Being unhealthy while traveling will ruin a whole trip. You don’t want to be met with a pounding headache when you are supposed to be meeting the awesome locals. Nor do you want to spend your time in the bathrooms of Paris as opposed to the beautiful streets. Staying healthy while traveling is one of the most important steps to making your trip a success.
I interviewed one of my best friends, nutrition expert, and world traveler, Dani, about her opinions on healthy travel:
Why is it important to eat healthy while traveling?
Dani: “To feel your best, be comfortable, and focus on enjoying your destination… Eating lots of beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables provides so much nutrition and fiber which will help you stay regular. Staying regular is the best way to be comfortable while traveling, especially when you may already be in uncomfortable situations (Buses, Sleeping arrangements, no A/C, ect). Also, staying healthy while traveling may encourage you to bring home the same habits and continue a healthy lifestyle!”
What is the best travel day snack?
Dani: “Fruit! Apples are especially durable and satisfying after walking round for hours. Also, dried fruit is a great way to get some sufficient calories, vitamins, and fiber. (Just be sure to drink extra water). Fresh fruit is available all over the world in markets or grocery stores and it can be a great opportunity to find fruit not available in your own country… Clif bars are amazing for travel too, if you have space in your luggage… They have lots of fiber and vitamins that provide extra nutrition during travel.”
What are the best drinks for travel days?
Of course you should drink water on travel days! But why? Dani told me, “Water is the number one drink for life! … Just have a water bottle, refill it and keep drinking all day… You will be way less tired, most likely have less headaches, and just feel better overall. Plus carrying around a reusable water bottle will not only help the environment but also save you money to do more traveling!”
If you don’t have a good water-drinking-habit built yet, I recommend downloading the Nalgene app! It sends great reminders and motivates you to drink more water every day! You can set your goals, and keep up with how much you have drank, and work your way toward a coupon! (If you don’t already have a Nalgene go get yourself one here or anywhere else that sells them). And if you think that reusable water bottles take up too much room in your luggage, grab a flexible one! Just as much water, much less space! Plus if your Nalgene breaks on the road, they will send you a new one.
If you love coffee as much as I do, don’t fear! Coffee is great to stay healthy while traveling, physically and mentally. Dani says, “There is nothing more intimate and comforting than checking out local coffee shops and drinking a cup of coffee either alone or with your travel partner. It gives you a chance to relax and help you get through the day, especially if you have an early flight or bus to catch.”
Something I never considered is coconut water! However, Dani is a huge advocate because, “coconut water is so refreshing (only from the green ones though, the yellow are not as sweet) and is one of the highest sources of potassium! Potassium is essential to health and people over look its importance. It will help relieve bloating, balance your sodium levels, and improve your blood pressure… There are also many other vitamins and minerals found in coconuts like vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins.”
What is the worst drink for travelling?
We all, hopefully, know soda is aweful for a travel day, but why? Dani answered, “Soda is just full of sugar and dehydrates you because of the sodium and caffeine.” She went on, “Traveling is a great way to break that soda habit! Also milk is one of the worst beverages known in medical journals… Many cultures do not drink glasses of milk… so it’s a great time to kick that dairy habit!”
Sleep and Relaxation
Dani said, “to rest as much as possible. Yes, traveling is exciting and we ant to go do as much as we can but it is fine to have frequent days of relaxation.” I agree 100% with her, during my first week of my first long term trip I didn’t think I should go to sleep early nor sleep in- I thought resting was “wasting time”. But now I try to sleep 9 hours every night, and allow myself to rest at least once every day. This has made my time abroad much more enjoyable.
Matt, Dani’s boyfriend and my friend also wanted to add that “if you are prone to heartburn, always bring antacids. You may eat foods that are strange and might not know that they’ll trigger indigestion until an hour after you’ve eaten!”
Apples are a great healthy option that you can take in your carry-on
All fruit is a good option at all times!
All water, no soda.
Coffee is good too.
Why don’t you have a Nalgene?
Sleep and relax!
Enjoy your travels
About the interviewees
Dani and Matt are one of the awesomest couples I know, I mean hey, they answered all of my questions for this post!! They are currently traveling in Costa Rica and for the next year after they will be teaching English in Spain.
They plan to start a travel blog just for Vegans and for those seeking Vegan options while traveling! Stay tuned, I will put the link here!
Do you have any health tips for traveling? Or any bad stories about a time you wish you hadn’t ate something…? Let me know by replying below!