I just got home from a weekend of traveling to Ohio to visit my family and it was such a great trip! Most of the time traveling is really fun; I enjoy visiting all my people or exploring a new city, but sometimes it wreaks havoc if you’re used to routine, like me. And in general, it can be stressful on your body. Between packing, early flights, time changes, or long hours in the car, it can really take a toll! And, my most recent trip really through me for a loop when my first flight got delayed and I missed my connection and had to be rerouted. It's never fun when that happens, but I was prepared, so it didn't end up being that bad.
Over my years of traveling, whether it’s around the world or some place just a few hours away, I’ve learned a thing or two about alleviating some of that stress and bringing my routine with me. Not only do I feel better but it also makes my trip more enjoyable and my transition back to the real world is smoother.
If you find traveling to be extra stressful and destructive to your healthy habits, check out these tips for maintaining your normal habits while still leaving room for plenty of fun while en route.
Bring your own water bottle. If you're not on this train by now, GET ON IT! (yes, I am yelling at you!) Bringing your own water bottle is not only better for the environment, but it's also free. Nowadays there are so many different kinds of refillable water bottles from insulated to collapsible and everything in between. It should be no problem finding one to meet your travel needs and/or space limitations. Invest in a good one that's BPA free and fill it up on the way to your gate, if you're flying, or each time you make a stop, if you’re driving.
SNACKS ON DECK
Currently, there are no laws against bringing food on airplanes, so save room in your carry on for a few snacks. Choose things that are easy to eat on the go and keep well, like nuts, bars, dried fruit, trail mix, jerky, granola, etc. This will not only save you money from grabbing something pricey at the airport, but will also keep your hunger at bay during unexpected delays or extra long flights. If you’re driving, you already know snacks are a necessity for all the same reasons. You don’t want to be caught in a traffic jam or worse yet, eating out of a gas station if you can help it.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Again, there are no laws (yet, but hopefully never) against bringing food on flights (as long as it's not liquid), so take advantage of it! Packing and traveling in general can be stressful on your body, so help yourself out by maintaining your normal eating habits as much as possible. No matter what time of day my flight is, I make sure I bring a meal with me, especially if it's an early flight. Or I make sure to eat right before I'm heading to the airport. If you're lacking space in your carry on for bulky Tupperware, keep it simple and toss your meal in a ziploc baggie. You may get a few funny looks at the airport, but I've eaten a salad out of a ziploc before! It saves money and a stomachache and you can just toss it out when you're done.
If you're taking a road trip, even better. Save room in the car to pack a small cooler full of meals. You don't need to have every single meal prepared for the entirety of your trip. But having meals while you're on the road will not only save money and time from having to stop every couple hours, but it will also keep you feeling good. Bring enough meals for the time you expect to be in the car and toss in a few extra snacks to have on hand during your trip. The goal is to eliminate getting caught in a situation where you're starving and have left yourself with no options. If this does happen however, don't sweat it. Make the best possible decision you can in that situation and don't worry about it!
FIND BALANCE & DO YOUR BEST
As much as I love routine and keeping up with my healthy habits, I have to remind myself that taking a trip, especially a vacation, is about getting away and relaxing. For me this means loosening the reins on my routine a little bit and finding a balance between work and play. My balance looks like being prepared while also being flexible. If you find yourself with minimal food options, do your best and don’t worry about it. If you’re in a new city, eat ALL the food and ENJOY it, guilt-free. Just know that when you get back it’s time to lock it down. If you don’t get your usual workout in every single day or even at all, it’s ok! Do the best with what you have and know there will be plenty of time to get back in your groove when you return from your trip.
How do you keep your cool and your norm while traveling? Share your tips in the comments below!