1. THINK WATER FIRST.
Staying hydrated is always important, traveling or not. However, it should be the first thing on your mind when you travel, especially if you’re on an airplane because the humidity inside the cabin is lower than normal. Your body will also be acclimating to a new climate, and between finding your way around and enjoying your trip drinking water can be easily forgotten.
Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and loads of other issues. It can also cause hunger, so bottoms up! When you arrive at your location find a convenience store and purchase at least 60-70 ounces of water for each day that you’re traveling.
2. EAT ONE HEALTHY GROCERY STORE/MARKET MEAL PER DAY.
Find the closest grocery store to where you’re staying. You may or may not be able to find a health foods store, but at least find the nearest market or grocery store to grab some fruit or fresh food. Dining out is a wonderful part of the travel experience, but try to have one meal a day from the grocery store. Think whole/real foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and salads. (This is better on your pocket book, too!)
3. CREATE A HEALTHY TRAVEL BAG.
This doesn’t need to be anything fancy, you can even just use a quart size ziplock or a small travel pouch. Add herbal teas, raw nuts and seeds, low-sugar/healthy bars, extra vitamin C, probiotic stick packs, and your supplements in an easy to access small bag in your carry on. You can also keep a few small packs of almond butter on hand.
4. CARRY HEALTHY SNACKS.
Like we mentioned above, carry a few healthy snacks with you. You don’t have to bring your entire pantry, just grab a piece of fruit that keeps well (apple, banana, orange), some almond butter, your own healthy trail mix, and/or a good-quality, low sugar bar. These types of healthy snacks will tide you over in a pinch and can prevent you from needing that pastry at the airport or chips from the gas station.
Save your indulgences for a fun local restaurant, not the cheap preservative-laden food you’ll find in terminals and convenience stations. Another tip that will save you from processed travel food it to eat a big, healthy, protein-rich meal before you leave your house. If you leave the house hungry, the candy bar isle might get the best of you.
5. JUST SAY NO TO THE AIRPLANE SNACK & DRINK CART.
Nothing good comes from this cart except for asking for water with no ice (the ice on airplanes is often not clean and full of germs—ew!). Ask for hot water for the herbal tea you brought on board or just sip a plain water no ice to stay hydrated. The snacks are full of white flour, sodium and preservatives, and all of the drinks are full of sugar. Bring your own plane snacks to start your vacation off right.
6. RESEARCH RESTAURANTS AHEAD OF ARRIVING IF YOU PLAN TO DINE OUT.
Not only will you have a better dining experience, you’ll be able to make sure you have good-quality food. Use TripAdvisor (app and website) to find places with good reviews and view menus to find a place that looks equally healthy and delicious. Traveling or not, when you look at food ask yourself if you’re respecting your body before you eat it.
No matter where you are try to stick to the following:
· Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with veggies, or fruit with a low-sugar nut bar.
· Lunch: Some type of salad with a lean protein.
· Dinner: Anything that sounds good. This is the time to enjoy local cuisines!
The 90/10 way of eating allows us to enjoy these types of experiences guilt-free. Rules and structure with a little bit of wiggle room.
7. STAY IN A HIGHLY WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOOD IF YOU CAN.
You may or may not have control over where you stay. If you’re able, stay in a highly walkable neighborhood and walk to most destinations. You’ll get to experience more of the city and add in extra movement, too.
Quick tracking tip: The Health app that is built into the iPhone automatically tracks your steps if you have your phone on you. It’s a fun way to see how far you’ve gone (a FitBit or pedometer of course works great too.) Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day, traveling or not.
Along the lines of choosing where to stay, consider renting a condo or apartment with a kitchen instead of staying at a hotel. Preparing a few of your own meals in a kitchen, especially breakfast, will help you stay on track and probably save a little money, too.
8. CONSIDER A TRAVEL HUMIDIFIER IF YOU’RE TRAVELING TO A VERY DRY CLIMATE.
Dry locations in the US like Utah and Arizona can give you a sore throat if you’re not used to the climate. A small travel humidifier is usually less than $20 and can make a huge difference when you sleep. Also, if you’re staying in a hotel ask the hotel if they have any extra humidifiers. Most dry places stash a few at the front desk and make a world of difference for your eyes, nose and throat when you wake up in the morning.
9. CREATE A DARK SLEEP SPACE.
Just like when you’re at home, a dark sleep space with no extra light will help you get better rest. Turn the alarm clock light off or unplug it, and use a towel under the door if light is pouring in from the hallway. Eye masks look funny, but if all else fails use one. Any light in your sleep space can disrupt your good night’s sleep.
10. PLAN DAILY MOVEMENT.
Hopefully you’re already walking a lot, and the hotel gym is always an option if you’re not getting enough movement in. Also try to incorporate movement into your vacation to enjoy the sights. Swimming at the beach, hiking to see the views, and other types of built-in exercise make the trip even more enjoyable.
11. REMEMBER YOUR SUPPLEMENTS AND TAKE EXTRA VITAMIN C AND PROBIOTICS.
It’s easy to forget simple things when you’re out of your routine, so be extra mindful that you stay on your high-quality multivitamin and supplements. You’ll be exposed to even more germs that you’re not used to, and if you’re on a plane you’re exposed to a lot of radiation just from being so high in the atmosphere. Extra antioxidants are of the utmost importance!
12. PLAN AHEAD… THEN SURRENDER AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION.
For the most part business travel isn’t a vacation, it is important to stick to your daily routines and habits. When traveling for pleasure plan ahead using the tips we gave you above, and then go with the flow when you arrive!