Travel Tips to Help You Stay on Track with Your Wellness Goals
Traveling can be both a transformational, soul-shaping experience and an overwhelming practice in patience. Driving, bussing, flying – all forms of travel come with challenges, and the mere act of moving from place to place can throw our balance off. Even when we have our daily self-care routines down to an art, traveling can disrupt these rituals and make us feel so scattered that only a mound of French fries seems to help.
While it can feel nearly impossible, staying on the path of self-care and wellness while traveling is paramount – and with a bit of planning, it can become easier and easier to stick with your routines, even while you’re on the road.
(As an aside, sometimes you deserve a little carb-binge here and there. “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” This is a guide for those times when you need a little motivation to stay the course of health and wellness while exploring new parts of the world.)
Easy, Healthy Snacking
One of the biggest temptations while traveling are the myriad forms of fast, easy, greasy food available nearly everywhere you look. Whether it’s the Cinnabon at the airport or nachos from the convenience store, these processed snacks not only add up when it comes to calories, they can really drain your energy.
You might not be able to store a salad bar in your carry-on, but there are some measures you can take to help yourself avoid the convenient, unhealthy snacks you’ll be bombarded with at every turn.
Make a tradition of going to the grocery store before your trip and stocking up on healthy snacks. Things like:
- Nuts and trail mix
- Granola bars
- Kale chips
- Protein packs with cheeses and berries
Green juices and kombucha are filling, refreshing drinks that are perfect for traveling. Bringing your own beverages is a really easy way to keep track of your calories, as sugary coffees and juices really add up.
Make your own easy lunches in a small Tupperware container – deli meats, cheeses and pickled veggies are perfect at room temp and make for a yummy in-flight snack.
Be sure to grab things that make you feel good and that you find delicious – the healthier options you bring, the less tempted you’ll be by the overpriced, mostly junky airport snacks. Having healthy, non-perishable snacks with you during your stay can also help you avoid room service fees and the expenses of dining out repeatedly. You might be surprised how far a protein bar can take you throughout the day.
And for a treat, try dark chocolate, which is filled with heart-healthy antioxidants.
One of the more (ironically) draining aspects of traveling is all of the sitting still. While it may not seem like fun to try to squeeze exercise into the already strenuous task of traveling, a little bit of movement can make you feel relaxed and revitalized, ready to tackle the rest of your journey.
You can try doing some light yoga in the morning while you’re getting ready. (Packing in the days beforehand will leave you plenty of time on the morning of travel.) Another option would be to take advantage of the vast landscape of most airports – a light stroll before your flight will soothe anxiety and raise serotonin levels.
Most hotels these days provide a gym that you can take advantage of during your stay. Pack a suit and take advantage of the swimming pool, sometimes they’re even heated to combat cold weather. Don’t forget to bring your gear – workout clothing, a water bottle or maybe a jump rope can help you feel at home and promote motivation.
Bring the Overlooked Necessities
As you know, self-care involves the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of ourselves. True self-care would never neglect any one of these spheres. You know yourself better than anyone, and you know what will make your experience as pleasant as possible. You don’t need to overpack or include unnecessary items but traveling with the things that make you most comfortable can make all the difference.
Think of what you would pack for your best friend if you wanted them to have the best travel experience possible. If you like to nap on the plane, bring a travel pillow and a sleeping mask to make sure you feel most comfortable. Or, if you prefer to remain awake and alert, pack your favorite book and a magazine that you rarely indulge in.
Bring a journal to capture your emotions and thoughts, or pack your favorite crystals to make sure your energy is positive and clear. Pack a couple bags of your favorite chamomile tea to ensure a good night’s rest in an unknown place. Whatever you think will help you enjoy the experience as much as possible – within reason – is something you should make room for.
Self-care is about learning how to best support and love yourself, and traveling is no excuse to ignore your plan for emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Whether traveling for work or vacation, taking extra steps to make the journey as smooth as possible will help you stay in and appreciate the present moment.
When you plan ahead to ensure a smooth traveling experience, your mind will be sharper and more focused when you reach your destination.
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