Healthy Travel Tips
Many of us have trips, vacations and travels nearing with the start of the holiday season approaching. For many, this includes a break in our normal food habits and routines, different foods, more “treats and cheats”, different sleeping habits, more exposure to bacteria and viruses and overall less access to healthy foods. It can be stressful on our bodies and leave us feeling depleted and just plain “gross” after returning from a trip.
It doesn’t have to be like this though! I’m going to give you some of my best tips and ideas to reduce the stress when it comes to finding and sticking to healthy food choices and keeping your immune system strong to fend off any sicknesses, so you feel healthy, satisfied and won’t get sick on your next trip!
My number one tip is to drink LOTS OF WATER! More water than you think you need. Especially if you are flying, this is very important! Bring a reusable water bottle filled with water when you leave the house, then finish it up by the time you have to ditch it through airport security. Fill it up again once you pass through security. Flying is very dehydrating, and oftentimes in the stressful airport environment, we usually put drinking water in the very back of our minds. Water will not only keep your energy up, it will flush out toxins, viruses and bacteria that you are bound to come into contact to in a crowded airplane. Stay proactive about keeping hydrated, long after you land and throughout your trip. If you’re drinking alcohol, this is super important as well! Your body will thank you!
Keeping yourself full and satiated during air travel is important as well. Often times you aren’t sure when your next meal will be because of unexpected delays, junky airport food choices or early morning/late flights. The only way to avoid the hangry “I-have-to-eat-right-now-because-I’m-so-hungry” feeling is to be prepared and bring your own food with you. Many people don’t realize this or seem to think it’s against the rules, but you can bring food with you through airport security. Traveling with lots of snacks and healthy choices is essential. Some of my favorites include jerky bars like Epic Bars, or Wilde Bars, dried fruits from Trader Joe’s, peanut or almond butter squeeze packs, nuts and seeds, fresh fruit, healthy trail mixes, plantain chips, dried apple chips, hardboiled eggs, avocados, Lara Bars, kale chips, fruit leathers or strips, and popcorn. Those are just a few ideas! I tend to overpack on the snacks, because even if I don’t eat them all on the first plane ride, I have a snack when I land, or even on the return trip.
When it comes to food and making healthy choices, I know trips and vacation are generally a time when people feel like they deserve a splurge. And trust me, I am not here to tell you to not enjoy yourself on vacation and eat some treats you may not usually eat at home. Enjoy those treats! But, the trick to finding a successful balance of splurging and still feeling great is to listen to your body and know when enough is enough. This goes for sweets, fried or greasy foods and alcohol. If you body is telling you its had enough with things like stomach pains, gas, bloating, headaches, or tiredness…listen to it and maybe take a step back. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to abandon all the work you’ve done to reach your goals. Hydrate, get some water rich veggies in and some good quality protein and rebalance.
There’s some supplements I try to always have on hand when I travel that can be essential to staying healthy! I always carry a probiotic, oil of oregano, and vitamin C with me on a trip. A probiotic will provide your body with good bacteria to keep digestive troubles at bay, (which is notoriously known to happen to many people when traveling!) and pump up your immune system to fend off bacteria. I take a probiotic everyday that I am traveling, even if I don’t have any digestive or immune system troubles.
Oil of oregano is a very potent supplement that has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This supplement can also be supportive for digestion as it stimulates the production of bile, which is crucial for proper digestion and absorption. I like to take this at the first sign of sickness coming on. If I feel a headache, tired, nauseous, or just that blah feeling before getting sick, I will use it. I highly recommend traveling with the capsules vs. the liquid, you DO NOT want this stuff spilling in your bag or suitcase, it is VERY potent.
Vitamin C is an age-old antioxidant that is super supportive of the immune system and is very easy to take and find. This can be especially great because oftentimes we eat less fresh fruits and vegetables with antioxidants, so it’s beneficial to supplement. I usually opt for the powdered packets that can be dissolved in liquid because they are easy to travel with, and then I get some extra water in while I’m at it! I drink this at the beginning of a trip and if I feel any sign of sickness coming on, I will add in multiple packets a day, depending on how I feel.
Some other tips I find helpful: aiming to get 6-8 hours of sleep while traveling, getting some movement or exercise in when possible after sitting for long periods of time on a plane or in a car, keeping my meals as balanced with protein, fat and good carbs as possible, and NOT stressing too much about food or healthy habits!
Do you have any travel tips or ideas to stay healthy when on a trip? I’d love to hear them!