As we inch closer to August, I know so many people that are getting those last summer trips in before fall sneaks up on us (me being one of them). I’m heading to NYC for a “girl’s week” with my aunt next week, so I thought it was only fitting to share my travel tips for staying healthy and feeling your best while out of your typical routine.
Whether you’re traveling to the beach, flying across the country, or just off for a weekend getaway, it’s so important keep healthy practices in mind and give your body what it needs to stay on its game. Here are some tips that I’ve found that keep me feeling my best and my energy levels up throughout my trip!
This one is pretty obvious. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving 5 hours or flying 12 hours, your body is going to be in need of extra water!
When I’m flying, I tend to pack 1-2 empty water bottles that I fill up in those trusty water fountains (or those clutch water bottle refilling stations!!) right after I go through security. This way I don’t have to pay for overpriced water bottles in the airport AND I don’t have to be that person on the plane constantly bugging the stewardess for more water. I try to drink twice the amount of water that I typically would during a normal day because my body gets really dehydrated on airplanes. Like really dehydrated. Now that I’ve learned to counteract that, I’ve found I have much higher energy levels and I just feel better as soon as I’m off that plane and enjoying my destination.
As far as road trips go, I tend to pack a small cooler (or large depending on the length of the trip) and freeze a few water bottles beforehand to act as both an icepack and drinking water once they’ve melted. Because we know my clutch 28 oz water bottle is only going to last me 2-3 hours. MAX. Again, I tend to get dehydrated during road trips as well, which probably as something to do with the air quality in confined spaces, so I like to stay prepared so I’m feeling my best and am ready to move as soon as we’re there!
2. Pack those snacks!
Ok, so this is something I get made fun of for on many occasions, but I’m totally that person who ALWAYS has snacks in her purse. A bag of nuts, Kashi granola bars, maybe an apple, a little trail mix… yep, call me mom already!
BUT, when it comes time for traveling, I’m also the person people thank the quickest when they’re starving and were not thinking ahead about the snack situation. No matter if I’m flying or driving, I’m always prepared with a bag full of snacks to get me though… because you never know when your flight is going to get delayed by 6 hours in the middle of the night or you’re going to hit that dead stop in traffic on the beltway outside of DC (well, that always happens….). Not to mention all those times in between meals when you just need a pick me up to get you through until dinner time.
Here are my favorite transportable snacks to pack while traveling:
- nuts: almonds, cashews, and pistachios are my favorites
- trail mix: make sure it’s on the healthier side, or just make your own!
- whole fruit: apples, bags of grapes, bananas, and oranges tend to work best here (as they don’t smoosh too easily in your bag)
- granola bars: again, go with one that is high in fiber and protein, but low in sugar
- raw veggies: carrot sticks, celery, cherry tomatoes, broccoli
- dark chocolate: because, dark chocolate
- veggie hummus wraps: whole wheat wrap with a layer of hummus, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and a little quinoa always hits the spot!
- nut butters: particularly those little Justin’s single serving packs
3. Plan Your Meals Ahead
This is one of my favorite parts of planning a trip— planning our meals out in advance! I’m such a sucker for checking out restaurant menus, so I tend to plan most of the restaurants I want to go to before we even leave for our trip. This also allows for healthier eating, as you can make sure that there are lighter, cleaner options available, as well as any dietary needs.
Let’s face it, eating out is rarely as healthy as cooking your own food (see number 7). But if you plan ahead, you can schedule one “indulging” meal each day, and balance that out with lighter/ healthier meals throughout the rest of the day. That way, you can still eat all those decadent foods you’ve been dying to try, without feeling like crap for the rest of your trip! This has definitely been a good motto for us to follow as we travel— and we’ve noticed a significant difference in our bodies when we create this balance.
What better way to explore a new city, beach, or wherever your travels take you than to walk it? We specifically try to book hotels that are in walking distance of tourist attractions, beaches, and scenic areas so that we can cut down on the amount of driving/ public transportation we need to rely on. This not only keeps you active and your blood flowing, but it also saves you money on cabs, bus tickets, and rental cars. Win, win!
Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to stay in a walkable location, so make the extra effort to drive to a walkable area and spend the day on foot. And if possible, bring your FitBit or pedometer— it’s so much fun to see how many steps you’ve racked up after a day of exploring! I think our best day was 35,000 steps— can anyone beat it???
5. Pack your sneakers!
Most hotels nowadays have some sort of fitness center, so pack your sneakers and plan to fit in a couple morning workouts before you get your day started. I’m not saying you have to go run 6 miles everyday— sometimes just 30 minutes on the elliptical or bike are enough to get a good sweat going. And if there’s no gym, try a 20-30 minute jog in a scenic area or a quick yoga routine to get your blood flowing.
This makes such a difference when you’re traveling, as you probably spend hours sitting on a plane or in a car on your way to and from your destination. You’re also most likely consuming more calories than you normally would during a typical week, so it’s worth it to keep your metabolism flowing and your body in shape. Oh, and endorphins make you happy 🙂
6. Make your own breakfast
I can’t stress this enough: breakfast is SUCH an easy meal to make in a hotel. I always bring 2 small pyrex with me in my suitcase, then we hit up a local grocery store when we arrive to buy oats, soy or almond milk, slivered almonds, and some fresh fruit. The night before, scoop 1/2 cup of oats (I always eyeball it) into your pyrex, pour milk over the oats just to cover them, then stick it in the fridge overnight (almost every hotel room I’ve ever stayed in has a mini fridge). In the morning, top the oats with some slivered almonds and fresh berries, and voila! You have overnight oats ready to eat at the drop of a hat!
Not only is this a super healthy way to start your day, but it’s also SO much cheaper than going out to breakfast every morning. Definitely one of my favorite travel tips!
7. Book an Airbnb
I mentioned earlier that cooking your meals is almost always healthier than eating out. Not to mention it’s also much cheaper than going out for every meal. Try booking an airbnb instead of a hotel on your next trip, as most of the apartments are equipped with a kitchen that you can use to cook some of your meals!
Airbnb was one of the best things that ever happened to travel— so take advantage of those amazing apartments out there, most of which are cheaper than a hotel in the same city!
8. Watch the alcohol
If you’re like me, than going on a trip or vacation is a great excuse to let loose and have some “extra” fun. This usually means drinking a little bit more than you typically would during a normal week, which is totally ok in my book.
That being said, my body definitely cannot handle what it used to be able to handle (cough, cough, college), so I feel MUCH better every morning if I watch how much I drink and don’t overdo it. Plus, there’s usually so much I want to do when I’m on a trip, that I don’t want to waste any minute of my day not feeling my best. I guess it comes back to that balance again— enjoying a few glasses of wine with dinner, but not drinking on the beach all day before hand :). Just make sure you’re drinking extra water so your body doesn’t get dehydrated in that summer heat!
I’m sure many of you were already doing most of these tips, but I love reading how other people stay healthy and maintain balance, even on vacation!
P.S. Since I’m heading to NYC soon— any tips on favorite restaurants to try or places to see?!?