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Healthy Travels 101: Staying Healthy on Vacation

We’ve all been there: your flight leaves in an hour and your stomach is rumbling. You’ve grazed on enough trail mix and pretzels to last a lifetime, and the fast-food chains in the terminal aren’t exactly calling your name. Whether you’re in an airport or on the road, staying healthy while on vacation and eating well isn’t the easiest or most convenient endeavor. Fortunately, with a bit of forethought and some simple planning, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are. Today, we’re sharing some of our best tips and tricks from our travel experts to help you continue eating right and feeling great from departure to arrival and back.

Turbo Charge Your Health

In the days and weeks ahead of your trip, it’s a good idea to consider the many ways you can support your immune system and boost your nutrition status. Whether this means reaching for a multivitamin or adding a nourishing smoothie, like CF(Protein)® to your morning routine, being especially mindful of your nutrient intake will help provide a solid foundation of healthfulness before your trip. In doing so, you can help avoid developing any nutrient deficiencies that might put you at risk for illness while you’re away. Pre and probiotics can also help promote healthy gut bacteria that may limit the chances of illness or gastrointestinal distress while traveling.

Intensifying your exercise regime before vacation is similarly beneficial. Exercise is a proven way to support immunity. Improving cardiovascular fitness and strength also gives you wiggle room to maintain your fitness level on vacation while spending more time lounging and relaxing. Additionally, stretching or doing yoga before taking a long trip may help you to feel more comfortable during your commute and avoid dangerous blood clots resulting from extended periods of seated inactivity. Walk around the airport during layovers and take the long route around your hotel to promote blood flow, limit body aches, and ensure you hit your daily walking targets. 

Plan Ahead

Like most things in life, a little bit of preplanning and forethought is often beneficial (if not necessary) for enabling your plans for staying healthy on vacation to run smoothly. If you are visiting a big resort that includes meals, we suggest calling ahead to ensure healthy food and beverage items are available. The same protocol applies to any restaurants you plan to attend, especially if they are part of a preset itinerary where attendance is required. These suggestions are especially important if you have any specific dietary needs or restrictions, such as gluten intolerance or a dairy allergy. Most hotels and chefs will be more than happy to accommodate your needs. If they’re not, checking in beforehand will allow enough time to adjust your travel plans and go elsewhere, if needed.

If you’re traveling for pleasure and can eat wherever you want during your trip, consider browsing local restaurants and cafes that offer healthy menu items beforehand. Yelp, Happy Cow, and Google are all great resources for identifying restaurants that cater to specific dietary needs and specialty food preferences. While trying local cuisines can be a fun part of the travel experience, it may be helpful to eat at least one meal a day closer to your usual diet to avoid shocking your digestive tract. If you plan on arriving in a city early in the morning or late in the evening, you can also check out which restaurants can deliver directly to your hotel room and order on the way. Knowing where to order ahead of time can prevent getting overly hungry and making food choices out of convenience over health.

Have an Exercise Game Plan

As mentioned earlier, keeping up with your usual exercise routine may be difficult during travel but it can be hugely beneficial for staying healthy on vacation. However, having ideas for maintaining your fitness beforehand will likely encourage you to stick to a more consistent schedule. Making sure to pack a pedometer or other fitness travel is a simple way to ensure you are still hitting your minimum daily target for movement. If you have cellular service on your trip, exploring local running/walking trails or hikes is an excellent way to explore and stay active. If your trip requires more time indoors, check out some free online fitness classes, including millions of simple and effective workout videos via Youtube and other online platforms. Many of these videos do not require any equipment and take up very little space, so there is no excuse not to get a daily sweat in. Finally, if you plan on visiting a big city or metropolitan area, research local fitness studios or gyms that may interest you. Many businesses offer a free trial class to new customers, so you may be able to try out a fun new workout with no commitment or payment whatsoever. Make sure to plan your exercise recovery accordingly by bringing an electrolyte beverage like CF(Rehydrate)® with you for post-workout recovery. 

Pack Snacks

No matter what form of travel you are prepping for, bringing your food and snacks is one of the best ways to ensure you have healthy options available at all times. Notably, having a refillable water bottle on hand should be a priority. Staying well-hydrated is an essential part of healthy travel and staying healthy on vacation, and carrying a refillable bottle is a great reminder to drink up. Another option is packing an electrolyte-rich beverage like CF(Rehydrate) Immunity+ to ensure you are consuming adequate electrolytes while on the road. Specially formulated functional beverages are a great way to conveniently make sure you are consuming immune-supporting ingredients while on the go.

If you’re flying, think about what foods do not require refrigeration and won’t offend other passengers but will help sustain you throughout your journey. Some ideas include raw vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, or cucumbers. For protein and fat, bring packets of nut butter, dried edamame or chickpeas, or a simple sandwich. These balanced snacks will keep your energy levels steady and avoid causing gastrointestinal discomfort while you travel. 

If you have ample time to prepare for your trip, making a homemade trail mix with unsweetened dried fruits is a superior snack choice than store bought items with excess sugar and salt. If your trip is last minute, be mindful of what is available at the airport. Some larger airports offer great snack packs with hardboiled eggs and fruit, and you can find a greek yogurt and a banana almost anywhere. Avoid purchasing candy bars and opt for a granola or protein bar with less than 10 grams of added sugar. Lastly, stick to carbonated or flat water over sugary soft drinks or sports beverages loaded with artificial ingredients and flavors. 

If you are taking a vacation via road trip, packing good snack items is a breeze. Families can bring individual lunch boxes with sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables for each person. Alternatively, packing one large cooler full of yogurt, grab-n-go protein shakes, or crackers and hummus ensures that there will be plenty of food to fuel everyone in the car.

Vacationing should be a time to rest, relax, and recharge.  Fortunately, staying healthy on vacation is a breeze with these simple tips in mind. A bit of simple organization and pre-trip planning helps ensure that you come back from a trip feeling and looking even better than when you left!

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