Summer is a great time to get out of your normal routine and go somewhere new (or old!). Traveling is exciting, rejuvenating, and relaxing. On the other hand, travel can make you feel sluggish and all out of sorts. This may look like a changed sleep schedule, eating out, or not getting much movement in. While it is hard to avoid that classic travel slump, we're here to help with five simple tips to make your journey a little bit smoother!
1. Bring a Water Bottle
If you are like me, the last thing you want to have to do on a travel day is stop using the restroom. No one likes the rest stop detours or airport bathroom lines. Or if you are traveling by plane, it is not possible to bring a full water bottle through TSA. Traveling makes hydration slip most peoples' minds and prevent a good water intake. Bringing along a reusable water bottle in your personal bag can help make you more conscious about drinking water throughout the day. Even if you are not drinking the same amount you would on a normal day, sipping on your water periodically can keep you from being dehydrated when you get to your destination. If you are traveling by plane, bring an empty reusable bottle. There are often areas to fill it up around the airport so you do not have to purchase water after TSA.
2. Pack a protein
When you start to get hungry during travel, it is easy to stop at the first place you see or just ignore the feeling so you don’t have to stop. Packing snacks with you can make your travel days way more manageable, especially if you pack some protein with you. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it will keep you full the longest in comparison to fat and carbohydrates. Some great examples of travel friendly proteins are beef sticks, string cheese, pumpkin seeds, jerky, and protein bars. These are all already prepackaged for convenience and ease of consumption so there is no need for elaborate mechanisms to hold your food in one hand while the other is on the wheel!
3. Grab an on-the-go carb
Traveling can take a lot out of you. Increasing your energy levels with a healthy carb can make your travel days feel less long. Some of my favorite carbs to pack with me on a trip are apples, bananas (just don’t forget they are in your bag), granola bars, and popcorn. Trail mix is also a great option with healthy fats from nuts, plus you can add fun items such as chocolate chips, raisins, and dried fruit. Paired with a protein from above, these options can help keep your hunger levels down when you don’t have time to stop for food. No one likes to be hungry during a stressful travel day!
4. Vitamin C Packets
Not only can travel take a lot out of you in terms of hunger and nutrition, but also overall health. Traveling to new places can expose you to different germs that are going around. It is always a good idea to be proactive and make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C to support your immune system before and during travel. I always like to drink Vitamin C packets at least a few days before I leave for any trip. I also pack some with me too, just in case!
5. Eat a Balanced Meal Before Leaving
This tip is dependent on departure time. If you leave for your travel day after a major meal, make sure you try to get a balanced plate of healthy carbs, fats, and protein. Travel days normally include a lot of sitting back in a car or airplane so ensuring that you eat a full meal before to balance your blood sugar. Eating a meal too high in glucose can leave you feeling fatigued. Balance out that by including a protein such as chicken, canned tuna, or eggs. Sometimes getting in a meal before you leave can be hard if the timing is inconvenient, but if possible, it can make your travel day more energized.
Keeping these healthy tips in your back pocket during your travels can set you up for a successful, feel good vacation. The best travel tip that there is though, is to relax and enjoy your vacation. Nothing can benefit your health more than some stress relieving time away from your typical day to day activities. So, soak up and take in all the time you have on your planned (or unplanned) trip!
By Kaitlin Valdick