Heading out to explore a new place is one of the most exciting parts of life. But, it can also be stressful. At the fundamental level, altering your daily routine can put stress on the body, causing it to operate on a less than optimal level. Maybe you’ve been hitting the gym super hard and eating clean to prepare for your beach vacation, or maybe healthy living is just your lifestyle. Either way, you don’t want to undo all of the hard work you’ve put in and progress you’ve made while you’re away!
While you might not have the safety of your comfort zone or the resources that you are used to, there are still many ways to reduce stress and keep the healthy habits you’ve created while you’re away. To help, we’ve compiled a list of ways to keep you and your family healthy while you’re traveling.
1. Bring your own travel snacks
One of the easiest ways to avoid nutrient-less, calorie-packed snacks is by bringing your own snacks or meals for your travel journey. Airline food is known to be full of sodium and preservatives, and, since air travel and pressure changes will naturally bloat you, sodium is something you want to try to avoid. Fruits and vegetables make great airlines snacks, as they are packed with nutrients and they help to hydrate you, too.
2. Stay hydrated
Hydration is always important, but due to the lack of humidity in-cabin, it is especially important to stay hydrated while traveling. It is a good rule of thumb to drink a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, but you definitely want to increase that on days that you’re spending time in the air. On top of the dryness in the sky, your body will be adjusting to a new climate and drinking enough water can lessen the effects of climate change on the body.
3. Stay in a walkable area
By choosing accommodations in a walkable area, you’re not only cutting down on transportation costs, but also inviting more physical activity into your trip and giving yourself the opportunity to get to know the city you’re visiting on a deeper level. Walking gets the heart rate up and allows you to loosen up your muscles, making it a great way to exercise and explore while you’re on vacation.
4. Choose accommodations that allow you to do your favorite fitness activities
Whatever type of fitness you like to do, you’re more likely to actually do it if you’re close by. Before your next trip, take a few minutes to research places to do whatever your favorite fitness activity is, and find a hotel or vacation rental close by. Love yoga? It could be fun to check out a local studio while you’re away. Prefer to run? Perhaps staying near a park is a great option for you.
5. Give yourself the option of cooking
With the growing popularity of vacation rentals, it’s becoming increasingly easier to find a home or apartment to stay in when you travel. Choosing a vacation rental, or even a hotel that offers in-room kitchens, you give yourself the option of preparing some of your own meals. While you might not want to cook every meal when you’re traveling, having a kitchen will allow you the opportunity to stay on track with your normal routine and save money on food. Even if you don’t want to cook, you’ll be able to store healthy snacks like fruits and veggies or even prepared salads.
6. Don’t skimp out on veggies
Even if you plan to indulge in local cuisine while you’re away, it’s still import to eat your veggies! Try to have 1-2 servings of vegetables per day to give your body the essential nutrients it will need to adjust to travel stress, time zone changes, and the new environment. It’s easy to swap out starchy sides for leafy ones, and you can always start your meal with a salad.
7. Save time for sleeping!
It can be tempting to stay out late and wake up early to get the most of the city you’re visiting, but sleep is one of the body’s most important necessities. Making your sleep a priority will allow your body to recharge and work at an optimal level. We recommend getting at least 7 hours of sleep most nights of your trip, especially while the body is adjusting to a new time zone or if you had to miss out on precious hours of sleep due to your flight time.8
8. Be okay with stepping away from your normal routine
We would never expect someone to stick to their routine 100% of the time while on vacation, and you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either! Some of the best memories are made around the table, and some of the best experiences come from trying local delicacies. By allowing yourself to enjoy these delights without regret, you will reduce your stress level and truly be able to be present throughout your trip.