Staying Healthy While Traveling

woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on

Many of us are starting to travel and get back out into the world. For the past 15 years I’ve not only traveled for pleasure, but for work as well. I’ve seen many colleagues struggle with maintaining their healthy lifestyle once they get out on the road. Over the years people have asked me how I’ve continued to maintain my health while traveling the globe. I’ve always believed that it’s important to keep my routine in place regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. So, whether you are traveling for pleasure or work, here are some of my tips for maintaining that healthy lifestyle that you’ve worked hard to create.

Planning the Trip

Planning is key to ensuring you maintain your healthy food and fitness routine while you are traveling.

  • Book hotels that have on-site gyms or provide access to an off-site gym.
  • Look at maps of the location around the hotel and become familiar with the area. Book a hotel near a park so that you can go for a run or walk during the day.
  • Book a hotel near the client or office location, so that you can walk to meetings. This ensures that you get some physical activity before sitting all day.
  • Do research to determine if a gym that you belong to in your hometown has facilities in the area and plan times to go into your schedule.

Packing for the Trip

  • Think about what physical activities you will be doing or can build into your schedule and pack accordingly. It’s important to make being active a priority and it’s much easier when you have the appropriate clothing and footwear to do so. The first clothes that I always pack are my workout clothes and shoes. This ensures that I don’t forget anything and that there is room in my bag.
  • Pack resistance bands or a TRX band in your luggage if you won’t have access to a gym.
  • Download an app or search online for bodyweight workouts that can be done anywhere.
  • Create a workout schedule the same as if you were scheduling client meetings. This will ensure that you will have what you need in your bag to keep up your routine.

During Transit

Traveling can wreak havoc on your diet if you don’t plan. Consider the timing of your flights and plan for delays.

  • If your flight time is over a time that you would eat a meal like lunch, pack lunch as if you were eating at home and use an insulated lunch sack to keep your items cool. Some of my favorite items to pack are sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, raw vegetables, fruit or cheese and crackers.
  • Keep nutritious snacks in your carry-on luggage to stay satiated no matter what the day brings. Some of my favorite snacks to readily have on hand are trail mix, protein bars, peanut butter packets, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and apples.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle. It’s so important to stay hydrated while traveling. It will help you maintain your energy levels and hydration is key to restoring nutrients which helps keep your immune system strong. It also helps your skin look its best even in the harsh plane conditions.
  • Traveling can also be tough on the immune system because your exposed to so many germs and your sleep patterns may be interrupted. Focus on boosting your immune system before and during the trip by taking garlic supplements, vitamin C and using essential oils. Also, pack Airborne or Emergen-C in your carry-on luggage so that you can boost your immune system if you begin to feel run down.

Upon Arrival and During the Stay

  • Ensure your hotel room is equipped with a small refrigerator. If the room doesn’t have one, ask the front desk to bring one to your room.
  • Seek out a grocery store and buy healthy food for breakfast and lunch to a avoid eating in restaurants. This helps keep your calorie intake in check.
  • When eating at restaurants do your best to choose healthy options, be mindful of portion size and alcohol consumption. It can be easy to indulge in alcohol and the empty calories can add up quickly.
  • Traveling wouldn’t be nearly as fun if you don’t experience the culture of your destination or indulge in treats that you wouldn’t normally have at home. So, be mindful and plan accordingly. If you will be having a heavy evening meal, plan a workout in advance and consider eating lighter meals throughout the day. Then enjoy the indulgence and treat yourself without guilt.

Traveling doesn’t have to feel like a chore, nor does it have to ruin your healthy lifestyle. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and that I’ve created a plan that allows me to stay fit and healthy while experiencing new places, interacting with new people and cultures.

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