Eleven Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling
We make choices as to how we live our lives, whether it be for our health, relationships, career, or desire to explore. This month, I made a choice to take a trip, a Naturalita solita (solo) playcation, to Guatemala. For me, to stay healthy while traveling is a priority, not an option.
One day I woke up, I was feeling like “poo” and a bit down, and something inside of me said: “take a trip”. In my heart, I knew where I wanted to go. Travel fuels my wanderlust soul and heart so I’m always pondering places to visit and explore.
I wasn’t quite sure WHY I chose Guatemala out of all of the countries in the world, besides the fact I hadn’t yet been there and I LOVE traveling within Central and South America (and practicing my Spanish is always a bonus).
Honestly, Guatemala was the only option in my mind. A couple hours later I booked my flight. I had no plans, no idea what to do or where to go, but by listening to my wanderlust heart, I knew it would all work out. I would leave in less than two weeks for my two week Guatemalan Playcation.
Staying healthy on the road is fairly simple if you have the habits in place, which for me, it’s something I practice and preach on a daily basis (it’s what I help others do, too). So, going into this trip, I already knew what I needed to do to stay on top of taking care of myself and staying healthy and active in a new country. Even if you don’t have your healthy habits down, traveling is a great time for you to get started or to strengthen them.
ELEVEN Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling:
1. Plan ahead.
Look ahead and know how many days and nights you will be traveling. Knowing this will help you determine how many days you can plan activities locally or do your own workouts and/or exploring. Plan it out like you do at home, it’s not different, just a different scenery and a little different schedule.
I’m honestly not the biggest planner, but I do think ahead as to how I’ll stay active and healthy on the road if it’s for 2 days or 15+ days. For this trip, I looked at how many days and nights I would be in Guatemala (15 days and 14 nights) and wrote it down. This would help me determine where I would be, and helped me figure out how many servings of my superfood shake, Shakeology, I would need to bring with me. I also inquired if there would be wifi, as I knew with my business I would need to access the internet a little bit each day, as well as most of my workouts are online (or on DVD), so I could figure out a *loose* (very loose) plan.
Superfoods are mandatory with travel!
2. Bring healthy snacks and superfoods.
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks at home? Bring some of them with, at least for the plane ride there and just in case you can’t find a place to eat right away. I always bring healthy snacks with me, even if just going on a day trip. I have food allergies, so when traveling out of the country it’s important to bring healthy snacks that I know I can eat and that are travel-friendly.
Once I arrived in Guatemala, I knew I would find foods in local stores and restaurants; however, I really had no idea when or what would be available until I arrived. So, bringing my own snacks is always mandatory. I LOVE trying local foods and treats, so I bring enough to get me by (I carry a backpack, so weight is a consideration) and find local items once I arrive.
Dark Guatemalan Chocolate
Shakeology, my superfood shake, always comes with me. I brought it with my shaker cups (to mix up my shake). I drink that daily at home AND whenever I travel. It travels easily and I can shake it up from anywhere. Shakeology gives me at least one meal/snack a day. (As long as you can find purified water in other countries, you can mix it up anywhere. I also use the purified water to clean out the shaker cup, too.)
Other healthy snacks I brought were: Macrobars (I like these), Shakeology, Krave Jerky, Picky bars, homemade trail mix (cacao nibs, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds), and power greens (for my shakes and days when I wasn’t sure if I would get a lot of veggies). I knew being in Central America I would find a lot of fresh fruit AND avocados.
Probiotics are in Shakeology, too!
3. Pack Probiotics.
Gut health is important, especially while on the road. Flying in planes, eating off schedule and trying new foods may cause some stomach issues, so I work to combat that by bringing probiotics with me.
I had to bring some that didn’t need to be refrigerated, so I brought these (as recommended by my Naturopath). I take them daily at home (this brand), too. Shakeology also has probiotics in it! I always double up with the gut friendly bacteria (and usually don’t have issues while traveling)!
