There’s nothing worse than getting sick while you’re travelling, so we got in touch with some of our favourite bloggers to find out how they stay healthy on holidays. From dietary advice through to ways to help maintain a good state of mind, we received some great answers that can help you stay in tip top shape next time you travel.
Laura from Laura Todd
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst still indulging in all that travel offers can be quite difficult. Here are three tips on how to stay healthy on holidays.
Balance is the key to keeping well and healthy whilst away. Travelling offers many indulgent new foods to experience which you don’t want to miss out on. Maintaining a balanced relationship with the food you eat is the best way to stay healthy whilst away. Don’t stop yourself from eating that custard filled donut but also remember that healthy food does not have to be boring.
Walking is one of my favourite things to do whilst travelling. You not only see so much more of the places you are visiting, but it is also a great way of staying healthy and active. The kilometres you end up walking on a day of sightseeing really does add up.
Staying hydrated is very important – no one wants to dehydrate on their holiday! Take a water bottle out in the day when sightseeing and if you like to party at night just remember to drink lots of water.
Stay healthy but most of all enjoy your holiday.
Linda and Craig from Indie Travel Podcast
Many people find they gain weight while travelling, but we’ve had the opposite experience – we’ve both lost considerable amounts of weight over our ten years of travel. In my case, I’m now 15kg lighter than I was when we set off.
Exercise has played a large role in this; we walk everywhere and love to go on long hikes like the Camino de Santiago. But changing our diet has had a much bigger impact. We avoid soft drinks, limit alcohol (probably not enough, but still) and eat as many vegetables as we can get our hands on.
Our top tip for adding vegetables to your diet: split meals with your travel companion, and make one of the meals a salad or veggie-heavy option. Or just head to Spain and gorge on the menus del dia (fixed-price menu) – the first course is usually vegetable based.
Jenny from A Taste of Travel
Keeping healthy whilst travelling is always tricky especially when you travel to eat. I hate to miss out on a new taste sensation or a fabulous restaurant so I have to find a way to negate the calories! For me, walking is the answer! I walk everywhere, all day long. I love to get lost and explore different corners of a town or a city so this is something I enjoy doing as well as enabling me to stay healthy on a trip. I also find that a few Pilates stretches at the start of the day helps to keep the aches at bay too! So next time you want to catch the bus or train to another part of a city, try walking instead and it will help with more than a bit of sightseeing!
Amy from Eat Pray Workout
I try to make holidays a time to enjoy wholesome food, experience new ways to keep my body moving outdoors, spending some quiet time reflecting and getting plenty of sleep, rather than binging on chocolate, wine and movies. Now, to all you chocolate lovers, don’t give up on me yet. This doesn’t mean no chocolate, wine or movies it just means having them a few times and mindfully enjoying them, rather than gorging on them on a daily basis.
I also love to explore the local area by walking, or hiring equipment like bikes, stand up paddleboards or canoes. I also try to make a batch of my healthy chocolate bliss balls as a healthy snack and take along my own water bottle to stay hydrated. If I’m going away for a few days, I also find it worthwhile to book a place with a self-contained kitchen so I can cook some of my own meals and maintain healthy habits when I return home too.
Ben from Disarm Doors and Crosscheck
The way I see it, it’s your mental health that needs most attention when travelling. Failing to prepare for stress, anxiety and general discomfort before a trip is a big mistake. After all, a journey is an obstacle course of potential stress points – airports, bus stations, middle seats, annoying passengers, lacklustre food, strange food, queues, scams and weirdos like the lady on a recent flight to Singapore who did laps of the aircraft wearing a dressing gown, construction-worker ear muffs and a slightly unnerving grin.
Now, it’s impossible to plan for every scenario but if you take some time to push the pre-trip excitement aside and arm yourself with a few tricks then you might just make it through unscathed. And a holiday without stress is better than one with it, right?
Give yourself plenty. Everywhere. Connections always take longer than you expect at airports. Transfers, too. Queues are, generally, just plain annoying. And the last one on the plane invariably finds that all luggage space has been snapped up. Also consider when you are travelling, as peak-hour always means peak stress. Get there early.
Mentally prepare for a whiff of claustrophobia. Planes, trains, buses, and ships are all enclosed spaces crammed filled with humans. There will be elbows and thighs, breathing, coughing and inadvertent touching. The seat in front of you will, without a doubt, recline dramatically as soon as the seatbelt sign is extinguished. Simultaneously, the person in the seat behind you will violently use your head-rest to physically extricate him/herself to use the loo, guaranteed.
Take it. Not so much for ‘stuff’, but more for medical and repatriation. If you get really crook and need to be evacuated, you’ll wish you’d paid for the right policy. Speak to a specialist, ask questions, check the fine print and breathe easy.
Angela from The Sunday Chapter
Despite a holiday being the time to unwind and overindulge, I still make an effort to choose the healthy options. I want to feel good when I’m away, mentally and physically, and keeping healthy helps me do just that. Depending where your holiday may be, I always take advantage of the hotel gym and facilities, even if it’s just for half an hour in the morning. If I’m in a city, I’ll make sure to walk everywhere. Walking is incredibly underrated and not only is it good for staying in shape, you’ll also get a much better feel of the city.
When it comes to food, I allow myself to indulge (I am on holiday after all) but balance it by always opting for water, choosing salads here and there and always sharing the dessert. You don’t have to restrict yourself, you just be mindful of what you’re eating.
Madelin from Le Monde Entier
Trying to remain ‘healthy’ while traveling can be ridiculously hard – what with the assortment of local foods, drinks, and the money you’ve most likely saved to indulge in these delicacies, who would blame you for neglecting any stricter diet rules you might have at home? When traveling my few tips on helping with this include:
Always having a water bottle with me. This not only helps me keep up my fluids (of the good kind!) while I’m out exploring, but it also helps with funds – just top up at a cafe, or a water fountain instead of buying new everyday! Italy is one country great for clean public water taps.
Walking around a city is most often the best way to be able to really immerse yourself in the culture, sights, smells and really feel like you’re getting the most our of your trip – but it comes with the obvious health benefits of exercise! I soon learnt (after my first trip away) that walking around in your runners/sneakers is not dorky at all, and way more practical than cute jelly sandals for a day of walking!
Justine from Fire and Tea
Optimal physical and mental health are positive signs for our wellbeing, especially when we travel. Think about what the word ‘holiday’ means to each of us? When we travel, we’re taking a break from our daily lives to pursue rest and rejuvenation. Keeping myself healthy while on holidays is always at the top of my itinerary.
Disconnect to reconnect
This may sound a little extreme, but I leave my smartphone and laptop at home; the aim is to disconnect in order to reconnect. I give myself an extended break from technology so I can destress and reconnect with nature, explore newfound destinations and cherish quality time with my travelling companions. Though, I do pack an old digital phone to keep contact with family back home, plus a digital camera to indulge in my travel photography.
In case of an emergency…
Travelling long-haul through time zones increases my chances of catching a cold and being sleep deprived. I keep a multi-vitamin packed to help my immunity. During long road trips or at sea, chewy ginger lollies and peppermint teabags are always close by in my carry-on. I’m prone to sore ears when I fly, and travel sickness during road or sea journeys, so the ginger and peppermint calm my nausea while chewing ‘pops’ my ears to relieve painful ear pressure during flights. In my travelling luggage, I also pack a small first aid kit for unexpected mishaps, a light rain jacket and compact umbrella when it rains, sunscreen and a floppy hat for sun protection.
Featured Image Credit: Matthew Kane.