Traveling is an amazing opportunity to discover new places, cultures, and even sides of oneself. But, too often, we think we need to make tradeoffs when it comes to their health while traveling. Staying on track with health goals on the road can feel challenging, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to proactively prepare before traveling, stay on track with goals while on the road, and set yourself up for success after your trip!
Doing a few small things in advance of your trip will help you start off strong and feel nourished and energized when you reach your travel destination rather than sluggish and tired.
Pack snacks or a meal for the airport. Yes, TSA does permit traveling with food as long as it’s solid! Bringing your own food ensures that you are prepared when hunger strikes, so you won’t have to rely on unfamiliar options, highly processed, or fast foods. If you don’t have time to prep a full meal, we recommend packing some leftovers from the night before or ordering an easy-to-pack meal like a salad or grain bowl before heading out.
Tip: prioritize snacks with fiber, protein, and/or healthy fats for optimal nourishment. Examples: trail mix, fruit, high quality protein bars, organic jerky sticks
Bring a reusable water bottle. Traveling makes us especially dehydrated, so we recommend packing a reusable water bottle to continually hydrate throughout your trip.
Tip: pack minerals or electrolytes (like LMNT, Trace Minerals Research, or Sakara Life drops) is a great way to level up your hydration game!
Part of the joy of traveling means exploring a new culture, fun activities, and ALL the food! While it is great to experience a new rhythm of life in a new place, maintaining a few of your favorite wellness practices ensures you’ll continue to feel your best.
If your meals on vacation look drastically different from your meals at home, you might be falling into an “all-or-nothing” mentality. Aim to include protein, fiber, vegetables/fruits, and healthy fats into meals. When we travel, veggies and fiber tend to be the first thing to go – the most important foods for keeping you regular, fighting inflammation, keeping blood sugar stable, supporting your overall health, and more. Try to incorporate some veggies and fiber into as many meals as possible for better energy and mood! This could look like starting with a salad, ordering a side of veggies, or adding extra lettuce to sandwiches or wraps.
Tip: do your best to balance your plate – aim for your meals to include phytonutrients (i.e. plants/veggies), fiber (i.e. fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds), protein (i.e. fish, poultry, meat, tofu, beans/legumes), healthy fats (i.e. olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds)
Joyful movement. Incorporating joyful movement when traveling will do wonders for your energy – even if it’s just 10 minutes of body weight exercises in your hotel room or choosing walking as your mode of transportation (a wonderful way to get your steps in and immerse yourself in your new surroundings!).
Also, packing your skincare routine, your daily vitamins/supplements, and bringing small wellness tools like a dry brush, gua sha, or your gratitude journal are easy, low effort ways to stay consistent with small habits that can make a big difference in how you feel.
The little things. Also, packing your skincare routine, your daily vitamins/supplements, and bringing small wellness tools like a dry brush, gua sha, or your gratitude journal are easy, low effort ways to stay consistent with small habits that can make a big difference in how you feel.
Easing back. If you follow some of the above suggestions, getting back into a routine at home shouldn’t feel so daunting. We recommend pre-ordering groceries or a nourishing meal delivery service to ease the transition of travel and put you right back in the driver’s seat of your health! When you get home, be intentional about rehydrating and nourishing yourself with delicious and nutrient-dense meals.
And most importantly, HAVE FUN! Remind yourself that flexible short-term changes in routine is just as healthy as maintaining typical routines. No single meal, day, or even week is going to make a drastic impact on your health, so do your best to enjoy yourself and the experience of traveling somewhere new! These tips & tricks are all about setting yourself up for success to feel like your happiest, most energized self to get the most out of your trip!
Paige is a health & wellness enthusiast in training with the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy.
Paige has a deep passion for the intersection between nutrition and mood – and with a background in Psychology, she loves to illuminate behaviors that simplify living a happier, more abundant life!
You can find Paige on Instagram at @happierhacks !
Morgan Goodstadt, MS, RD, CDN, LDN, IFNCP
Registered Dietitian, Master’s in Clinical Nutrition, Certified Integrative and Functional Nutritionist and Health Coach. Morgan combines her expertise in nutrition with evidenced-based functional medicine and experience in human behavior to help her clients improve their health, relationship with food, and overall wellbeing. Her philosophy aims to achieve balance in both the diet and other areas of life.
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