When you are on the quest to stay healthy, active, and/or heal, the thought of traveling can send you spiraling into anxiety or stress mode pretty quickly. Don’t worry though, you are NOT alone. Thankfully, I’ve spent the last 3 years flying anywhere from 50,000-100,000 miles a year and living in more hotel rooms than desired all while on my wellness journey. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that I would like to share with you. These tips can be utilized whether you are traveling for work or pleasure. Feel free to steal away. Sharing is caring my friends!
Accommodations: If you are traveling for work then you most likely are staying at a hotel. Make arrangements ahead of time to get a fragrance-free room. If you’re like me, you didn’t even know that was possible! Hotel rooms automatically are sprayed with a super strong fragrance to….well….mask the previous scents before you. While this may sound appealing at first, it actually can do more harm than good. Those strong fragrances are filled with chemicals that not only can cause disruption to your endocrine system, but cause skin irritation and interruptions in your sleep cycle. You’ll be much better off to tell them you need a fragrance-free room and see how neutral the room actually smells when you walk in. TIP: Travel with your own diffuser! This is a fantastic way to bring your oils along for support and a boost of healthy fragrance that won’t leave you feeling fatigued in the morning prior to that all-important meeting! If you have a down allergy like me (sad panda!!) then you can also request a feather-free room as well. Be sure to look out for those tricky comforters that they think are down-alternative but actually are full of feathers. Waking up with puffy eyes prior to a sales meeting is beyond miserable.
Alternative room requests: Request a room with a bathtub and bring a baggie of Epsom salts with you. Even just a 20-minute soak before bed will help reset your body, balance out any negative energies you accumulated from travel, and support your endocrine system. This is a wonderful performance of self care when your body likely needs it most. Also, try to request a top-floor room because then you can avoid having people walking above you. Being woken up at 5am by itty-bitty feet is not the best feeling in the world no matter how cute the toddler may be.
If you are staying with family/friends for your trip, speak up about your needs. I spent so many nights at friends/family’s homes that had beautiful nice down comforters and just woke up miserable all because I didn’t want to “put them out” by asking for something different. Trust me….they WANT you to speak up and would be happy to give you a different blanket to avoid you having to live off of Benadryl and coffee (to reverse the drowsiness!) the next day. Also, if you are sensitive to smoke then reconsider staying with family/friends who smoke. It’s not worth your health or comfort. Save up and spend the $$ on a hotel room so you can get the rest you need to enjoy your day.
Movement/Exercise: Traveling takes a toll on our bodies, so rest is very important. Healthy movement is going to be just as important though. While I’ve been known to visit every Crossfit box around every city I visit, I also know that there is only so much my body can handle. If I don’t get a solid 8 hours of sleep before said class…..it ain’t happening because my body is still adjusting from the travel. Hotel gyms can provide a variety of workout options and if you ever need some ideas on hotel workouts just contact me. I provide a hotel workout program for just $25 and you get to keep it forever. There’s a huge variety on there to accommodate just about any space with limited equipment and is tailored to us road warriors! Hotel pools can be a great option for exercise as well, or even a way to change up your routine. I have found that visiting a yoga studio is one of my very favorite things to do now because not only does it give my body healthy movement, stretching, and balance work, but it also feeds my soul and supports mental clarity. Yelp is a great app to locate yoga studios wherever you are visiting. Check out reviews before you go, and be sure to get there at least 15 minutes early so you can check in and become familiar with the settings.
Our On Demand workout library is something I am very thankful for as well because we have an online library of hundreds of workouts at our fingertips! If you have internet, you have a workout! If you want information on this just contact me and I’d be happy to share. You literally have workouts for everything under the sun. Yoga, pilates, kickboxing, cardio, weights, etc. You can’t go wrong!
Everyone’s favorite…FOOD!: While it can be temping to go visit every neat place to eat while you are traveling, it’s one of the easiest ways to derail any progress you’ve made and set you back for at least another week once you’ve come back home. Traveling used to actually trigger binge eating in me, because it was almost like my mind would tell me “if you don’t try this here then you’ll NEVER have it because you don’t eat like this at home.” Or, “just go indulge because you aren’t paying for it this time, they are. Eat all the things.” I am a recovering emotional eater. I always have been and I always will be. Learning to become friends with food while traveling has been a skill I’ve worked very hard at. If I can teach you anything, it would be how to become less emotionally attached to food.
