I am here to share 6 simple and essential wellness tips on how to stay healthy while traveling.
I’m an avid traveler and a professional athlete and can’t deny how traveling to different places can be a transformative experience that’s good for the soul.
But it’s also one that requires patience, knowing there will always be challenges along the way. Taking buses or going for train rides, driving, and flying through different time zones can all seem exciting, but they can be stressful as well.
With all the planning involved and the frequent moving, traveling can also throw you off balance quickly and disrupt any routine you have going on.
The truth is, there’s not much you can do when it comes to getting back to your usual daily tasks when you’re away, but there are steps you can take to make sure you still stick to your wellness goals. Giving priority to health and wellness when traveling helps you enjoy your vacation better since you will feel 100% yourself, even when you’re in a completely new place.
You don’t have to throw your wellness routine out the window once you’ve landed. Here are six Wellness tips you can stick to them – none of which requires drastic changes to your itinerary.
I will also guide you on important factors to consider before making your decision. However, your search will be a lot easier if you’re pointed in the right direction, which is the purpose of this article.
You will also enjoy:
- 5 Essential Tips on how to find life balance between travel and fitness
- 12 Tips on how to be in shape for your next vacation
- 1. Stay Healthy While Traveling by Choosing to go on Active Travel
- 2. Plan Your Active Travel Ahead
- 3. Make Healthy Choices While Traveling
- 4. Let Go Of Stress
- 5. Get Accountability to Stay Healthy While Traveling
- 6. It is All About The Mindset
6 Wellness Tips on How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
1. Stay Healthy While Traveling by Choosing to go on Active Travel
My #1 wellness tip is to choose to go on active travel. Each one of us travels for various reasons. Some do it for business or relaxation, while others have a goal to explore, taste different cuisine, or complete a bucket list.
Some travel solo or as a group (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) Whatever your purpose is, also think about the activities you can do while you travel.
If one’s mission for traveling is to taste local wines all over the world, then that person will less likely have the patience to explore nature. Alternatively, it would make sense if an outdoorsy person’s itinerary will mostly compose of hiking and exploring national parks.
If you want to stick to your wellness goals while traveling, choose active travel as much as possible. Go for a travel adventure based on the things that are high in priority on your to-do list. It won’t be just about the destination, but about the fun and exciting things you want to do in a different country.
Like me, if you are into yoga, it would make sense to take advantage of the world’s best yoga hotspots to have plenty of options. There will always be opportunities to incorporate physical activity into your chosen adventure, no matter how small.
Even if your sole purpose for traveling is to sample local delicacies or just relax on the beach under an umbrella, you can still combine it with being active. Let your body move while having fun.
Here are some examples of active travel you will love:
- Choose one of the amazing multi-day hiking in Asia,
- A great option for families is to go ice climbing and glacier hiking in Iceland
- An amazing option for couples or solo travelers is to go hike and do a homestay with a hill tribe in the remote mountains of Vietnam
- If you are into active and adventure travel, an ultimate option is to go to Africa while camping in the wild
- For couples and families, rent an RV to go on a road trip in Alaska and find amazing hiking, do kayaking around glaciers, and chasing the northern lights…
- …or you can choose one of my favorite 30 Dream Destinations for active and adventure travelers!
2. Plan Your Active Travel Ahead
Make your travel adventure stress-free by planning, a very important wellness tip for a healthy traveling habit. You don’t have to go crazy with the details. As long as you know what to do, where to stay, as well as make way for adjustments, you’re good to go.
But planning becomes more essential, especially if you have wellness goals. For instance, if you’re staying at a hotel, make your choice based on the fitness amenities it can offer. There are many wellness hotels all around the world – you have to research one that you think will be best.
On the other hand, if there are no wellness or fitness facilities, you can always check with the front desk and ask if there are some nearby. This will be a good option, especially if you are planning to stay longer than a couple of days.
Preparing ahead also lets you come up with things you can do just in case there are no fitness facilities available in your chosen accommodation or if the gym nearby is closed.
If you don’t have any equipment around, be prepared to have workout programs that don’t require any. There are plenty, by the way. I use Kayla Itsines’ at-home workout program that requires no equipment at all. I spend a total of two hours a week working out.
You can also put on your walking shoes and go for a morning jog or walk if you are not yet familiar with the place you’re visiting. This doubles up as your exercise and as a way to explore the city.
PRO-TIP: If you think equipment is necessary, then pack some portable equipment with you such as a foldable travel yoga mat, resistance bands, and a jump rope – There are great options for portable workout equipment that are very affordable and super easy to carry on your carry-on luggage or your backpack.
3. Make Healthy Choices While Traveling
Making healthy choices as you travel can take some time and planning and some slight tweaks to your travel habits, but it’s certainly doable. When it comes to healthy choices, I’d like to stress more on the sleeping well and eating well part.
Getting Enough Sleep
Getting the right amount and quality of sleep can be challenging when you’re in a different place, especially if you’ve traveled through timezones. This definitely disrupts your circadian rhythm, and it might take time for your body to settle into the new clock.
But it’s not just all about shifts in the time zones. Quality sleep is affected mostly by the changes in your overall routine. These changes include a new environment, lack of comfort, and the absence of consistency.
Here are my quick wellness tips on how you can get enough sleep even when you’re hopping from one country to another:
- Stick to a bedtime and morning routine – Still observe the normal bedtime despite being at a different timezone – even if it means staying up when you’re still tired from the flight.
- Bring your sleep essentials, especially when you’re in for a long-haul flight. Pack whatever you need to sleep comfortably on the plane.
