How To Stay Healthy While Travelling
It’s no secret I absolutely adore travel, and am quite fortunate to have devised a lifestyle that allows me to do a fair bit of it! However as much as I love jetsetting, exploring new sights and filling up the memory bank, the change in routines, nutrition and schedules can take a pretty heavy toll on both my physical and mental health.
As a result, over the years I’ve begun to implement some key rituals and practices that support my holistic wellbeing whilst travelling. Without being in any way a restriction on experiences, these mindful decisions enable me to more fully enjoy the opportunities abroad!
Read on for the handy-guide on how to stay healthy while travelling.
Packing My Must-Haves
As much as I wish I was a low-key, 'just a carry-on backpack' kind of girl, I’m just not. In fact you could say I’m kind of high maintenance! I regularly take an array of supplements – both prescribed by my health care professionals and purchased from my favourite wellness companies – and to keep my body in an optimally functioning state I make sure to have supply on hand whenever I jet off. Keeping a track of how many servings and doses I will need for the duration of my trip, ensures I don’t skip out or get stressed about trying to find an alternative in a foreign pharmacy, maintaining my overall long-term health!
Pre Flight Movement
A total non-negotiable before a flight at any time of the day (or night) is a little pre-flight movement. Before sitting down on my booty for [seemingly] endless hours, I make sure to move and stretch out my body – getting circulation going and flushing out the lymphatic system. This is a preventative measures to assist maintain hormonal and nervous system balance, as much as possible, before the physical stress that is long-distance travel. Generally, this movement would be a LISS session of incline walking or brisk stoll, a sweaty interval session on the jump-rope or dance cardio or some Pilates core work and Yoga stretches, but always incorporates winding down with a mindful pause.
Flying is an incredible stress to the body and to properly prepare, I incorporate at least 5-10 minutes of conscious breathing before my flights, to help calm down the nervous system (especially when I’m likely having a mad dash around my flat before I leave to the airport) and soothing out any frayed emotions.
ALL the water
This one goes for before, during AND after all flights – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Honestly, you can’t get enough water while flying, just make sure you choose the aisle seat! The conditions within the cabin are incredibly dehydrating, and beyond just drying out your skin, impact the digestive system, the production of energy and maintenance of optimal health. Try to skip the dehydrating beverages (coffee, alcohol…) and BYO your own water bottle to refill frequently throughout the trip.
I have a full article all about how best to survive long-haul travel, but as an overview it always includes taking my own food or snacks where possible, moving regularly and taking charcoal pills! Read more here.
in holiday mode
Once you've landed it's go-time! I believe staying healthy on holiday doesn’t detract from your experience, in fact quite the opposite it enhances it. By following some of these tips, I am able to alleviate anxiety, maintain a positive mindset, be more present to enjoy the experiences and am generally a more balanced traveller!
Getting grounded upon arrival
After hurtling across the sky at high speed, I make it a priority to get out into nature and spend some time grounding back into Earth as soon as possible. This helps the system to recalibrate and re-energises the body and mind.
Jump On The New Time Zone
Crossing multiple time zones isn’t an easy process on the body and jetlag can be a real downer, especially on short trips! However my trick, is to jump onto the timezone of your new location straight away. Try to maintain sleep hours as similar to the hours you would at home, even if that does mean staying up for an extended duration when you first land. I find this helps to settle into routine much quicker, instead of the dreaded 2am wake up!
I absolutely adore food and exploring new cuisines by way of checking out restaurants and cafes is one of my favourite holiday activities. However I do also know how much of a huge effect my diet has on both my mental and physical health. To ensure I am able to take genuine care of my body during travel periods, I do not restrict any pleasures, but I just try to avoid any of my known trigger or inflammatory foods! Generally, I find the slower pace and relaxing atmosphere always improves my digestion, but I still do ensure I opt for nourishing, high quality and local options within the cultural delicacies, which are always far more memorable experiences anyway!
I always keep moving during and between travels as my body is accustomed to regular activity and it gives me a good dose of mental clarity. Whether that’s a long scenic walk, a quick discovery run, a pilates/Yoga session in the hotel room or checking out local studios, my priority is not on hitting targets or goals, but simply on moving a way that feels good and allows me to experience more from the city or location I am in!
Keep on top of supplements
As previously mentioned, I take a pretty regular load of supps, so I make sure I have them within easy reach when on the road, especially my probiotics and digestive enzymes to ensure my gut health stays functioning in tip, top shape!
Taking mini mindful pauses
It must be said that practicing gratitude is much easier when on holiday and surrounded by incredible sights, cultures and experiences. However travel itself can brings a whole plethora of new stresses or potential triggers! I find it exceptionally imperative that I regularly check in and have mindfulness or meditative pauses which allow me to process the experiences and keep me focused, calm and relaxed along the way. Check out this guide if you want to get started.
"wherever you are, be fully there"
Being present is my biggest "health" tip for travelling. I certainly have had many trips where I was unable to switch off, even though I was in the most idyllic locations or with my most loved humans, I still fought the allure of being connected or checking in on work. Cultivating presence can be difficult for sure, but it is imperative to take the time off and fully immerse yourself in what is unfolding in your adventuress. Plus, it lets you more fully enjoy the quality time with the people your sharing the experiences with, or just your own company. Some tips for that include getting off the endless social media scroll, turning off all push-notifications, taking mini-digital detoxes and then fully connecting and engaging with those around me. Because those are the memories I want.
Do you have any healthy travel tips? Let us know in the comments below or over on social.