This week, I'm expanding on the spring break theme with some more detail on the resources I recommend for healthier travel.
It can be pretty challenging to try to follow healthy habits while traveling. After all, you're away from your home kitchen, favorite workouts (and workout buddies), and your regular routine.
But that doesn't mean you have to give up on your healthy habits entirely.
Tips and Tools for Healthier Travel
Here's a list of my favorite practices, tools and resources for staying healthy while traveling:
Hydrate — This is one of your most powerful tools for staying healthy while traveling. When you wake up on travel day, make a point of drinking extra water — air travel and salty airplane snacks can be especially dehydrating. At the airport, either fill your own bottle at a water station, or buy a couple of liters of Smartwater or Fiji to take on the plane. If you have any left over, this can tide you over while you figure out how to score good water at your destination. One of my best tricks for hydrating on vacation is to check out the hotel gym. Often, they'll have a filtered water machine — this is better quality than the tap water you'll find in your room.
Meditation apps — Vacation travel is fun of course, but it can come with its own unique stress: crowded airports, flight delays, cranky kiddos, navigating the family or group dynamic 24/7. A consistent meditation practice keeps me sane — and bearable — through it all. In short, I just don't feel right if I don't invest that 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. Meditation keeps me grounded, emotionally resilient, and far less anxious than I would be without it. My two favorites are the Headspace app, and the offerings from Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Here's a fun fact: Headspace even has a special audio for Fear of Flying. Also, be sure to check out the free 21-day program coming up from Oprah and Deepak. It's called Hope in Uncertain Times, and it starts April 10, 2017.
Journal — As an introvert, I can get a little overwhelmed by traveling with a group. It's not always possible, but I try to keep up my daily journaling practice while I'm on the road. This helps me stay grounded in situations where I have less control over my environment (i.e. delayed flights, navigating the group dynamic, etc.). My daily practice consists of the following:
- #1: I follow a writing prompt from a book, or write about a centering thought or affirmation.
- #2: I write down 3 things I'm grateful for.
- #3: I write down 3 things that would make the day ahead “even better” (inspired by 5-Minute Journal's: “What would make today great?”)
Airplane/travel snacks — As I mentioned in last week's post, I recommend packing fruits and raw veggies for your travel snacks. Apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, berries, banana, and avocado are some of my faves for travel because they're hydrating, and because their fiber content will help keep your digestive system happy. Plus, they're packed with antioxidants to help strengthen your immune system — key for air travel, right? In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, you might also pack some dried fruit, an instant soup cup (look for low-sodium, vegan options), gluten-free crackers (i.e. Mary's Gone Crackers), and a selection of your favorite tea. I also like to travel with a supply of my favorite morning beverage: I combine a couple teaspoons of Dandy Blend with a packet of mushroom elixir from Four Sigmatic. Just add hot water from the airplane beverage cart or in-room coffee maker, and I'm a happy girl!
Rescue Remedy — I can get a little worked up during turbulent flights. Knowing this, I used to load up on the vodka-cranberries to cope. But I didn't love the resulting hangover that would happen before the plane even landed. So, now I focus on my breathing to relax (see tip #1!), and pack some Rescue Remedy in my carry-on. Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic product from Bach Flower Remedies — the company infuses springwater with various wildflowers to create therapeutic drops, creams, gels, pastilles, and other formulations. You can find Rescue Remedy in most Whole Foods Markets and other natural grocery stores.
Other herbal remedies — Some other items I travel with are: Gypsy Cold Care tea from Traditional Medicinals, Wellness Herbal Resistance Elixir from Source Naturals, and peppermint tea bags. Peppermint is soothing for the digestion, and can be a pick-me-up when you're feeling fatigued by travel.
Ask about a mini-fridge — The hotel room mini-bar isn't that great for trying to stash fruit and other snacks. It's full of liquor and other overpriced items, and it doesn't get as cold as a regular refrigerator. However, many hotels can set you up with a mini-fridge (i.e. dorm-sized) for an extra fee. This is totally worth it if you're going to be staying at the hotel for more than a night or two. This is also key if you're traveling with kids and need quick and inexpensive in-room breakfast options.
What to eat when you get there — I always do some research and figure out where the nearest grocery store is. Once we arrive, I can stock our room with fruit, vegetables, hummus, cold cereal, nut milk, instant oatmeal, dried fruit, etc. If you're trying to figure out where to find healthy food while traveling, Happycow.net is an amazing resource for locating vegetarian and vegan fare. You can also search for vegetarian/vegan options on Yelp.com or Tripadvisor.
Arm yourself with essential oils — Having my favorite blends and oils on hand helps me feel more comfortable — and nurtured — when I travel. Here are some I always have in my travel bag: lavender (to de-stress), peppermint (for digestive support), grapefruit (to flavor soda water), On Guard blend from DOterra (immune support), and Past Tense blend from DOterra (for headaches). To use the oils, I combine with a few drops of a carrier oil (i.e. argan) and smooth over my skin — or put some on my temples. Or, I'll put a couple of drops in the palm of my hand and inhale the aroma. You can also add lavender to bathwater for a relaxing soak.
I hope you find these tips helpful for any future trips you're planning. Also, I wanted to remind you about the fun freebie I created for you…
Download your freebie: The Spring Break Prep + Recovery Plan
The Spring Break Prep + Recovery Plan is a downloadable, printable PDF that covers:
- A cheat sheet with ways you can prep for (or recover from) spring break.
- Recipe: Tummy Tamer Smoothie.
- My tried-and-true formula for tasty salads.
- Recipe: 5-Second Salad Dressing.
- Recipe: Creamy Cauliflower Soup.
- 7-Day meal planning/healthy habits planner for before or after vacation.