My daily multivitamin, fish oil, and some activated charcoal (just in case I had food allergy issues or something else that upset my tummy) also come with on the road. I put all of my supplements into old pill bottles. I’ve never had any issues traveling with supplements or with my Shakeology. (I actually bring two Shakeology shaker cups and fill one with *counted* out scoops of superfood powder and the extra shaker cup to mix it.)
PiYo with a View
4. Bring your workouts with you or seek out places on your trip.
How many days do you want to move your body each week while on your playcation? I’m not a fan of hotel gyms or spending time in the gym, especially on vacation. However, I AM a fan of moving your body daily. Make it your priority. It also helps MOVE you get out to see more things and places that might not be on your initial agenda.
Since I knew how many days I would be traveling, I had a “flexible” idea of what workouts I would do each day. My go-to workout while traveling is PiYo or running. This time, since I brought my laptop and my iPhone, I actually accessed my PiYo workouts through Beachbody on Demand (BOD). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to run due to location while in Guatemala.
The beauty of having online worldwide access to my workouts is that I can connect to them anywhere I have wifi access. It’s like bringing my home gym with me, but the benefit of working out with volcano views, in small spaces, on patios with hammocks or in whatever space I desired.
Workout from Anywhere! (Antigua, Guatemala)
For part of my trip, I stayed at an Eco-Resort and Nature Reserve (Laguna Lodge) and went hiking in the Nature Reserve daily. Each day I was doing my personal workouts, then the rest of the day I went walking, exploring, hiking or got in the water to go kayaking and swimming.
Aguacate de Guatemala
5. Inquire with potential places to stay if you have food allergies.
Do you have food allergies? If you don’t, you’re lucky! If you do, it’s still easy to travel, so never let that stop you from traveling the world. It just takes a little more research and communication with the places you want to stay and visit.
Staying away from gluten in Central America, specifically Guatemala, wasn’t a huge concern for me; however, when countries that normally don’t eat a lot of wheat cater to tourists, bread and wheat flour become more common in local menus.
To combat this, I inquired with a couple of places. (I stay at small, locally owned hotels/lodges, like Laguna Lodge and Maya Moon, so you can usually speak with the owner or an onsite manager vs. huge hotel/resort chains.) I emailed to ask if gluten and dairy food allergies were something they were familiar with or could accommodate. I was delightfully surprised when I found out it wasn’t an issue and they were able to accommodate.
Surprisingly, gluten and dairy food allergies/sensitivities are well known, even in Guatemala (mainly with tourists, I believe). Either way, I knew I could figure out how to make it work, as there’s nothing worse than getting sick on the road (but it also wasn’t going to stop me from traveling).
Workout with a View
6. Stick to a schedule, but embrace flexibility.
Traveling alone gives you an opportunity to create your schedule, even if you’re traveling with others, you can still control it. Personally, I like to get my workout done in the morning; I practice that same habit while traveling.
My mornings in Guatemala usually looked like this: get up, hydrate, see the beautiful sunrise, take a picture (or 12) of the sunrise, choose my power words, workout, hydrate, check in with my healthy eating and fitness groups, shower, and then eat a healthy breakfast.
Even though I met a lot of amazing people to spend time with, I still created time in my schedule to get in my personal workout, even if I knew I would be walking around all day. I would make my workout a priority (just like at home). Since where I stayed in Guatemala wasn’t the best place to run solo, I usually used BOD for my morning workouts (and worked out 30-50 minutes daily) and was still able to get out and explore the majority of the day on foot. (I usually refuse to ride in a tuc-tuc or taxi if I can walk.)
Hydrate with WATER and Kombucha 😉
7. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Drink up! If you’re at home or on the road, within the US or outside of the country, always HYDRATE. Bring your own water bottle with you when you travel.
