Vacation is definitely a time to relax, have fun, and forget about the day-to-day stresses that may occupy your mind back home. It is also a time where we may let our healthy practices take a backseat so that we can indulge a bit more than we usually do, and in my mind, there is nothing wrong with that! I work hard at keeping up a regular exercise routine and eating (fairly) healthy when I am home in Boston, but when I go on vacation I definitely let that side of me relax a bit. However, that does not mean that I do not try and stay mindful while I am away. Even though my routine may be different when I am on vacation, I try and maintain some simple, easy wellness practices so that I still feel healthy-ish even if I do over-indulge a bit. With our upcoming trip to Amsterdam and Italy, I already have my game plan in mind, so I figured I would share it incase any of you travelers out there are looking for some suggestions on how you can stay healthy on your trips, too!
Even though I have never been before, when I think of Italy I think of lots of fresh produce. Our plan is to fly into Florence from Amsterdam and then head to Tuscany. I have been told that Florence has some amazing farmer’s markets, so I would like to stock up on some fresh produce to bring to our AirBNB so that we can cook some meals during our stay. I also thought it would be nice to have some morning smoothies and/or juice to start our day, so I purchased this mini travel blender from Amazon for $33 (click here to check it out). This little blender is BPA free, super lightweight, charges via a USB port (one charge lasts for 20 blends), and you can drink right out of the blender cup so it is easy to clean-up (unless you are making more than one serving). You can use it to make smoothies, juice, baby food, or even blend up a frothy coffee drink like I just did before I sat down to write this article! For just a little over thirty-dollars I think this is a great thing to travel with and I can’t wait to take it with us.
If you live in the city like us, you know that we have a lot of luxuries, like gyms and fitness studios, right at our fingertips. I often realize how much I take this for granted when we go away on vacation and I am seriously missing out being able to just go take a class at any time of day. We often try and stay at hotels that at least have a gym, but if not, like when we went to Portugal and Barcelona this past winter, we make sure to walk a lot as our exercise. Luckily there are a lot of fitness apps nowadays that make exercising while traveling much more accessible. Most of them offer trial memberships, too, so you can even do the free trial for one trip and then cancel before being charged. Three apps that I have been looking into utilizing for our upcoming trip are:
Lastly, using a watch that monitors your steps or your cell-phone is another free, easy way to ensure that you stay active on your trip. When I think of vacation and exercising in the same sentence, I never think of “crushing” workouts. Instead, it’s more about just moving and being as active as I can, and oftentimes walking is all I want/need on our trips! I try and aim for at least 10,000 steps/day on vacation, but if you are traveling to a walkable city like we are (Amsterdam) you will most likely exceed that goal anyways!
This is another free, easy tip that can make your travels much healthier. I always feel super dehydrated after traveling on airplanes, so this time I plan to be much more mindful about how much and how often I consume water on my trip, especially since I am breastfeeding and that will probably make it even more crucial to stay hydrated. Oftentimes we mistake thirst for hunger, so you may even find that the more water you drink, the less hungry you are! Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go and give yourself a goal of how many you drink per day. It’s hard to give a recommended intake because it really depends one’s size, gender, activity levels, and climate that you are in. You may have heard to drink 8 cups of water a day, and though that is very generalized, it’s easy to remember and an attainable goal. Feel free to use that and add more if necessary! Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women's Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.
Finding healthy food in an airport and on an airplane can be a challenge, especially as a vegan like myself. I always pack our own snacks for traveling and for the hotel as well. For this trip I checked out Thrive Market for the first time and bought a bunch of things off of there. Thrive Market is an online store that sells healthy food from top-selling, organic brands at wholesale prices. You can shop for gluten-free, non-gmo, non-toxic products for a wide range of diets including paleo, vegan, and raw and they offer a great discount for new members. Some things I picked up are pictured the left, but here is a breakdown:
My last health tip is not diet or exercise related, but I think it is an equally important tip to stay healthy on a trip. One of my biggest concerns about traveling with a baby is all of the germs on the plane. The great thing about traveling internationally with an infant on a plane is that you can reserve a bassinet for free so that you can lay them down and not have to hold them the entire plane ride. Though I was excited to discover this, I also immediately wondered how often they are even cleaned! So is my game plan:
Wishing you happy, healthy and FUN future travels! Just remember the point of vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself, so stay mindful of your healthy habits, but also try not to stress about them too much. A little movement and a lot of water can go a long way!