Healthy Travels

We have been little traveling peeps this year, at least more so than usual. My husband traveled a lot last year for his previous job and we were fortunate enough to earn a companion pass on Southwest with points. That means wherever he flies, I fly for free (same days and flights only). We are trying to take as much advantage as our bank account and calendar will allow.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah

We've done Mexico, New Orleans, Austin and Park City, UT. We have hopes for a few more trips before the end of the year, including somewhere fantastic for our 10th anniversary in November. Any recommendations? We are thinking Belize.

Truth be told, I have a harder time traveling than I'd like to admit. First confession, plane turbulence freaks me the eff out! I mean death grip on my husband's hand, eyes closed, butt cheeks clenched, all while my 8 y/o says "this is fun". Second confession, I don't like to be out of my routine. I'm a total control freak, which I'm working on a little more this year, but it's a real problem. What I really have a hard time with is coming back from a trip feeling really gross from 1. lack of sleep, 2. lack of exercise, 3. lack of healthy eats and 4. lack of water as my beverage choice. I am learning to prepare ahead and work with what I have available to stay somewhat on track and make it worth some vacation indulgences! If you are going away for a vacation, you want to come back feeling refreshed and recharged!

How to feel great for the travel portion of your trip.

You frequent fliers may have perfected this and have more tips, but here are my tips to make it through, ready to conquer the world when you step off the plane.

  1. Drink water and lots of it. When you are on an airplane, the air is very dry with low humidity. This can cause dehydration, especially on a long flight. You know they don't bring the drink cart around often enough to make a difference so bring your own water. I like to bring a reusable water bottle on my trip. I drink water on my way to the airport, dump it when I get there then refill it once I'm through security. I can then take it on the plane and pour the rest of the ice from my tiny ice water in the bottle. I can also use the water bottle my whole vacation.
  2. Bring food. You never know if you are going to run into a crazy long security line and be short on time, find a lack of healthy options at the airport, have a major flight delay or you are snoozing when they come around with the peanuts. Prepare ahead of time, like the night before, and bring your food and/or snacks with you. Some of my favorite options are:
    • trail mix with your favorite mix-ins
    • fruit - I like to cut up apple slices and put them in a baggie because it is something we can all agree on.  Bring along some to-go packs of peanut butter to dip your apples in. Grapes or any other fruit you can prepare ahead of time are great options.
    • RX-bars or Larabars.  These are great if you are short on space and time.
    • veggies and to-go hummus cups
    • string cheese

Tips for your time away.

  1. If you will be gone more than a weekend and have the option, try a VRBO or AIRBNB instead of a hotel. This will usually allow you a kitchen where you can prepare some of your meals or store some healthy snacks. Stop at a grocery store and pick up a few things you know you will use during your stay. When we were in NOLA we made our breakfast every morning, except the last, at our rental. It was a way for us to get some healthy foods in and start our day off well. We made eggs, baked sweet potato, cheese and fruit. It was also cheaper than eating out 3 meals a day.
  2. Get in some activity. Whether that is included in your itinerary or you need to make some extra effort to get it in, you will feel better because of it. It will give you more energy, clear your head and encourage you to drink more water post sweat sesh. Here are some ideas:
    • Go for a brisk jog or walk to a local coffee shop. This is a great way to see different parts of the city, get some local coffee and get your sweat on. Be sure you are in a safe area or take a buddy.
    • Download an online workout video to do where you are staying. Check out Sweat Lab Fitness for some great options. You will be sure to get a sweat in before vacationing (or working) the day away.
    • Head to the hotel fitness center for a quick workout. This is especially a great option if you are traveling alone or need to get it done before the sun comes up.
    • Check out the local fitness scene and try a class at a new studio or center. Sometimes you can get your 1st class free.
  3. Eat your fruits and veggies. Make healthy(er) choices when out to eat, assuming you will be eating out for most meals. Just because you are eating out doesn't mean you have to eat what you wouldn't normally eat on the regular. Eating a lot of heavy, high fat, fried foods can leave you feeling weighed down and sluggish. It is also no bueno for your digestion and that needs to be working in tip top shape when away. Here are some things to look for:
    • Look for veggies as a side or a salad with veggies.
    • Is fruit an option at lunch? Choose that over french fries or chips.
    • Share your meal.
    • Don't be afraid to ask how something is prepared or if they can prepare it the way you like.
    • Check out menus ahead of time to know what options you will have and reduce anxiety.
    • Definitely splurge on something you know you will absolutely love and can't say no to.
  4. Drink lots of water. It is easy to treat ourselves when away because, well, it's vacation damnit. Umbrella drinks by the pool, beer at the lake starting at noon, wine every night with dinner and bottomless mimosas for brunch. I mean if the pool bar opens at 10:00, you are there at 9:55 (am), right? No? Maybe that's just me. Or if you are working maybe you think you need that frou frou coffee drink to make it through a boring conference agenda. Just make sure you don't skip the water and you may need more than usual due to traveling, altitude, or extra activity. If you are having adult drinks, water will help you decrease your intake and decrease your side effects the next day. Win, win!

Hopefully this summer has brought you some fun and exciting travel adventures. The last thing we want is to feel out of sorts after returning from an awesome trip. Don't sweat it, or do! With some preparation and good choices, you'll be feeling great when you get home. Back to work, back to the gym, back to the kids, back in your skinny jeans in no time!

"Adventure is worthwhile." - Amelia Earhart

Have a great week!