This post is about staying healthy both physically and mentally while traveling. I've long struggled to not let going on a trip rock me completely off the "healthy boat". I've always felt like trips were a time to indulge like you'll never go back to a place and completely live it up, but here are some things that I have found helpful to live my best life -- enjoying traveling while simultaneously staying healthy.
Before we went on our most recent trip to Europe, both Josiah and I starting drinking a tablespoon of elderberry syrup every morning to help support our immune system. It's definitely a new thing for us, but neither of us got sick before, during, or after our trip so I think it is going to be something we do in the weeks leading up to traveling from here on out.
Bring whatever supplements you take daily. You're already going to be thrown off your routine in a lot of different ways, you might as well try to keep that on track. Really the only supplement that I take daily is vital proteins collagen. I've been taking it faithfully for almost a year now and can definitely notice the positive effect it has had on my gut health. For that reason, I never want to miss a day of taking it, especially when traveling. Vital proteins has single servings of collagen that make it convenient for travel. Personally, I prefer just to scoop what I think I need into a baggie or glass container and travel that way because it is much more cost effective, but it's really nice to have the option.
walk as many places as possible
Walking is my favorite way to see a new place. Not only is it free, but when you walk you are able to go at a slow enough pace that you can fully take in your surroundings. The fact that walking while exploring a new city doubles as exercise is just a bonus. If walking isn't your thing or you're a little tight on time, rent a bicycle. You can still get a little exercise in, but get around a lot quicker.
SLEEP if you have an overnight plane ride
This was a game changer for me. The last time we traveled abroad our flight was overnight, but I didn't sleep. That probably was mostly because I was so excited about everything that we were about to see, but this time I forced myself to sleep a good portion of the flight and it made it much easier to adjust to the local time once we landed.
Get on their time zone
This goes along with sleeping on the plane. If you had an overnight flight, once you land, change your watch to match the local time immediately and stay awake until that evening. We landed at 7am Amsterdam time and although it felt like it was midnight for us, we went and had breakfast and then continued to explore until it was an appropriate time to go to sleep (which I think we decided was 7:30pm). We then slept the entire night and were able to wake up and fall asleep at an appropriate time the rest of our trip. Staying awake the entire first day was a struggle towards the end, but it made the rest of the week so much easier.
Research restaurants in advance
As someone who has dietary restrictions, this was so important. I researched restaurants that not only met my dietary requirements, but also had creative and interesting dishes. Taking that little extra time to research made the trip less stressful because we knew we had options that would leave us feeling great.
Indulge when you want
Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever food items you want. If you're up for some crepes, even though you just had some gelato, go for it. Listen to your body and do what it wants! Obviously I'd recommend still respecting your dietary-requirements, but you're the judge of how each food makes you feel, so if it's not worth it, don't eat it. And if it is, go for it!
Don't indulge if you don't want To
If you're not feeling like indulging in some Parisian chocolate, skip it. Just because you likely won't be back for a while doesn't mean you HAVE to EAT ALL THE THINGS. Before this trip to Paris I kept dreaming about chocolate croissants. The first time we were in Paris I LOVED the chocolate croissants and imagined I would want to eat as many as I possibly could in the short time we were there. Ironically, as soon as we arrived in Paris, I didn't want a chocolate croissant anymore. The craving had passed and I ended up not eating one at all during this trip. If you don't really want to indulge, don't.
try to maintain some form of routine
When traveling, life can feel so hectic, so I feel that it it is very important to maintain even a small amount of routine. For me that was journaling and reading a short devotional before heading out to explore for the morning. It was very brief and might sound meaningless, but it helped me feel grounded.
If I don't drink enough water I feel sluggish and often times get a headache. Do not forget to drink water! Even if you're on a plane and worry about bugging your neighbor to pee, drink, it will make you feel better.
DOn't plan too much
This one might not work for everyone. For Josiah and I, this looks like not having a hard and set schedule. Although we research restaurants and attractions that we want to visit, we try to give ourselves a lot of room to let the day take us wherever. It keeps our stress levels low and allows room for spontaneity, which for us, is what travel is really all about.
Skip the makeup
Don't wear makeup on the plane. I did this once and immediately thought, WHY. It always exaggerates the amount that planes already dry my skin out so I always just sport a bare face when flying. Then, when I arrive at my destination I'll moisturize and apply some makeup.
I get a lot of headaches when traveling. Mostly related to motion-sickness (it's how my motion-sickness first shows itself before I start to get nauseas) so when I start to feel one coming on I just rub a little bit of peppermint oil on the back of my neck and it usually goes away pretty quickly.
So there you have it, my current tips and tricks to stay healthy while traveling! If you have any additional tips for traveling healthy, let me know! I would love to hear them!