Today I have an amazing guest post from Lindsay, author of YourFitTrip. Lindsay travels often for work, so she knows her stuff when it comes to staying healthy on the road.
There’s quite a few ideas that I’ve never heard before, so be sure to check out her tips below for your next summer vacation.
School is out and vacation is in, but before you go and toss the healthy habits out the window, remember a little planning and research can go a long way. Eating healthy on the road doesn’t have to be a struggle and working out is doable so long as you accept you may have some kids jumping on your back in the hotel room.
Here are some of YourFitTrip’s favorite ways to stay the course whether it’s by plane, train or car.
Food on Vacation
1. Pack snacks. You’ve heard it before and that’s because it’s so important. Whether it’s cranky kids, a hungry husband or you needing to stay on track, snacks are your first defense and best friend. Take the extra baggage over stopping at the first thing you see (like the airportMcDonalds….anything but the airport McDonalds)!
2. Make sure they are healthy! Those big name granola bars are full of sugar. So make sure you are choosing bars with low calories and low sugar that have rolled oats and fruits as the first few ingredients. Pack filling fruits like avocados, bananas and apples and small baggies of different nuts.
Some of YFT’s favorite bars are GoMacro bars, Kind, 18 Rabbits, Chia Bars and Quest. The Chia Co has great, packable chia products like chia pods of coconut milk and chia oatmeal.They are designed with the healthy traveler in mind. Costco has some great oatmeal cups from Earnest Eats that come in individual microwaveable cups. Stock up before your next roadtrip or pack a few in your carry-on.
3. Kids not cooperating? Have them build their own snack bag. Lay out snacks of your choosing and have them make the final pick for their goodie bag. A little reverse psychology and they’ll be eating healthy in no time.
4. If you’re driving. Do a quick search of rest stops and restaurants along the highways. Nothing is worse than ‘google mapping’ something off the exit while you have a car full of hungry people. Avoid the detours and bad decisions and see what is out there before you get on the road. I often google the interstate I’m on and one of the first few links will be state website that lists the rest stops, hours and restaurants inside.
5. Want to pack your own food for the road? Look into purchasing a 12V cooler. Avoid the bags of ice and save more room for food. Koolatron has an affordable 45 quart cooler that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter. If you are doing multiple road trips this summer, the cooler will pay for itself once you factor in fast food costs.
6. At the hotel. Check to see if there is a mini bar. Then ask to have it emptied prior to your arrival. Avoid a battle with the kids over the Pringles and sweets and keep your clean eating goals on track.
7. Water, water, water. Avoid buying sugary drinks and spending a ton on bottles of water by planning ahead. Whether by plane or car, collapsible water bottles allow you to pack enough for the whole family. Also check to make sure the hotel has complimentary waters in the rooms. Nothing is worse than getting to a hotel in the evening to find you’re out of luck with water.
8. At the restaurants. Why are kids menus always filled with starchy spaghetti, chicken fingers and fries? While an entrée portion might be too big for them, skip the kids’ menu altogether and find healthier appetizers for them. But we can’t help you with actually getting your kids to eat the salads and veggies.
9. Ditch your menu. If you are really keen on sticking to a clean eating plan, avoid the temptation of the menu and ask the waiter what vegetable sides and proteins they offer. There is always something simple yet delicious on the menu.
10. Research local markets. Concierges are great but will they recommend the place with the awesome pork belly and dessert menu? Do a quick google search to see what healthy options are around. Forgot the snacks at home? See if there are any natural food markets that you can pop into to stock up while you are there.
11. Check to see what the hotel gym has to offer – or maybe there is no gym. I like to know at least a week before so I can plan my workouts accordingly. If there is limited equipment where I’m going I’ll save plyometrics for the trip and train with heavy weights before I leave. Or pack travel friendly equipment (see below for more).
12. Kids’ activities. If the resort or hotel has kids’ activities – sign them up. Then use that me-time for getting in a workout!
13. Can’t get away from the kids? Pack travel friendly equipment. Resistance and loop band exercises can replace free weight and machine work you already know. Plus, they take up less space than a pair of shoes! You can work out in the hotel room and watch the kids at the same time. Need a little motivation? Fitness boutiques like Physique 57 offer on demand videos for$5-$7 dollars for 48 hours of viewing.
14. Just need to get away anyway? That’s great but know the neighborhood – that morning run might be lovely but if you’re unfamiliar with the area you could take one turn into a not so great area. Check running maps ahead of time or talk to the concierge about safe routes.
15. Plan a hike. Depending on the location, take your family outdoors for at least one of the vacation days. The kids get some outdoor time and you get your workout in.
Finally, remember to pack those antibacterial wipes. Everything goes out the window if you’re catching germs while traveling. If you are on an airplane remember those back pockets are rarely wiped down and the tray could always use an extra swipe of a wipe too. Once you get to the hotel room wipe down the remotes and phones and ditch the throw pillows and duvets. More on hotel cleanliness here.
Need more ideas for how to stay healthy while traveling, check out YourFitTrip’s Travel Checklist.