5 Ideas For Maintaining Healthy Habits While Traveling

Let’s talk 5 ideas for maintaining healthy habits while traveling. From shifting your mindset to doing a little advance research, these tips and strategies can help you feel your best while on vacation!

A Dublin city street with a graphic overlay on healthy habits while traveling.

With summer vacation season in full swing, I figured now would be a good time to chat a little bit about healthy habits and travel. 

For so many of my clients, vacations bring up some of the biggest obstacles to maintaining the habits that they’ve worked so hard to establish.

And for good reason! When we’re traveling, we’re out of our normal routines, in new surroundings with different choices. 

So! Today I wanted to talk about a few strategies and ideas for feeling your best while on vacation and keeping those healthy habits rolling.

Now, before we get started, let me be clear. 

I’ve said it plenty of times before and I’ll say it again – I am alllll about balance – especially when it comes to travel that is meant to be savored. 

I personally believe that vacations are a time to enjoy new cuisines / treats / whatever AND are a time to take care of yourself so that you can truly be present during your time off. 

It’s absolutely possible to enjoy your vacation and feel strong and healthy – it’s just about finding that sweet spot. 

So, let’s dive in!

Ross Castle in Ireland overlooking a lake.

1. Do Some Research & Planning Before You Leave

Doing just a little bit of planning and thinking through your vacation before you hit the road can go a long way. Some ideas include:

  • Look up different restaurants and check out menus ahead of time. I find this not only gets me excited for a trip but helps me locate the best places to load up on fresh, whole foods. 
  • Research the closest grocery store or market in case you want to pick up some essentials or stock up on healthy snacks to have on hand. 
  • Check out your hotel or accommodations to see if you’ll have access to a fridge, microwave or even a fitness center. 

It can also be really helpful to think about any specific challenges that might come up and how you’ll handle them. A little bit of forethought can help you feel better prepared and less stressed out.

A beach view near Skellig Michael in Ireland.

2. Consider Travel Days

Whether flying or driving, travel days can often be quite stressful. But with some planning and thought, you can help make them a little bit better. Some ideas include:

  • Research places to eat – whether along your route or at the airport. And if you know there won’t be healthy options, pack your own meal. (Just make sure it’s appropriate to carry through security if flying.)
  • Pack healthy snacks that travel well. Raw nuts, fruit & nut bars, energy bites, apples and bananas all make for easy, quick options.
  • Plan for breaks to stretch your legs. Whether it’s stopping every so many hours while driving or walking around in the terminal before catching your flight, moving your body a little bit can go a long way to making travel days a more positive experience. 

Poulnabrone Tomb in Ireland.

3. Keep A Water Bottle On Hand

Because staying hydrated is oh so important to feeling our best.

I like to pack a reusable water bottle (that’s empty if flying!) so that I can make sure I have water with me at all times. When it’s on hand and easily accessible, I find I drink much more throughout the day. 

If I’m in a place where I’m not so sure about the tap water, I’ll go to a grocery store and buy a gallon or two of water to keep in the hotel for filling up. 

4. Think Outside Your Normal Exercise Routine

Vacation is a time to try new things and there’s no reason to be stuck inside a smelly hotel gym. Some ideas include:

  • Walk everywhere. Especially if you’re in a city, it’s a great way to explore and get in plenty of movement.
  • Plan an adventure – go for a hike, a bike ride, snorkeling, kayaking or even a guided walking tour. The sky’s the limit with ideas.
  • At the beach? Go for a long walk at sunrise or sunset. It can be incredibly peaceful and you’ll get in some awesome activity. 
  • Check out local events or those offered at your hotel. It seems like more and more places these days are offering fun wellness activities like sunrise yoga or other outdoor options.

The Rock of Cashel in Ireland.

5. Reframe Your Mindset

I think it’s important to remember that while vacations are so much fun, they can also be stressful or come with unexpected hiccups. Some ideas for keeping a healthy mindset include:

  • Practicing gratitude. And trying to focus on the positive. Maybe that means writing down five things at the beginning or end of each day that you’re thankful for. Or just quickly checking in with yourself and noticing all the good. 
  • Looking at vacation as a new experience. And remembering that feeling great on vacation isn’t just about how you’re eating or exercising, but about how you’re exploring a new place, connecting with friends or family, relaxing and trying new things – i.e. give yourself plenty of grace. 
  • Check in and listen to your body. Maybe it’s telling you to get some extra sleep. Or eat an extra serving of green veggies. Or that no, you don’t need that third cookie. Stop, listen, pay attention. <— This can take some practice but is also helpful for really savoring and enjoying your vacation as well! 

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

And that’s a wrap!

Please remember that these are all just ideas – strategies that work for me or for my clients. Consider what’s best for YOU and leave whatever doesn’t resonate! 

So. Tell me. What are YOUR favorite tips for maintaining healthy habits while traveling? I’d love to hear!

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{Side note – all photos are from a trip we took to Ireland earlier this year. It’s an incredibly beautiful country and I’d highly recommend putting on your bucket list!}