One of the hardest things to do when it comes to sticking to a healthy routine is not falling off the wagon while traveling. I travel often for work and it’s always a challenge to find time to workout, eat healthy and get rest. I recently traveled to Las Vegas for a conference and decided to share my top tips for traveling fit so that it can help some of you next time you go on a trip. If you can prepare ahead of time you should be able to remain consistent even when much of your everyday routine is turned upside down. By the way if you plan a trip to Vegas check out www.Vegas.com for some great deals on fit things you can do while in town!
Packing is one of my least favorite things to do in the entire world and it gives me some anxiety no matter how prepared I think I am or how much time I give myself to get the task done. One thing that I make sure to always do is allow myself 2-3 hours of alone time to get everything packed. I never want to forget anything and that can happen when you are in a rush or if you are distracted, so I usually have my husband go out for a few hours so I can get packing done. Let’s get right on into what I put in my suitcase as well as purse and carry on bag.
What I pack:
Fitness Gear: no matter how little time I have while traveling I always make time to stay active. Whenever I go on vacation or a work trip I make sure to find out if the place that I am staying has a gym on site. Most hotels thankfully have gyms on the premises, but I always include that as a filter option when looking for lodging. I usually always book my hotels on Expedia which has this filter and makes things super easy to narrow down my selection. I pack a pair of sneakers that are comfortable for training indoors and outdoors. If the weather is nice I will go outdoors for a run and do some plyometrics so I pack sneakers that are good for both running and lifting. This trip I am packing my Nike Juvenate which are very light and comfortable and these new wine colored Nike Air Max.
I also pack at least 2 pairs of Nike Pro workout shorts and one pair of workout pants because I never know what the weather will be like. I also pack 2 sports bras, socks, a zip up Nike pull over if it’s cooler outside and some tank tops. I also pack a hat so that it is easy to just get up early and throw that on and go get a workout in.
Supplements: I am a creature of habit and always need my pre-workout to get a lifting session or workout in. I pack my C4 Ripped with me to travel, but I don’t bring a shaker bottle to save space in my luggage and just add the powder to a water bottle or do a shot of it in a cup in the hotel room. I use 1.5 scoops and then drink water with BCAA powder during my workout. Due to the size of my BCAA powders sometimes I will skip bringing it with me and traveling with a ziplock bag filled with white powder isn’t such a good idea to TSA, lol. I also bring a few capsules of Quadra Lean thermogenic for energy to take 1 before my workout and for night time before bed I take 2 capsules of True Athlete ZMA which helps me to sleep really well and recover overnight. If you don’t pack a pre-workout you can have some black coffee before a workout to give you a bit of energy. I use a pill case to pack all of my daily vitamins and bring that with me when I travel. I never miss a day taking any of these supplements.
Healthy Snacks: airport are notorious for being terrible for healthy eating. The good news is most of the convenience stores in the airport terminals are getting better about having more fresh and healthy options. I suggest packing your own snacks to save money and also have more than enough food so that you don’t need to feel impulsive and buy the junk they sell. It’s easy to buy chips and other bad for you snacks when you have nothing packed in your bag. I always pack almonds, protein bars, beef jerky or other jerky and that helps me to stay on track.
I put a ton in my checked back to have in the hotel room whenever I need a snack or in between meal fuel, but I also pack a few in my purse to have on long flights. I usually bring D’s Naturals No Cow Bars, Ostrim jerky sticks, Power Crunch bars or a single serve Lenny & Larry’s cookie if I need to manage a sweet tooth. I also love the Justin’s almond and peanut butter single packs for easy consumption too.
Stevia Packets: when I travel I tend to drink a lot of coffee. The early hour flights, always being on the go and just needing some caffeine means I need to pack natural sugar packs with me. I put a ton of stevia packets in my purse since most coffee shops and stands only have equal, splenda and white sugar. Now that I only use stevia in all of my coffee I just can’t use anything else so I pack those at all times in my purse to keep on hand whenever I grab a coffee.
