Between the stress of airports and the potential for not eating or sleeping well while on the road, traveling can do a number on your health. Here are my Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling!
Even though I claim to be a homebody, I do find myself on the road quite a bit. In the past 10 years or so, I’ve had the opportunity to visit such places as Western and Eastern Europe, Iceland, China, Japan, Cuba, and many parts of the U.S. (read my travel-related blog posts here).
In terms of staying healthy and feeling good, though, I do find that traveling is my biggest challenge. Not only is it often very difficult or even impossible to find a consistent supply of whole foods, but I have a hard time resisting added sugars in food items when I’m tired or out of my comfort zone, which is pretty much how I feel most of the time when I’m away from home. 🙂
However, there are definitely some strategies for staying healthy while traveling and I thought I’d share some of my favorites, especially as we ease into spring and start to think about planning some getaways. This is a post I originally shared back in 2014, but I’ve updated it with fresh links and tips based on more recent experiences. Enjoy!!!
My Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling:
Bring healthy snacks and breakfast foods with you.
You can see my recipe for Chocolate Travel Overnight Oats here, and you can swap grain-free granola for the oats if you’re following a paleo diet. Some of my favorite snacks for eating on the plane or in the car include nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, dark chocolate(!), and homemade snack bars like my Chocolate-Banana Oat Bars. I’ve written a whole post just on pre-made travel snacks that you can see here.
Go for a walk.
If you’re in a city environment, it’s not hard to get some exercise while traveling, but do make an effort to get fresh air and walking in every day. A hotel gym is good as a last resort and if I’m at a conference where I can’t be as active, I’ll choose to stand for at least some of the day.
Do light stretching.
City hotel rooms can be teensy tiny, but I use an extra bath towel and do some stretching every evening. Sure, it wasn’t as good as my regular yoga practice at home, but it felt good and I slept better as a result. I finally bought an ultra-thin travel yoga mat that I often bring along, too.
Get enough sleep.
Being in airplanes or around people can expose us to viruses, and it’s a sad reality that cigarette smoke is still prevalent in many places, so I make a real effort to get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep to keep my immune system strong. I don’t always sleep well through the night when I’m traveling, but I try to do my best and at least get to bed at my normal bedtime. Some of the items I bring along to help with sleep include these earplugs, this molded eye cover (my husband calls it an eye bra), passionflower capsules, and this mini-sound machine in case it’s super noisy outside.
Get a hotel room with a fridge.
Since I often go to a market on trips lasting more than a few days, having at least a mini-bar with some space for my food is essential. It’s worth it to me when I have to pay extra for the fridge; it’s usually only $10 a night if it’s not included in the rate. I always make sure my request is noted on my reservation.
Research restaurants and markets ahead of time.
I like to use the Whole Foods Market store list to search for stores near by me and I also Yelp or a simple Google search for restaurants I might want to visit.
Eat your veggies.
This will help your digestion, your energy, and your immune system.
Consider taking an extra magnesium supplement.
I read about how magnesium can help prevent traveler’s constipation, plus aid in relaxation. There are different types of magnesium and some can have a laxative effect, so do your research and even test your formulation ahead of time to see what will work best for you. The one I take for travel is this one; I just portion out as much as I need and take it along in a zip-top baggie.
Ask for what you want at restaurants.
Don’t be shy about asking for steamed veggies, an extra-big salad, or your preferred method of cooking (i.e. steaming, butter instead of cooking oil, etc.). It’s your body and it doesn’t hurt to ask (nicely) for your preferences.
Have fun and be spontaneous.
Even if you’re on a business trip, make travel fun and enjoy the change of routine or scenery. And, be open to change and spontaneity, it’s the best part of travel!
What are your favorite travel tips and where are you going on your next trip? Share with me in the comments!
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