When you’re on the road, healthful options can be few and far between. Plus, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, it can be challenging to even find the time to concentrate on your health with all of the distractions that surround you. However, travelling doesn’t mean that you need to pause your routine – it’s absolutely possible to fuel your body while on vacations or work trips and stay healthy while travelling. The saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” just doesn’t apply here, especially when the choices you make while you’re away can influence how you feel during your trip, and also have consequences long after you return home.
With these handy tips in mind, you can learn how to stay healthy while travelling so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest (or work with maximum efficiency).
8 ways to stay healthy while travelling
Do some research before you go
No matter where you’re going, do a little internet research about the food options at your destination. If you’re travelling to a large city, it’s likely you’ll find health food stores, farmers’ markets, whole food restaurants and large grocery stores. Scout out where all these places are in location to where you’re staying, so if you need to grab ingredients or a healthy meal you won’t be stuck with options you know don’t support your health.
The ACN blog has a list of healthy city guides, so check them out to see if your destination has been featured.
Stay in a place with a kitchen (or kitchenette)
Healthy travel is a breeze when you’re staying in a spot with a kitchen or at the very least a kitchenette. This allows you to prepare fresh food whenever you like, and will likely save you some cash because you don’t have to rely on pricey restaurant meals. There are a ton of rental sites like AirBnb where you can find affordable accommodations with functional kitchens that will help you keep your health on track.
Bring some kitchen tools with you
If you’re unsure of what tools will be available to you, bring along a few essentials to help you with healthy cooking. How much you take with you will depend on if you are flying, or using ground transportation like a car, bus or train.
For airplane travel, we like to bring:
- A compact single-serve blender to make smoothies and salad dressings, as it’s light and easy for air travel.
- A small cutting board and a knife are super helpful essentials for virtually every kind of meal or snack (just be sure to put your knife in your checked baggage, not your carry-on!). Also, be sure to brush up on your knife skills so you don’t need to deal with an injury during work or travel.
- A mini spice kit is also handy to take along, as you can add flavour to your food without having to spend a fortune on full-size spices.
If you are travelling by car:
If you have food allergies and intolerances
For those who have allergies and are concerned about cross contamination, allergens can sneak into porous materials like plastic and wood even if they have been washed well. Pack a large cutting board and a small variety of utensils such as stirring spoons and spatulas.
It’s also helpful to take a roll of parchment paper, which you can use to cover baking sheets or other surfaces for protection.
Load up on non-perishable foods and snacks
Image: Jenn Kosar on Unsplash
There is a wide variety of healthy, non-perishable snacks you can pack in your suitcase or carry-on that will keep your hunger at bay. Foods like these are relatively easy to travel with:
- nuts and seeds
- dried fruit
- gluten-free crackers
- nut butters
- protein bars
- dried or canned beans
- protein powders
- greens powders
When travelling by car, pack a cooler with fresh fruit and veggies. If you are travelling internationally with fresh produce, double check with that country’s border authority to see what you are allowed to bring with you.
For more healthy travel staples and meal ideas, check out:
Say no to plane food
Have you ever noticed that some people on planes seem to crack open the junk food as soon as the wheels lift off? Skip the processed plane food and sugary snacks, and bring along your own food instead.
Animal proteins such as hard boiled eggs, cooked chicken or fish can work too – just be mindful of how stinky they are!
With the hustle and bustle of travel, don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout your holiday or work trip. Bring a stainless steel water bottle so you can fill up with water throughout the day, and don’t need to rely on store-bought options (which are usually plastic, a burden to the environment). You can also find water bottles that have built-in water filters for delicious water wherever you go.
Other options for hydration include:
And remember – there are plenty of veggies and fruits that are incredibly hydrating.
Pack helpful supplements
Digestive supplements can be incredibly helpful to take along to keep you healthy while travelling. Digestive enzymes and bitters will aid with digestion, and probiotics will help keep our gut flora stable and healthy. You can also carry some immune-supporters like Vitamin C and Vitamin D, which will keep your system strong when confronted with unfamiliar germs (especially on airplanes).
Don’t forget to move
It’s often more challenging to squeeze exercise into your schedule when travelling for work; however, long stretches of lying on the beach – even though this is relaxing! – can make you feel sluggish and stiff. Remember to move your body and practice gentle exercise – walking, stretching, swimming, or whatever you enjoy are all helpful.
What are your best tips for staying healthy while travelling?