I like to think I wear a lot of hats, but "traveler" and "health nut" are definitely two of those hats. Which is why it seemed appropriate to do a "wellness tips for travelers" post. I've often struggled with maintaining my health rituals while traveling, which is fine when you go on two weeks of vacation once a year, but it's not so smart if you travel nearly half the year. Over time I have figured out what works and what doesn't, so hopefully some of my wellness tips for travelers will be useful and help those of you who spend a lot of time on the road stay healthy.
Learn how to beat jet-lag
Sometimes I believe I was born to travel. I don't get very bad jetlag and never have. That being said, I've been in the traveling world long enough to know all the tips and tricks for making jetlag your b***h. There are some great jetlag articles out there that go into more detail than I will here, but these are my top three wellness tips for travelers trying to stay ahead of jetlag:
Drink all the water!! Seriously. Stay hydrated. It will do wonders for you.
Move that body. Take a walk up and down the plane aisle, stretch (before, after, and during your flight) and get that blood circulating.
Get your sleep... but don't nap. You want to be well rested, but you want your body to switch time zones as quickly as possible.
Those tips will definitely help, but again, jetlag has never been a big issue for me. If you really struggle with jetlag, check out this Rick Steves article. Because, let's face it, Rick Steves knows everything.
Find a fitness routine you can do anywhere
There's a reason I take yoga photos everywhere I go, and it's not just because they kill it on Instagram. Yoga is my main fitness regime and I try to keep my yoga practice going no matter where I travel... I've probably done yoga in some 15+ countries by now. If yoga is your thing, you should definitely check out these goodies that all traveling yogis need. I also highly recommend sites like Grokker (they also have fitness videos), oneOeight, and DoYogaWithMe for cheap or free yoga videos that you can watch from anywhere.
If yoga is not your thing, fear not. There are tons of other ways to squeeze a fitness routine into your trip. Some of the easiest ways to incorporate fitness into your travels are to go on a morning walk or run before your day of exploring, stay in a hotel with a pool and swim laps, go hiking and enjoy the natural environment of your host country, or take a dancing class and learn some of the local moves. It doesn't matter what your fitness routine is. What matters is that you prioritize your health routine and make time for fitness in your day... even when you are traveling.
Figure out your food plan ahead of time
Everyone knows that healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand. That's why one of my top wellness tips for travelers is to figure out what you want to do about food. When I was in Italy it was a challenge to resist eating an entire pizza for every meal, but I've also gone too far the other way and missed out on the culture due to my obsession with healthy eating.
How you eat and what you eat is entirely up to you, but it is important to think about this before you are on your trip. Studies have shown that it is easier for us to make good decisions if we make them ahead of time, so before you leave, create a food plan. Consider staying at an AirBnb or a hostel with kitchen access so you don't have to go out every day. Do some research into the kinds of food in the country you are visiting and figure out where you can get healthy, clean food. I've learned that it is possible to eat healthy anywhere. All it takes is a little planning.
Get health you can carry in your backpack
One of the reasons so many of us fail to maintain our health routines when we travel is because we don't have all our gadgets. So what wellness tip for travelers have I come up with to deal with that? Get the portable versions! Buy some great hiking or walking shoes (so you don't end up hiking barefoot like I did), invest in a good travel yoga mat, and carry natural health supplements in your bag.
A few of my favorite portable health goodies are my Aceso herbal supplements (a delicious drink mix-in that helps you stay on top of your health no matter where you go), my travel meditation cushion (it's blow up!), and my Jade travel yoga mat. Obviously the tools will be different for everyone, but find those that work for you and make room in your suitcase for health.
Don't let me-time slip away
It's so easy when you are traveling to get caught up in the go-go-go of moving from place to place. You will always be meeting other travelers and getting invites to join them on crazy adventures. It will be easy to fill all day of every day, but it's not necessarily wise.
Though it is near the end of my blog, I would argue that prioritizing me-time is my number one wellness tip for travelers. Maybe I'm biases since I go full on crazy town if I don't get enough me-time, but I do believe it is WAY more important that most of us realize. I don't care if you go for a solo hike, lounge quietly on the beach, take a bath, spend some time with your travel journal, or simply take a moment to breathe in the middle of it all. It doesn't matter how you get alone time. It just matters that you do. If you take one thing away from this wellness tips for travelers post, let it be this:
You matter. You rock. Now go take care of yourself.
Use these wellness tips for travelers to create your own wellness plan
Think of my wellness tips for travelers as vague guidelines. We are all individuals with our own health needs and we cannot expect anyone else to understand exactly what we need. It is important to take care of yourself in your way. So go forth, create a wellness plan for your next trip, and conquer the world with your healthy, traveling self!
Did I miss some awesome wellness tips for travelers? Let me know in the comments section below.