Headphones, Book & Music Player: I can’t workout without music to get me pumped and energized throughout my workout so I always pack a pair of apple ear buds or if I have enough room in my suitcase I put in my solo Beats by Dre. I also pack my old school iPod which has tons of music on it for the flight or workouts. I bring a book or buy a book in the airport to entertain me while doing cardio and on the flights.
How to eat Healthy While Traveling:
When it comes to eating out it’s hard sometimes to stick to your normal diet, but here are some tips that you can use to make sure you don’t completely derail your hard work. Most of my meals are fat and protein only, limited carbs so as you can see above I just ate the eggs and turkey bacon; you can find ways to eat healthy you just have to be creative 🙂
- When eating out make sure you are always ordering foods you would eat at home. While it is fun to have a cheat meal here and there don’t fall victim to the “well I’m on vacation so let me eat this entire pizza”. Sure you can have a few things that are splurge foods but don’t just go balls to the wall every single meal. If you want to eat pasta for dinner, make sure you are eating pretty clean and healthy for breakfast and lunch. It’s all about balance, just don’t just eat yourself sick all day and night because you won’t feel good and you will have more work to do when you get home in the gym.
- Limit sugary beverages (both regular and alcoholic). Having a drink on vacation is normal, hell I do it when I go on vacation but I always stick to red wine or vodka with club. I don’t get things that are loaded with sugar like frozen drinks or fruity cocktails. Those are all empty calories that add up quickly if you have a few. Not only are they loaded with sugar but they usually will wind up giving you a pretty bad hangover. If you order drinks go with a red wine or a vodka with soda and skip the fruit juices.
- Eat most of your carbs in the beginning half of the day. I always follow this rule and usually most of my carbs come from vegetables, not wheats and flour foods. If you want to enjoy some oatmeal for breakfast or a wrap for lunch that is fine, just avoid loading up on lots of heavy carbs in the evening when you can’t really work them off.
- Always be drinking water. Most vacation spots are warm and you won’t realize you are actually thirsty until you are already dehydrated. Have a water bottle with you at all times. If you are drinking alcohol outdoors in the sun drink one bottle of water for every cocktail to make sure you don’t get over heated. Also make sure to drink lots of water when you are flying since you do get pretty dehydrated with the limited moisture in the airplanes.
- A lot of vacation spots have buffets which can be a nightmare when you are dieting or watching what you eat. Make sure to fill up on vegetables, protein and healthy foods first. If you want to have a few bites of something that you don’t normally eat that is okay just fill up your belly with healthy foods first so you won’t be tempted to overeat.
Other helpful tips when traveling:
- Get REST! I can’t stress this enough but a good night’s sleep is essential to over all health. I aim to get at least 8 hours a night and if I have a hard time sleeping or adjusting to new time zones I take 1-2 melatonin gummies. They work well to give me a very restful night’s sleep and wake up refreshed to tackle the day ahead.
- Find time to stretch. Sleeping in a new bed can tweak your back or make you sore so spend 10 minutes each morning to do some basic stretches to get your back warmed up, especially if you are going to be on your feet all day at a convention or site seeing.
- After a long day on the convention floor or walking around town treat yourself to a nice, hot bath. Let the warm water soothe your aching feet and muscles and allow you to de-stress. When I travel for work conferences I am always on the go, but I make time in the evening to unwind so that the stress doesn’t effect my body and mood. If you want even more relaxation add a face mask and just pamper your face like I always do.
- Don’t forget to pack your sun screen. If you are traveling somewhere warm, or even if you aren’t but plan to be outside a good amount of the trip, pack some sunscreen and apply all over, even your face. I wear a SPF everyday on my face and many makeup creams use them now. I like to use the Bare Minerals tinted moisturizers which have SPF already in them.
- Travel comfy. Make sure to wear layers when traveling since many airplanes and airports can use AC year round. Wear a tank top under a comfy sweater in case you need to peel off layers. Wear breathable pants and sneakers. Most airports require you to remove your shoes so wear a pair that can come off and on easily.
What are some of your tips for traveling healthy and staying fit on vacation?