Got summer vacation plans? Plan on staying relatively healthy while away? No one likes to come home from a trip feeling like they blew all of their hard work over bottomless piña coladas, buffets and staying up until 2 a.m. So guess what? Don’t do it! Go have fun. Loosen the reigns a little. Experience things you don’t typically do at home.
But! It’s also easy to plan ahead, be mindful and incorporate some little known healthy travel hacks so that you come home feeling good.
Not the Same Old Advice
Sure, you’ve heard you should exercise a bit to keep your routine going. You should stay hydrated. Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Try to adjust to the new time zone ASAP. Blah blah. Those tips have become white noise over the years, and they feel more like rules. There’s nothing too creative or innovative about any of them.
That’s why we compiled the best travel hacks you’ve likely never heard of, because, well, that’s what good friends do! They find the best tips and solutions, and share them abundantly. Oh- and don’t worry, you’re still going to have fun and enjoy your vacation!
Start with the summer travel checklist below!
Download PDF Packing List
It doesn’t matter if you’re road tripping, doing a stay-cation 10 miles from home or hopping on an international flight…prepping your necessities is the key to replicating your healthy home habits while traveling.
- Start by engineering on-the-go-version of your normal routine. For example, if you wake up and take your supplements every day from home, create a system for taking your supplements while away. The best way to do this is to take all of your vitamins, and then portion out what you’ve taken into a pill box or mini pill pouch baggies.
- Unless you have a backup makeup kit ready to go, put your makeup on before you leave, and one by one as you finish with each item, plop them into a makeup travel case. Simply replicate your routine and place things in travel bags.
- Stock up on disposable items or travel-sized items so that your return home is less cumbersome. Bring just the last ounce or so of your lotion, cleanser and toner, and don’t plan on bringing them home.
- Consider packing your least favorite workout gear. You know, the things you probably need to throw away but hang onto for some weird reason. Dragging home dirty clothes is never fun, so bring the stuff you’ll wear and sweat in, and then donate it wherever you are (or if they’re really on their last-ummm-smelly- leg), just leave them behind.
- Stuff small things in bigger things. Shove socks into shoes, snacks and small goodies into your large empty water bottle and roll necklaces up into folded tee shirts. That way they don’t get tangled and they stay safe.
- Bring healthy food. Our summer travel download has tons of healthy, high-protein snacks on it so that you don’t have to eat out three meals per day (unless you really want to). Not only does this save a ton of money, but you won’t come home feeling like you overdid it.
- If you’re going somewhere tropical, or know you’re going to be drinking more alcohol than normal, pack some zero-low calorie mixers and become your own bartender. Simply ask for a vodka soda, but add some flavored water drops, or even some BCAAs or flavored electrolytes. Not only will you dodge a lot of sugar, but you’ll probably wake up with less of a hangover too.
- Before you go, see if your hotel has physical activities like workout classes, yoga on the beach or pickleball.
- Book an excursion like snorkeling, paddle boarding, walking or hiking.
- Book hotels with gyms.
- Call and ask if your hotel room comes with, or can add a mini fridge.
- Ask if they have a coffee maker. If yours does, you can use the hot water to make oatmeal in your room, and add collagen to your coffee or tea, making it a cheap, easy and filling breakfast that’s macro-friendly.
- If you Airbnb, find one where you can walk, jog or even get a day pass at a gym nearby.
- Pack your own bands and download workouts off of YouTube to have ready when you’re there.
- Buy lots of snacks! Use our handy travel download for a lost of protein-packed, non-perishable options. Generally, these will be cheaper if you buy them at home or in bulk, but you also will have them handy and won’t succumb to the Cinnabon smells inside of the airport if you have goodies in your luggage and carry-on.
While You’re There Hacks
MOVE! Even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day! Grab your phone or iPad, pick a workout, and do it first thing in the morning if you can. Use the workout bands you bring!
Do this by picking a body part per day you’re away workout. For example:
One: Full Body
Two: Upper Body
Three: Lower Body
At the very least, walk whenever and wherever you can. Those daily steps add up! Hopefully you have a tracker like a Fitbit, Oura ring or Apple Watch to track your steps.
Plan to eat small snacks and meals
Do this by stocking your mini fridge with some items you bring from home (yes, you can bring hard boiled eggs on a plane, and even pouched tuna), or something like Greek yogurt you buy once you arrive.
The oatmeal-hot water coffee pot hack (listed above) is a great one, and to make it a fully balanced meal, add some protein powder and some chopped nuts.
Definitely go out to eat and have fun! But choose those items wisely, and if you find yourself eating out multiple times per day, consider splitting meals or ordering fresh and light options like ceviche, grilled chicken, salads with dressing on the side or a plate of grilled veggies. Order the guacamole and have a few chips, but also ask the waiter to bring some raw cucumber slices and carrots for dipping too.
Using these tips to keep your meals balanced will help you avoid bloating, vacation constipation, and just feeling “blah.”
Lastly, be mindful of alcohol consumption. This is where major calorie catastrophes happen. It’s easy to forget that daiquiris can be upwards of 500 calories! Go for clear alcohol with zero to low calorie mixers when possible to stay in your calorie goals. Here’s a bonus tip – adding your BCAA powder or electrolytes can add tons of flavor and actually help your body stay hydrated.
Enjoy Your Trip!
Life is too short to not have fun! Try not to restrict too much. The key is having mindfulness and balance. Is it possible to have a memorable vacation and eat hotel oatmeal and protein shakes–YEP! Because you’ll go out to dinner, and maybe out to lunch tomorrow.
Can you workout while on vacation and still feel relaxed? Absolutely! Because you’ll spend an hour working out but the next eight playing on the beach or reading the next best-seller.
Is it possible to unwind with some cocktails without overdoing it? YES! Because one or two low cal drinks are A-OK, and will leave you feeling good the next day, instead of so hungover you need to sleep in and miss half the beautiful day you had planned.
Life is about balance friends! So plan ahead. Pack wisely. Live your best life (with our travel hacks), and have a great time!
Oh- and friends share this kind of valuable information, so if you saw a travel hack in here that your BFF needs to see, hook her up with the link, ok?!