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!
1.) Buy a mini blender
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.
2. ) Utilize fitness apps/ track your steps
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:
- Class Pass Go- an app that connects you to audio-based fitness classes – for free! Choose from over 500 classes like running, cycling, yoga, HIIT and more. Their instructors will take you through the workout from start to finish, so you can work out wherever you are, whenever you want. Find classes based on duration, experience level and calorie burn.
- Exhale On Demand- I was excited when I found out that one of my favorite barre studios finally had an app that included Barre, Cardio and Yoga fitness classes as well as Mindfulness and Meditation. The app costs $14 a month, but there is also a free trial, so I will definitely check that out.
- Aaptiv- this app allows you unlimited access to thousands of music-driven workouts, created and guided by world-class certified trainers. Workouts include boxing, outdoor running, strength training, stair-climbing, and yoga- just to name a few! This app definitely has more options for workouts than others that I have looked into. The cost is $8.33 a month, but they offer a free 7-day trial which I am excited to check out on our trip!
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!
3.) Stay hydrated
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.
4.) Pack Healthy Snacks
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:
- Organic Raw Cashews and Unreal Dark Chocolate Quinoa Gems that I will add to some raisins and make a big bag of trail mix to bring for snacking
- Yumbutter to add to fruit slices, organic flaxseed bread, or crackers
- Four Sigmatic Chai Latte and Golden Latte Mushroom Mixes that I can add to hot water on the plane
- Free2b Sun Cup Minis to satisfy my husband and I’s sweet tooth
- Mini Pacific Almond Milks to add to coffee or smoothies in the hotel/AirBNB
- Garden of Life Green Superfood Juiced Greens Powder to add to smoothies/water to ensure that we are getting our naturally energizing and power-packed vitamins and minerals
5.) Arm yourself to fight germs
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:
- Clean Well Botanical Disinfecting Wipes to wipe down the bassinet, seats, and basically everything else I can remember to wipe down before touching!
- Two clean crib sheets to put over the bassinet so when I lay him in there he’s not actually touching any part of the bassinet anyways. (I am brining two, one as an extra)
- JustNaturals All-natural Germ Buster Spray– my mom got us this and I will definitely be using it on the airplane and in our hotels. You can spray it on surfaces and let it sit and it is designed to kill germs, molds and viruses. It is also aerosol-free and completely non-toxic.
- Disposable changing pads– this was a great trip from my friend Kristen. Instead of using our changing pad on the gross airplane and airport bathroom changing tables, use a disposable pad so that you can just throw it out after using.
- Thermometer, Children’s Saline Nasal Spray and Children’s Tylenol- at Austin’s 4 month appointment last week we asked his pediatrician if there was anything she recommended we bring and these were her three suggestions. The thermometer incase he happens to come down with a fever, the Tylenol incase he does have a fever, and the nasal spray incase he gets a cold/runny nose. Of course if something serious occurred we would take him to a local hospital, but I thought there were three great suggestions in the event that he ever got a little cold or something while we were away.
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!