I won’t go into specifics here, because that’s a topic I will explore privately with you if you need a nutrition program, but just know there IS a way to break the cycle of emotional eating and I’m living proof. I’d love to help!
Back on task…..traveling and eating…..plan plan plan plan plan. There are two apps that I use before every trip: Yelp and Find Me Gluten Free. I plan out where I am going to eat almost every day of my trip as long as I will have control over the choices. Don’t be afraid to be the pilot of your trip. Be the good example for those around you, and be the one choosing the awesomely healthy places with options for everyone in your group! You will all enjoy it, you will stay on track, and before you know it you’ve changed their way of eating on a trip too! I tend to find a handful of places I know are “safe” to eat at that have options I won’t get bored with. Lots of juice bars (be sure they do it right, without sugars….that’s not fresh juice people. It’s sugar. Walk away or you might as well just eat Skittles) organic places that use lots of fresh greens, etc. Yes…I’m a foodie now and proud of it. The reason for that is that food is an experience now, and a way to feed my soul. Food used to be a way to suppress emotions and escape. Now it’s a way of actually opening up my heart each day. If you’ve never experienced that food freedom then let’s chat.
Research where you will be, and just plan ahead. Also, visit a grocery store when you get to your destination and stock up on healthy snacks for later. If you’re staying with friends/family then offer to make a grocery run and get what you need! If you’re on a work trip and your choices are limited just don’t be afraid to speak up. I literally am the only gluten-free and dairy-free person in the whole sales force of 80 people. Trust me when I said I felt like a burden the first time I spoke up. But you know what? They were more than happy to accommodate my needs and I was able to stay comfortable and awake the rest of the day. It’s worth it. You have a voice…use it. Tell people what you need and know that it is ok.
Medicines/Supplements: Be sure to pack extras in case your travels get delayed. I can’t tell you how many times my flight was canceled and I only had enough meds for the originally-planned trip. I also get super cranky if I run out of my healthy food/shakes/snacks so now I pack extra. Speaking of shakes….these are a fabulous way to get in healthy nutrients and superfoods without a lot of expense or hassle. However, you MUST be sure to find one that is not full of crap. Yes, crap. So many shakes and bars out there are full of fluff your body not only does NOT need, but can NOT process. I’ve got what you need if you need suggestions. There are options for those who are vegan/non-vegan too. I spent about 5 years playing around with various supplements and powders until I found ones that didn’t make me crash, didn’t hurt my stomach, and actually enhanced my mood. Secret sauce right there 🙂
All the oils: Last, but certainly not least, all the oils! Y’all know I travel with my “oil bag” everywhere I go. When I’m off on a trip it’s even more so because I want to be prepared. However, if you’re not an experienced oiler then just bring along whatever you feel will meet your needs most. If you get frequent headaches from the changes in pressure, smells, food then a blend such as PastTense could certainly help with tension. This is the blend I also use when I have an esophageal spasm from Achalasia. Instead of reaching for terrible Rx meds that make me basically pass out from fatigue instantly (which is also how it stops the pain), I reach for PastTense and put it all over my chest. It immediately helps and is a godsend. DigestZen is one I will never travel without because if I am not the one preparing my food then it may make me uncomfortable after eating, so this helps with those kind of needs (you can figure that one out). Serentiy is used to promote relaxation and ease any travel woes we may face. This is fabulous for bedtime and not only comes in an oil but also soft-gels. Breathe is great to travel with because different environments can cause our sinuses to get cranky. Sleep easily with Breathe on your chest and the bottoms of your feet.
There’s a ton more uses of oils, and about 10 more I travel with (yep!). If you’re new to oils, or curious just let me know. I am happy to share more and if there’s something you have your eye on then you could have a one-time use of my wholesale discount if you’re new to oils.
So, there y’all have it! This is just some of my tips and tricks for staying on track while traveling. It can be done, but planning is key. Drop a comment below if you have questions! Happy Travels!