In Guatemala, you can’t drink the tap water; however, every place I stayed had unlimited filtered water available onsite and if I left the lodge/hotel I could buy bottled water. I usually brought my water bottle with me and attached it to my travel purse with a carabiner. Being at over 5,000 feet in altitude and in warmer weather, it makes it even more important to hydrate and have a water bottle with you.
You can also bring a self-filtration system, like LifeStraw. I brought mine but didn’t use it as there was filtered water available everywhere.
8. Get creative with moving your body.
No matter where you are, you can move your body. I usually prefer to run, but it also depends on the safety and the terrain. Since the terrain in Guatemala was at a high elevation, I opted to hike and walk a lot and usually walked with a friend, for safety and great company. There’s ample opportunity to take a “tuc-tuc” or a taxi, but I recommend walking, which gives you the opportunity to see and experience more of the local culture.
Yoga, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, walking, Beachbody on Demand, dancing, making up your own workout or looking into other local activities should be on your daily to-do list. Make it an active vacation, a playcation. That’s my preferred way to travel – active travel. (I sit on my butt on long plane rides to arrive at my destination, so I make it a priority to get creative with moving my body once at my destination.)
Lunch at Saberico in Antigua
9. Make healthy food choices.
Always aim to eat healthy, especially while on the road. Your body will thank you for it by giving you energy, rest filled sleep and a positive mood. When I nourish my body, I feel great, don’t you? Why would you change this habit when you’re on vacation (playcation)?
I wouldn’t and I didn’t. I still allowed treats (hello, local Guatemalan dark chocolate) but I made it a priority to get in healthy veggies daily, try local foods and eat as healthy as I could – without being too strict or restrictive. I sought out healthy restaurants or restaurants with healthier options.
Desayuno Tipico – Que Rico!
Luckily, the places I stayed offered very healthy meals. Most of the food served was grown locally and purchased from local farmers on the lake. It was actually pretty easy to eat healthy in Guatemala. You can also purchase your own healthy eats from the local food markets on the street or local mercados (grocery stores).
If you eat healthy while traveling, it will make it easier to continue those habits once you get home and also keep you from feeling sick, tired and run down once you return. When you eat like crap, you feel like crap and no one wants to feel crappy while away from home.
10. Stick to your healthy habits daily.
Choose three to five healthy habits that you want to stick with while traveling. Another one that I did not mention, but is VERY important is SLEEP. Plan to get at least 8 hours of sleep on vacation. Many times people take vacations to get away from their daily routine, but also to get some rest, so make sleep a priority.
It will create a more enjoyable vacation and help re-energize you for when you return home. I made sure I slept a minimum of 8 hours a night. The only time I did not get 8 hours was on my red eye flight home (and that made for a rough adjustment getting home, dont’ do that).
When did you last have room service?
11. Repeat. Continue once you’re home.
Focus on your wellness. If you’ve put in the energy to stay active and maintain your healthy lifestyle while traveling, you BETTER keep it going when you return home.
Living a healthy lifestyle is just as important on the road and traveling as it is at home. The more consistent you are in living a healthy life, the better you’ll feel in your body and the better you’ll feel while traveling.
Healthy habits are worth pursuing. It’s fun to see how creative you can get with staying healthy and active on the road. There can be more obstacles to fitting everything in, but that’s part of the adventure. Most importantly, create a plan of that works for you.
Do you have any questions about staying healthy and active while traveling?
What tips and recommendations do you have for staying healthy and active on the road?
Which 3-5 (or more) of the above recommendations will you put into place for your next trip or at home?
Please share in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
If you love to travel and desire to stay healthy while you travel, I’m hosting a Naturalita Pacific Northwest Retreat September 28 – October 1, 2017. It’s for women who are looking to connect with other like-minded women, get out in nature, relax and create a healthier foundation. You can find more info here.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links to either my coaching website or Amazon where I purchased some of my healthy snacks and travel products. If you click on the link and purchase something, I may get a small commission from your purchase, which goes back into my small business and keeps me sharing my messages and products that I love with you.