you as well.
4. Call your hotel ahead to see if they can put a fridge in your room.
5. Hydration! Don’t forget to drink tons of water while traveling. Obviously your body needs the water, but it can also help with jet lag, relieving constipation, and boosting energy levels – all important when wanting to get the most out of your trip!
6. Try the grocery store for quick last-minute meals on the road. A rotisserie chicken and some baby carrots is a way better meal than fast food (and cheaper, too!)
Get plenty of Zzzzz’s
I know, I know, how can you expect to sleep when you’re exploring Paris, attending your best friend’s wedding, or visiting your sister’s new baby? But, if you prioritize getting enough sleep, you’ll enjoy all of those fun things even more!
7. Try to stick to your sleep routine to help you fall asleep faster. Turn off your phone, computer, and TV before you get in bed so your body gets ready to snooze.
8. If I have trouble falling asleep, I’ll use essential oils, lavender is my favourite, or listen to a soothing meditation track to help with relaxation.
9. If you’re dealing with jet lag, try to force yourself to stay awake until it’s evening time in your new location. Sunlight, fresh air, and walks also help with jet lag.
Traveling can be stressful! Dealing with delays, traffic, and crowded spaces can wreak havoc on your nerves. Suddenly, instead of enjoying time with loved ones, you’re feeling frazzled and irritable. Try these to help put your mind and body at ease:
10. Eat satisfying, nutritious food every few hours to keep your blood sugars steady (see “Clean Eating” tips above for recommendations)
11. Remember to b r e a t h e. Listen to guided meditations or calming music on your iPod.
12. If you’re visiting someone, ask to borrow their spare key to take with you when you go out. If you are start to feel like you’ve hit a wall, simply head back to where you’re staying (if it’s safe to go by yourself) to get some r&r.
13. Think about what you’re grateful for — being with your family and friends, that you have the ability to travel, or that you just saw the coolest new museum. Whatever it is, wherever you are, have fun!
14. Be in the moment. Enjoy it!
Stretch those legs after a long day of travel. Find ways to sneak movement in during your trip:
15. Meet a friend for a yoga class instead of coffee, join a walking tour of a new city, or get your family to go for long walks (bonus: make it a tradition on each visit!)
16. Find a gym near you. A lot of hotels now have gyms or “exercise packs” with yoga mats, videos, and more.
17. Going on a girls’ weekend? How about trying a new spin class together or going out dancing after dinner?
18. Walk, walk, walk. Wherever you can, as much as you can.
Fresh air, sunlight, and being in nature – all are super important to your physical, emotional, and mental health. Get outside whenever you can for a natural stress reliever:
19. Staying in a hotel for a conference? Usually those ballrooms have no windows. Sneak outside during lunch for a few minutes of solitude.
20. Long day of travel? Find the sun. If I’m going to have to sit for a train, plane, or ride, I look for a seat next to a window so I can feel the sun.
Want even more tips? Check out more ways to take care of yourself while traveling. Did I miss anything? I would love to hear your tips! Leave a comment below.
Top image photo credit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alexandra Maul, MPH is a health educator and public health professional. After experiencing debilitating chronic health issues and learning how to heal, she created Made to Glow, a healthy living guide that educates and inspires others around healthy eating, self-care practices, and non-toxic living. Alex is passionate about empowering others to feel their best, and loves to share kitchen tips, naturally gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, relaxation and fitness suggestions, and ways to live lean, clean, and green. Connect with Alex on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.