People often say that travel is one of the hardest times to maintain their health and wellness. I’m in Atlanta this weekend for more coach training and I thought I would share some of my travel planning and tips that will help me stay on track while on the road.
Prepare for a Snack Attack
While I’m happy to report that this is starting to change, most of the snacks provided during conferences and meetings are not healthy, and are typically guaranteed to give me a sugar high and then low that will leave me groggy and day dreaming of naps in my hotel room instead of paying attention to the speakers.
I eat small, frequent meals throughout the day to keep my energy level high and my hunger at bay. To do this, I stock my conference bag with snacks I pack at home. This trip I have a baggie of various nuts and dried fruit for a quick and easy trail mix. To be strong in passing up donuts and brownies, I have a stash of protein bars and some healthy oatmeal and peanut butter cookies that have very little sugar and no additional oil. My sweet husband, David, made these for me. (Thank you, Honey!)
I didn’t ask this time, but often hotels can put a mini-fridge in your room for a small additional fee. This expands the quality and type of snacks you can take if you are driving, or that you can get at a local grocery store once you arrive. Think Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, and anything else that you might want that needs refrigeration.
Drink Lots of Water
I find I need a lot of extra water while I’m traveling. Bringing a refillable bottle is an easy solution. If you don’t like the taste of the tap water, you can usually buy bottled water in the hotel shop, or at a nearby drug store.
If you forget your reusable bottle, just buy a bottle of water and refill it. And I skip or go easy on the alcohol at receptions or at dinner, which just dehydrate me further.
Scope Our Nearby Restaurants
Whether you lean towards big chains, or like to sample the local cuisine, the Internet is a great resource for checking out restaurants close to your hotel.
If you can, check out the on-line menu before you head to dinner so you have planned what you’re going to order. This way, you’ll be less swayed by passing entrees, delicious smells, the bread basket, and a growling tummy to order something less healthy when the waiter finally arrives.
Pack Your Workout Clothes
If you can, seek out a hotel with a gym. In most places, you can at least strap on your trainers to walk or run around the block. Just in case neither of these are an option, I pack a workout video that I can play on my computer in my room, and I might also do weight bearing exercises, such as push-ups and burpees to get my body moving and the blood circulating. (These you can even do in your pajamas if your workout clothes didn’t make it in the bag.)
Your workout doesn’t have to be perfect for you to feel better and be more energized. Getting in some kind of physical activity is particularly important if you are going to be spending a lot of time sitting.
Catch Your Zs
One of the keys for making sure I stay on track while traveling is to get adequate rest, which can be a challenge in a strange bed hearing noises that I’m not used to, or having bright city lights peaking through my curtains.
For this reason, I pack an eye pillow or mask, ear plugs, and have an app on my cell phone that plays ambient noise, like a fan or rainfall. (The app is White Noise Lite for Droid.)
You know what adequate rest means for you, so do your best to get back to your room in plenty of time to get the sleep you need.
And if you do find that you ate more than you planned, heeded the call of a donut, or needed the sleep more than the workout, don’t beat yourself up. To achieve optimal wellness, we only need to be consistent, not perfect.
Please share the travel tips that have worked for you! The best way to learn is from each other.
Together we can do it!