Have you ever had that travel moment when you’re deciding whether to eat a second helping of Crème Brule, and your mind tells you: “just go ahead, you’re on vacation!”. This saying gives you the liberty to eat whatever you want for the period of time you are away. I’m all about balance and moderation, but if you have some extended travel plans I don’t think you’ll be happy with the results of this type of vacation diet!
With some travel under my belt, I’m here to share some tips of how I’ve kept my trails happy and healthy while on the road. You can carry these tips while on plane, train or automobile or even on a deserted hiking trail.
- Plan Ahead: you’ve heard it again and again. You are more apt to succeed if you have a plan. Take a look at your destination(s) and research local restaurants or cafes in the area you are staying to get a better idea of your food options. Of course you will conveniently drive by several ‘chain’ or ‘fast food’ restaurants the minute you’ve landed but don’t forget that a little bit of planning can help you find the hidden local gems you might have never noticed. This will also be a great way to learn about the culture of the town or city you are in. Check out websites like www.happycow.com to find great vegetarian/vegan options.
- Pack Smart: Just as you plan on packing clothes, shoes, books for your intended destination- don’t forget to pack the food! Choose healthy snacks in bulk that are safe on a plane and that don’t spoil easily. Some of your best friends here are fruit (depending on the country), nuts, trail mix, dark chocolate and/or roasted chickpeas. It’s best to always have something on hand – that way when you are stuck in the centre aisle on a plane with sleeping patrons beside you – you can comfortably whip out a trail mix bar once hunger strikes.
- Eat & Drink Often: Don’t leave your hunger and thirst to the last minute: Constantly snacking on the right things is a better alternative for your metabolism than an overly large meal. Leaving food and drink to the last minute leads to overeating and fatigue. You don’t want to be dehydrated and sluggish! We need ample energy to continue to sightsee.
- Keep On Steppin: Walk when you can. When you head to the airport, don’t just sit at the gate and play on your phone – wander around, window shop, keep moving. Opt for walking tours throughout cities, many are free, and provide a great way to see the city intimately. If you can, plan extra stops on your road trip in order to get out and walk around. Perhaps it’s not your final destination, but be okay with stopping in a new town and explore off the beaten trails.
- Tune Your Mind: you may be in a different physical location in the world, but at the end of the day, you want to keep your daily routine in mind at all times. So, if you take supplements or vitamins, do yoga, have a green smoothie, meditate, take these practises from home and schedule them around and within your travels.
Just because you are travelling doesn’t mean you have to put a hold on physical care. Travelling healthy is a priority, and perhaps needed more so as it can become exhausting, tiring, and challenging to navigate new places, airports and roads. Help yourself by giving your body the nutrients, nourishment and self care it needs to create a great travel experience physically and mentally.
Brittany is a 27 year old adventurer, writer and vegan based in Windsor, Ontario. She strives to live off the beaten path and always chooses a mindful way of living, eating and thinking. You can find more of her writing at www.britthayward.com and also check out her travel photography at instagram.com/brithayward.