When you are trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle that consists of eating nutrient dense whole foods, exercising, getting quality sleep and managing your stress levels, traveling can make it tough to keep those routines going. Consistency is SO difficult friends! I used to have the mentality that I would restrict my food, work out like crazy to “get my body ready for vacation” (whatever that meant) and then let it all go once I was on vacation, because, well, I was on vacation. Calories don’t count on vacation right!? This whole restrict and binge cycle only left me feeling super crappy when I got back home and my digestion was out the window. After learning what foods work best for my body and how to heal my gut and improve my digestion, I didn’t want all of that hard work to go to waste when traveling. And to be quite honest, Kyle and I like to travel a lot, so why wouldn’t I just keep up with my normal routine while away from home?
It has been a lot of trial and error figuring out how to keep digestion flowing when in different time zones, pack foods that are going to nourish me, keep my immune system going strong, manage my stress (travel can be super stressful sometimes) and also relaxing and enjoying the whole experience. So, here are 10 tips from what I’ve learned so far, as I am sure things will always keep changing and every trip is going to be different. And if you have any tips and tricks that work for you, please share in the comments because I’m a super nosy person and want in on all the secrets!
10 Healthy Travel Tips
- Plan & Prep: Before you travel take the time to plan and prepare for your trip. Decide what you want to bring with you and what you’d like to indulge or be more relaxed about it. I typically stay away from gluten but have some dairy (ice cream, duh!). If I am traveling for a fun vacation, then I like to be a little more relaxed when it comes to eating because part of traveling is experiencing the food and the culture. If I am traveling for work (which isn’t often thankfully) then I try to keep my diet pretty much the same as it would be at home.
- Research: Do a little bit of research on the city and area where you are going in advance and keep a list of them in your phone. That way, you don’t have to waste your vacation time researching where dinner is going to be. You can also research the hotel you are staying at to see what they serve for breakfast or if there will be a mini fridge in your room.
- Grocery Shop: While doing your research on restaurants, look up grocery stores near where you will be staying. If your room or airbnb has a fridge or kitchen, you can stock up on foods that are quick to prepare. I like to grab almond milk to mix up protein shakes, deli meats and cheeses, hard boiled eggs, cut fruits and veggies.
- Hydrate: Pack a reusable water bottle to keep full of water at all times. This will ensure that you always have access to water and save you from wasting money on expensive bottled water. I also like to drink extra water for a couple of days pre-travel. Sitting on a plane or in a car, I am less likely to drink enough water because I want to avoid stopping to pee every half hour.
- Intermittent Fasting: Try fasting while you are on the plane that way you don’t need to pack meals to bring with you. You can still drink water and black coffee/tea but no food or snacks. This will keep you from eating out of boredom. You can try adding some MCT oil or collagen peptides to coffee/tea to give you a little something. *Fasting isn’t for everyone, so of course do your research on this topic first and pack some food to bring with you so you can avoid that processed airplane food! A lot of food does get through security, just no liquids.
- Entertainment: Bring your noise canceling headphones and download podcasts, audio books and music pre flight or to listen to on your long road trip. I like downloading books rather than bringing the real thing to free up space in my personal item, but sometimes it is nice to read a real book or purchase a magazine.
- Walk: As soon as you arrive to your destination, walk around and stretch those legs! Get the blood flowing back into your legs by getting some movement. This will also help with jet lag if you are traveling across the world and to get your digestion going. Bonus points for walking on the ground barefoot. This is called grounding and gets your body’s circadian rhythm synced up with the time zone you are in.
- Elevate: Lay on the floor or bed with your legs propped up against a wall or on top of a stack of pillows. This also helps get the blood that’s pooled at the bottom of your legs and ankles/feet flowing again. I’ve done this on the airport floor in-between long layovers to help with swollen feet.
- Sleep: If traveling to a different time zone, this can be a tricky one. Start adjusting to the time zone while you are on the plane (if it is 8am where you are going, try to stay awake and don’t sleep). I like to bring magnesium and Four Sigmatic hot cacao with me to help me relax and get restful sleep.
- Have fun: Whether you are traveling for fun or for work, you are visiting a new place and getting a new experience. Relax and don’t be so hard on yourself. Travel can leave you in super stressful situations that are out of your control, so learn to let go. Of course your routine is going to be off, digestion is off, sleep is off, etc. If you worry and stress out about it too much you are going to be missing out on the moments and memories you are making.
Snacks to Pack
- Collagen peptides
- Packets of protein powder
- Meat sticks like EPIC bars, Chomps, Paleo Valley
- Nut butter packets
- Bulletproof bars, Thunderbird bars, Lara bars
- Coconut oil packets (Trader Joes) and olive oil packets
- Dark chocolate
Supplements and Non Food Items To Pack
- Digestive enzymes
- Magnesium or Natural Calm
- Ginger tea & Ginger chews
- Nuun electrolyte tablets or electrolyte powder
- Shaker cup