Do you ever feel like its impossible to stay healthy while you travel? This is how I felt several years ago and the attitude I noticed many other develop when they travel. While it is certainly more difficult, it is definitely doable to stay healthy while you travel. Overtime I’ve come up with these healthy travel tips that allowed me to not stray far from my regular eating, physical activity, and health habits. Basically, this year has involved a lot of travel for us so it’s been imperative to stay on track with healthy eating goals along the way.
New Year, New Goals
This year, Casey and I have done more travel than our previous years. The last 2 years we have sat down at the end of the year and wrote out our goals. Our number 1 goal for 2016 was to spend more time traveling. Prior to this year, we spent nearly 6 years adventuring around the Appalachian mountains and hiking as many paths as we could throughout Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. But, we had been so busy with our educational goals and then our career goals that we hadn’t taken time to travel and see the world like we would like to.
We have definitely more than surpassed our goal already for 2016:
- Traveled to 4 new countries: Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, and Ireland.
- We are in the midst of spending the entire summer in the beautiful Big Sky Country of Montana!
- Have spent time exploring South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho since coming out west.
Now, we love mountains, have a zest for adventure and hiking, and enjoy spending our free time being active. However, while the time spent in our destinations is active, the travel time spent getting to our destinations involves much inactivity (generally the case of sitting in a car, but occasionally by plane, bus, or train.) It’s definitely a challenge to eat and live healthy while traveling, but we both have managed to do it this year with the following healthy travel tips.
Healthy Travel Tips
1. Make healthier choices when you dine out.
I would encourage you to instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, focus on what you SHOULD eat. Order items that have more veggies, good protein sources, and are packed with nutrients. When I’m on a big vacation, I definitely try (and enjoy) foods I wouldn’t normally eat, especially if it’s the local cuisine (like the time I had rösti and sausage in Switzerland.) However, I also make sure there are plenty of meals I’m loading up on quality produce.
2. Plan “active” days in your vacation or stop at a park in the middle of a long day of driving.
When we drove out west this summer, we made plenty of stops along the way. On our longest day of travel, we stopped at Sioux Falls, SD and spent about an hour or more walking around the falls downtown. This really helped to break the day up and give us some exercise as well. We felt so much better getting back in the car to finish our day.
3. Pack a cooler when on a road trip. And, don’t forget to keep your car stocked with non-perishables.
When we go on a road trip I always pack a cooler for the road with healthy travel food. We still like to dine out 1 meal a day generally, but the cooler provides us with a couple healthy meals (usually breakfast and lunch.) This also saves us quite a bit of money. And of course, you should already have your car stocked in healthy nonperishables from my post How to Avoid Fast Food on the Road. You can also run into grocery stores to buy produce and other things to use as snacks. This is a great option even for non-road trip vacations. When we were in Europe and dining out every meal, we kept fresh produce on hand to help meet our nutritional needs.
4. Drink plenty of water.
It’s so easy to fall out of ordinary habits when you are traveling, especially if you are driving long distances. But, it’s important to remain hydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and extra jugs of water in the car when you are traveling long distances.
5. Take your regular vitamins and/or supplements.
My primary supplement is my probiotic. I take a probiotic every day and this definitely includes when I travel. It helps keep your immune system strong and your digestive system running smoothly (which I think we all need when we travel!)
Do you have any great healthy travel tips to share? If so, I would love to hear them!