- If you notice you’re restless after a long day of traveling, it’s pretty normal. What you can do is settle down slowly. Do restorative and relaxing activities like yoga and meditation to make yourself comfortable.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself after a long trip. Give your body some time to adjust.
Food choices can also be easily affected when you travel, especially when you are presented with unique and mouthwatering options. You don’t have to give up eating healthy when you’re in a different country. The most important thing is to know what you should and shouldn’t eat.
For me, practicing mindful eating habits is as important as getting physically active during travels. You don’t want to be sick just because you ate something you know you shouldn’t.
Below are my quick tips on how you can keep eating healthy while traveling:
- Visit the local market to get fresh produce. This is what I usually do since I love trying new fruits native to a particular country.
- Pack your snacks – may it be your favorite healthy nuts or dried fruits, or even an energy bar.
- Don’t forget to hydrate – this is important as you are mostly on the go.
- Make a list of foods that are a strict no-no for you.
- Cook your own food – if your chosen hostel allows it and has decent kitchen equipment, why not cook your own food? This way you know what goes into your food.
- If you plan to eat at a restaurant, research ahead or talk to locals about it. I prefer going to restaurants that serve farm-to-table dishes or use organic ingredients.
4. Let Go Of Stress
Another very important wellness tip is to let go of stress. Stress is not good for your overall health. It not only takes a toll on your body but also your mind. The truth is, stress may be inevitable when traveling, but you can reduce this in a number of ways, one of which is practicing mindfulness and meditation.
There may be times you can’t help but feel anxious about what could go wrong during your travels. To be honest, I sometimes have these thoughts but I always turn to mindful meditation to keep me grounded and focused on the present moment.
If you haven’t tried mindfulness and meditation during your travels, I recommend you do.
There have been several scientific studies on the health benefits of meditating and mindful living. By doing so, we learn to become more present and we may see things and people in a different light, which are both helpful during travel.
And of course, those studies also show how mindfulness and meditation can help fight stress. So the next time you’re anxious about flying, or traveling solo, or even being in a new place, stop and take a deep breath and focus on the wonderful things around you.
Before those negative thoughts fill your head, meditate, and be mindful of the beautiful things going on.
Meditation can be used before and during your flight to keep you calm and reduce any feelings of anxiety related to travel.
You can also do it anytime during the travel phase. If you don’t know how to meditate or where to start, you can get my free beginner’s meditation course and learn how to meditate in only three days!
5. Get Accountability to Stay Healthy While Traveling
Sometimes, all you need is just a big push and support from the right people or person.
If you want to manage your stress better and find purpose while traveling, consider getting help from a health and wellness coach.
When you have someone to evaluate your progress, you’re more likely to stick to your health goals since you put in much thought before deciding on an action, and you tend to work harder just to meet those goals.
Sure, you can have a close friend or a family member become an accountability partner, but it’s a different level of commitment if you work with a coach.
As a holistic health coach, it is my responsibility to track my client’s progress and make sure they are closer to their goals. Learn more about how a coach can help you.
6. It is All About The Mindset
Last, but not least how to stay healthy while traveling to keep in mind is working on your mindset.
Staying healthy is not just about making sure you get to sweat, and your body will have the workout it needs. It’s also about having healthy, positive thoughts and the right mindset.
This is also true for traveling – having the right mindset is important because, traveling can, indeed, mess with your mental health. Sure, most people would envy the life of a digital nomad, hopping from one dreamy destination to the next, but yes, being constantly on the move may result in travel stress.
Perhaps, you’re traveling about two to three times a month for business and the constant change in routines may spark mood changes, anxiety, and depression. Sticking to your wellness goals, then, becomes more essential.
To cultivate the right mindset, I always like to recommend the practice of gratitude to reframe your thoughts.
I’ve had my share of stressful travels but the power of gratitude has always helped me get through those exhausting days of being on the move.
I’d like to share my gratitude practice with you so you can start being aware of, and focus and appreciating the little moments that make life beautiful. This helps fight stress and ultimately improve your well-being.
To start, come up with a list of things you’re truly grateful for and pay attention to them. If you do this regularly, it becomes a habit.
Soon enough, being stuck somewhere because your flight is delayed won’t affect you. Missed the train to your next destination? That wouldn’t even ruin your day.
Train your mind to focus on the good things and you’ll see how much of a game-changer it can be.
How To Stay Healthy While Traveling Conclusion
Going to different places shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore your health and wellness plan. You need it all the more. Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or for work, put in the effort to make sure you have a smooth journey.
Have fun and be present in whatever you do. I may have shared the wellness tips on how to meet your goals while traveling but you have to accept that there will always be difficulties and surprises when you travel.
Let yourself adjust and welcome those surprises. The most important thing is that you’re doing your best to stay healthy.
You will also love:
- 5 Tips on how to find a balance between Travel & Fitness
- 12 Tips to be in Shape for your Next Vacation
- 30 Best Dream Destinations for Active Travelers
- 10 Day Alaska itinerary: for Adventure + Active Travel experience
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3 thoughts on “6 Wellness Tips on How to Stay Healthy While Traveling”
Super happy to have contributed to your blog, thank you for having me 🙂
Lucile, it is a great post. Thank you so much for contributing with such an important topic and sharing all your expertise.
Good tips Lucile. My wife and I ALWAYS choose active travel in that we base locations on if we can hike, walk and be super duper active in all spots. Our current US trip for the prior 6 months has been hiking through nature, taking dogs for walks and getting in better and better shape.