There is no doubt that traveling can impair your health. Here are my top 10 tips for staying healthy while traveling!

airplane landing on island

Even though I claim to be a homebody, I do find myself on the road quite a bit. And, I’m always so grateful for the opportunity to see new places and meet amazing diverse people.

In the past few decades, 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.

iceland blue lagoon

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.

Add to the stress of airports and changing time zones, and traveling can really impair our immune systems and health. However, there are definitely some strategies for staying healthy while traveling and I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips.

iceland waterfall

10 Tips for Healthy Travel

1. Bring healthy snacks and breakfast foods with you

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 Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. I’ve written a whole post just on my favorite gluten-free and dairy-free travel packaged snacks.

2. 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. Ideally, though, you would get outside and stretch your legs at least once a day. Walking is always the best way to see a city anyway!

3. Do light stretching daily

City hotel rooms can be teensy tiny, but you can always use an extra bath towel and do some stretching every evening. Sure, it’s not as good as a regular yoga practice at home, but it’s always a good idea and can help with sleep, too. I finally bought an ultra-thin travel yoga mat that I often bring along, too.

4. 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 it’s important to make a real effort to get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep.

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.

5. Get a hotel room with a fridge

Having at least a mini-bar with some space for my food is essential. It’s worth it 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 and you should too.

6. Research healthy restaurants and markets ahead of time

I like to use the Whole Foods Market store list to search for stores nearby a hotel and you can also use Yelp or a simple Google search for restaurants you want to visit on your travels. Ideally, it’s best to get referrals and directions ahead of time so you don’t have to waste time on your trip to find out where you can find healthy food.

7. Eat your veggies

This will help your digestion, your energy, and your immune system. Try to eat at least one serving of vegetables with both lunch and dinner when you’re traveling.

8. Consider taking an extra magnesium supplement

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.

9. 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.

If you are traveling by cruise ship, you might also want to check out my tips for eating healthy on a cruise ship.

10. 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!

iceland northern lights

What are your favorite travel tips and where are you going on your next trip? Share with me in the comments!


Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.

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