It’s easy to be thrown off your routine while you are traveling. Even the best of intentions can fly out the window after a long-haul journey. From getting off track with your usual exercise routine to being tempted by tasty treats around the globe, sometimes it feels like there are pitfalls at every corner.
But it doesn’t have to be hard!
In fact, traveling can be just what you need to break bad habits. With the right mindset, you can get healthy and stay healthy while you are away from home. There is no one simple trick to it, but there are a few core habits that you can develop.
Here is your ultimate guide to staying healthy while traveling!
Be Mindful of Nutrition + Hydration
Eating well can feel like a minefield sometimes. It seems like there are always new recommendations about which foods to eat and which to avoid. My advice? Keep it simple!
I avoid “diets” in favor of a few fundamental guidelines that help me stay balanced.
Balance Your Meals
There are times you won’t have a kitchen (though I’d definitely recommend staying in Airbnbs or other apartment options during longer stays where you can cook for yourself), so eating in isn’t always an option. Then, of course, once you are out to eat, temptation is everywhere.
You don’t have to resist local dishes to stay healthy though. In fact, traditional meals in most places are often quite nutritious, especially if you avoid the heavier dishes and look more toward those loaded with veggies and seasonal produce.
In the end, it’s all about balancing the not-so-great treats with healthy meals and nutritious snacks. Focus on eating your veggies and fruits while getting an adequate source of protein.
It’s also important to know where your food is coming from — ensure that everything has been properly cooked and that all fresh produce has been washed well, otherwise it can lead to travelers’ stomach. We’ve all been there and it’s literally the worst. If you’re traveling somewhere that food or water contamination might be common, there are a few simple things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting the dreaded travelers’ tummy, like taking an OTC like Travelan, to prevent any setbacks on your trip.
For longer trips, it’s even easier to fall into bad habits and enter permanent vacay mode. I’ve got a few special tips for eating well on long trips.
Water is crucial. Before you go somewhere new, research the local water. If the local supply isn’t safe, keep stocked on bottled water. A water bottle with a built-in filter can be a great idea as well.
Get in the routine of sipping water all day and have at least one glass with every meal. Dehydration can sneak up on you faster than you think! On active days, it’s critical to get your electrolytes as well. For me, Liquid IV packets are the perfect quick fix that I can stash in my bag without being weighed down.
Along with keeping up a healthy diet, vitamins and supplements are key for me. Even the best attempt at eating well can leave you lacking in some essential nutrients.
Beyond unique custom requirements, Zinc and Vitamin C are must-haves for all of us. Traveling will wear you down and expose you to new germs, so it is especially important to keep your immune system healthy.
Working Out While Traveling
Being away from the gym doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout in! I’ve talked before about my top ten go-to workouts while I am on the road, and those are just a few of the countless options.
Make a point to walk around the area you’re in and soak it all up. Take a hike, go for a jog, or if the water is warm enough—opt for a swim in the ocean.
Take Time to Relax
I talked to you guys about travel burnout not long ago. It’s something that can creep up on you anywhere in the world, even if you are not a long-term traveler. Whether you are gone for a year or a week, you’ve got to take time for yourself.
It’s crucial to your physical and mental health to give yourself the space to recuperate.
Remember, travel isn’t about doing as much as you possibly can. It is about making the most of your time. If taking a bubble bath makes you feel better than dancing the night away, pull out the cozy hotel bathrobe and start running the water!
Wherever you go, be sure to get enough sleep every night. Try to get into the habit of shutting off screens at least an hour or two before bed so you can unwind.
If You Get Sick
I recently published a post on what to do if you get sick while traveling, and it’s a must-read for everybody. While it’s not something you want to happen—it’s best to be prepared and go in with a game plan…just in case!
Traveling On Your Period
Oh, the joys of when ‘Aunt Flo’ decides to join your trip… Although this might not seem like a big deal, things can get complicated when you are abroad. If you are outside of the US or traveling in a rural area, there are a few things you need to know before you go.
Allergies are one major thing that can be way more complicated when you are away from home.
In most areas of the US, it’s pretty straightforward to find gluten-free options if you have celiacs or a sensitivity to gluten. When you are traveling to unfamiliar places though, you need to come prepared with the right strategies for eating gluten-free.
If you have a life-threatening allergy, it is critical to know exactly what you need to do to plan ahead before traveling.
Take Care of Your Skin
Taking care of your skin is crucial—whether that means adding in extra lotions and moisturizers to combat dry winter weather or finding a new routine that works for you with the summer heat.
You can find a travel-friendly beauty routine for any budget!
One thing I never go without? Sunscreen! Of course, sunscreen is the cardinal rule of good skincare. BUT what is good for your skin can be profoundly detrimental to the environment. Opting for reef-safe sunscreen is key to protecting the ocean, sea life, and our planet!
I also travel with a good hat everywhere I go, because it’s stylish but also protects you from the rays! Here are some of my favorite hats for travel.
What tips do you have for staying healthy while traveling? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!