Hey travelers, this one is for you!
Over the last few months, I have done a ton of traveling – both for work and play, and it’s not always easy to stay on track when you’re away from the comforts of home and a routine. Whether you stay in the country or go abroad, there are a few tricks that can help you to stay on track.
1. Drink water.
This is such a biggie, especially when you live in a dryer climate and travel to a humid or hot climate. First, I always pack a glass water bottle for the plane, leaving it empty until I get through security and then heading straight to a water fountain or a Starbucks where they’ll fill it up with cold filtered water. Bottles of water in the airport are really pricey, and there’s no need to waste your money when you can easily do it for free. I also have a handy water filter that goes into the bottle for when I travel abroad. This is very helpful when you’re in regions of the world where the water isn’t considered safe drinking. I use a filter that the AT hikers use, where they drink lake, river, stream and pond water through the same filter. Below is the type of bottle I use with the filter:
2. Pack snacks.
When Ryan and I traveled to Costa Rica, we packed trail mix and a few granola bars to help in case we needed it, and boy did they come in handy. Not only did they fuel us through the flights, walking, etc, but they also served as an emergency dinner and breakfast when we arrived to our cabana with no food to eat for 24 hours. I also like to pack bananas, clementines, baby carrots and whole grain crackers on flights to avoid the salty and sugary snacks offered on the plane. When I land, I try to find a local Whole Foods, Fresh Market, health food store, farmers market or just any grocery store to pick up some healthy snacks to store in the hotel room.
3. Move, even for 10 minutes a day.
In the morning before I leave the hotel for the day, I do 3-4 sets of 20 squats, 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups. This get’s my heart pumping and helps to keep me moving while I’m away from my usual workout routine. This takes about 10 – 20 minutes depending on how much time you need for a break between sets. You can also utilize the hotel gym, although I never do – they are so dark and boring! If you’re away at a beach, try paddle boarding or kayaking. If you’re in a city, rent a bike or just walk everywhere instead of using the transportation. The more you can move, the better.
4. Research restaurants ahead of time.
I am a huge foodie, so this is my number one thing I do if I can. I love to research restaurants and look through menus, and I read them like books, exploring every entree. This is easy to do if you’re staying in a well-known area, but when you’re like Ryan and I and you like to go to the middle of nowhere, be sure to utilize travel blogs for information. There is a travel blog out there for basically any destination in the world these days, and they have great rec’s on restaurants, excursions, attractions, accommodations and more.
5. Stick to your normal sleep schedule.
This can be hard when you travel to a different time zone, but make sure you get the same hours of sleep you would normally get at home. Be careful not to sleep in too much, because it will not only leave you feeling groggy but it will also make it that much harder to get back to your usual schedule when you return home. No matter where I am in the world, I always get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. If you have trouble sleeping, try a melatonin, a natural sleep regulator.
6. Eat your veggies.
Thanks to all the vitamins, minerals and fiber in veggies, loading up on them (and fruits) will help to keep your digestion moving like it should. Just be careful when visiting certain places – if they wash their veggies and fruits in water that is not safe for drinking, then you may want to pass.
7. Eat Local.
Mostly everywhere you go these days, you’ll find fast food chains – even in countries abroad! Eating local not only let’s you get a taste for the region you’re in, but it’s also going to be cheaper, healthier because it’s most likely made from scratch and probably a lot fresher. Ask your guide, airbnb host or the local shop owners where the best places are. You can also do some research on Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor.
8. Airport Food 101
I’m starting to see a lot more restaurants in airports lately that are using local ingredients – some airports are even growing vegetables on the roof now! Regardless, I always pack food for the plan, whether before I get to the airport or somewhere safe in the airport. I love to get little containers of salads and snacks from Whole Foods, or I find somewhere within the airport that has healthier options. Remember, you can bring food through security as long as it isn’t liquid, like soup or a dip. For long flights, I try to pack as much water-based foods as possible, like carrots and celery or fruit, so that you can stay hydrated. Once you’re through security, you can easily find little packages of hummus, tabouli, or a nut butter to spread on your whole grain crackers that you packed yourself.
Remember that traveling can do a number on your body, so it’s important to take care of yourself when you’re away from home. If you can plan ahead, you will feel so much better 🙂