For my job, I have to take frequent short business trips and I often take short trips for running and funning. I am becoming a self fashioned expert in ways to stay sane and healthy on the road.
Here are My Top 10 Ways to Stay Healthy and Sane on The Road:
1. Plan Ahead – Do some research before your trip. Like what? Plan your flights or travel so that you don’t have to be stressed about being on time. Learn about the destination and see if you can walk places, etc. Pick a hotel with a gym. Look for healthy eating choices. See if any of your colleagues like to run and plan a route (or ask at the hotel for maps). Pack some on the go meals and snacks (see # 2). Check to be sure you have toiletries and all of the items you need for your meetings. Make a checklist – The Husband is really good at this. Check your itinerary a day or two in advance (be sure you have booked the right day, time, airport – learned this one the hard way!).
2. Always Bring Snacks… Or Even Full Meals – Anyone who has worked with me or traveled anywhere with me for any amount of time knows I ALWAYS have snacks… and gum. One of my biggest downfalls for healthy eating is scarfing down everything in sight because I wait too long to eat. Also, airports and rest stops can be food deserts, though that is getting better in some places. I always bring nuts, dried fruit and a variety of raw food/super healthy energy bars. (Need energy bar ideas? Check out my past giveaways for tons of great options!) I also have started bringing jerky and other high protein options. If I have to travel in the morning, I love Vigilant Eats cereal (just add water – hot or cold for a nutritious breakfast). I bring fresh fruit when I can, too. At airports, and in life, you never know what you are going to get, so bring your own!
3. Bring Workout Clothes… and Use Them – I always pack workout clothes and sneakers for overnight trips. Even if I only have 10 extra minutes, I try to workout. Whether it is with my J & J 7 Minute Workout App or just doing some basic moves. Why? When I started traveling for my first “real” job, I gained a ton of weight and felt terrible because I never had “enough” time. Now I know that 10 or 20 minutes is better than nothing.
4. Walk or Just Move! – When possible, I try to get a hotel in walking distance from my meetings so that I can walk. I take the stairs. I walk around airports and lobbies when I am waiting. I try to take walk breaks or walking meetings if folks are game. This may seem a bit nutty, but it really helps! On days when I have limited or no exercise, I still try to get my 10,000 steps.
5. Check Out Restaurant Choices and Menus in Advance – Before I go to a new city or spot, I look to see what the restaurant choices are. If I am traveling with colleagues, I volunteer to make the reservations. This way, I can scout menus in advance and then pick a place with healthier options. Plus I get bonus points for taking initiative. A win-win!
6. Wear Noise Canceling Headphones/Bring Extra Earbuds – I always fail to remember my noise canceling head phones. The Husband never fails. He is a much happier traveler than me. Be like The Husband and be happier. I do always have extra earbuds in my bag – just in case!
7. Bring a Book or Magazine to Unplug – On really long traveldays, make sure to unplug. Bring a book or a magazine (or several). I read magazines and then leave them on planes or share them with seatmates. The latter is a great way to make someone’s day – especially with the less literary magazine (read trashy)! I also like to write notes long hand for a change or to write cards or letters. These are also great for making someone’s day when you send them.
8. Load Up on Podcasts and e-Books – if you read this blog, you may know I am a bit obsessed with podcasts. I also love to read. I download a ton of extra podcasts and books – just in case I get stuck with extra time on my hands.
9. Remember…There’s an App for That – Take advantage of technology. Use Yelp to find a coffee, healthy eats, the gas station to gas up the rental. Use Uber to get a ride. Try the 7 Minute Workout app for a quick workout that you can do in your hotel room or anywhere. Don’t forget the Kindle app in case you leave home without your Kindle or Ipad. I also have all of my airline apps, and Kayak and Hotel Tonite in case my plans get messed up. Oh, and never forget the power of Twitter when your plans get messed up. There are tons of good ones. There are many great lists of apps to try on the road. What are your faves?
10. Breathe Deeply and Smile – Whether it is a crying child, or the one kicking your seat, an obnoxious person or a massive flight delay, some things are out of your control. I have been trying (and I sometimes still fail) to stop, take a few deep breaths and smile.
My cheat sheet:
Here are some other great links on active and healthy travel:
- How to Travel the Active Way from Move Nourish Believe
- Five Things to Keep in Mind For Healthy Active Travel from Active.com
- Eating Well and Staying Active When You Travel from Independent Traveler
- 12 Tips for Healthy Travel from Travel and Leisure (hypochondriacs beware here but very good points on bringing OTC meds, etc.)
- 10 Tips to Stay Healthy in Flight from the Today Show
What are your tips and tricks for staying healthy when you travel? Please leave them in the comments.