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Healthy Travel Tips

by: Dr. Mary Claire Haver
Featured image for the Healthy Travel tips blog post of a map with a printed photo on top as well as a sun hat and some sunglasses.

Where is your next trip? West Coast? East Coast? Europe? South America? My husband and I recently returned from a trip with friends in Colorado. I faced some of my biggest fears around heights. Our group scaled the exhilarating Via Ferrata in Telluride, and I highly recommend it. 

Table of Contents

Best Practices for Traveling to Your Destination:

One thing that can trip you up when traveling is running out of time and options when it comes to eating. Whether you are driving or flying to your destination, planning what and when you will eat can be just as important as knowing what route you will take or when your flight leaves. 

Before you leave home for a road trip, plan a few nice spots where you will stop to enjoy your meals; hopefully, you’ve built enough time into your day to take a break from driving and enjoy your surroundings! 

#1 Tip for Traveling: Bring food!

If you are on a road trip, bring along a small cooler for the car and pack it with healthy food items; nuts and seeds, easy to eat fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and apples, cheese sticks, cut-up veggies and hummus, beef jerky, and yogurt parfaits are some of my favorites to bring along on the road.  

Infographic titled "Staying Healthy While Traveling" which outlines the contents of the post.

If you are flying to your destination, pack healthy snacks in small bags and enjoy them at the airport or while in flight. 

By bringing food along for the ride/flight, you have control over what you are eating, and you know that you are making healthy choices. 

Last but not least: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

If You Have to Eat on the Road:

Stopping for food in a restaurant or relying on what is available at the airport or on a flight can be tricky; you may struggle to find something that fits with your healthy lifestyle and end up either eating inflammatory foods or not eating at all. Instead of being stuck between a rock and a hard place, plan ahead and enjoy your journey! 

If you end up stopping to eat along the way or at the airport, don’t give up on your healthy habits. Order something that will be a good combination of healthy fats, lean protein, and minimal carbs. 

Pull quoate graphic with an assortment of healthy snacks on the left and a quote from the post, "If you end up stopping to eat along the way or at the airport, don’t give up on your healthy habits."

In a restaurant, ask for substitutions like sliced tomatoes or avocado instead of fries. 

If you make a quick stop at a gas station mini-mart, look for nuts, fresh veggies, and cheese sticks instead of overly processed foods like chips and soda.

At the airport, choose a fresh salad or wrap that doesn’t have creamy dressing; you may be able to buy lean protein like chicken or a hard-boiled egg to add on the side.

Check out my recent freeway pit stop:

Tips for Enjoying Your Destination:

Build-in time each day for yourself. You may have a day filled with work meetings and events or a day filled with family fun time at the pool; whatever your reason for travel, plan ahead once you reach your destination so that you can set aside time for self-care. 

Pull quote graphic with an old alarm clock to the left and a quote from the post, "day filled with family fun time at the pool; whatever your reason for travel, plan ahead once you reach your destination so that you can set aside time for self-care."

When I travel, I like to get up early each morning and take a short walk or meditate. By taking 30 minutes for myself, I feel centered and ready to take on the day.

It can be a challenge to fit in exercise when traveling. When possible, I make time to visit the hotel gym or go for a run. At the least, I always take the stairs. 

If I’m traveling with family or friends, we try to schedule outdoor activities like hiking (a family favorite) along with relaxing. 

If you are staying somewhere with a pool, on a lake, or near the ocean, swimming and other watersports are great ways to combine exercise and lots of fun for the whole family.

Eating in restaurants can be another challenge when traveling. For tips on navigating a restaurant menu, see my previous blog on tips for eating out.  

Once You Return Home:

Before arriving home, I like to make a list of things that I need to do and set some priorities for the upcoming week. When I walk in the door at home, I feel less anxious because I already have the week planned out.

Unpack as soon as possible. I’ve found that if I wait more than an hour or two to unpack, my suitcase will probably sit for a few days before I get around to unpacking it. Sometimes I have to force myself to unpack, but I’ve found that it is a great way to avoid feeling disorganized once I’ve returned home.

Did you overindulge a bit while on your trip? Did you skip doing regular exercise? No worries! Start fresh on your first morning back and reset your eating and exercise habits back to pre-trip mode. 

If you get a flat tire, you don’t slash the other three tires, right? Be patient with yourself and focus on getting back to your healthy at-home routine.  You’ll be back to your best self in no time!

With an anti-inflammatory approach to nutrition, Dr. Haver has found an innovative solution that actually works at this time in our lives. The Galveston Diet can help women in menopause feel more confident in their skin.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency room immediately.

The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.

While the information on the site was prepared to provide accurate information regarding topics related to general and specific health issues, the information contained in the site is made available with the express understanding that neither Dr. Mary Claire Haver,, nor the other experts on the site, nor the site itself, nor members of the Site are dispensing medical advice and do not intend any of this information to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.


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