6 Ways to stay healthy on a long tripPublished 09/02/2022
When you’re going on a short holiday you probably completely indulge in the local cuisine, without a care in the world that it might be unhealthy. You can go back to veggies and fruits when you’re back home. But if you’re a slow traveller, digital nomad, or going on a world trip, you might start to worry about your health a little more. Because how do you make sure you don’t gain 10 kg after a month of pizza and gelato in Italy? It’s easy to lose track of your healthy eating habits when you’re exposed to so much delicious temptation. So I will share 6 tips to stay healthy on a longer trip.
Skip public transport as much as possible
I always stick with the rule that if I can walk to where I’m going in a maximum of 30 minutes, I’ll walk. And on my days off I might walk for hours, just going from place to place and taking my time for it. I also check the time it would take me to get somewhere by public transport. Let’s say it’s a 40-minute walk and 25 minutes by tram or metro, but the tram only goes once every 15 minutes and you’ll either arrive 10 minutes before your meeting time or 5 minutes after. If you care for being on time, you’ll choose to wait those 10 minutes, right? Add those 10 minutes to your travel time, making it 35 minutes. Why not leave 5 minutes early and walk for 40? You will notice that the more you do this and just count on the walking time, the easier it gets to walk long distances. I sometimes spend my whole day walking from place to place and then realize I was on my feet for 5 hours without a problem.
Have at least 1 healthy meal a day
It’s so easy to just eat out all the time when you’re exploring a new place. You don’t want to miss out on all the good food places and people are always asking you to tag along. Try to stick with one healthy meal a day. Whether that’s one homemade meal or a salad for lunch, doesn’t really matter. Just make sure that you don’t get dragged into those days where breakfast leads to coffee and cake, which leads to lunch and then leads to dinner and drinks, and you saying “I’ll try again tomorrow”. Either make it a structured thing to start with a healthy breakfast, or force yourself to choose the healthy option over the unhealthy. Even if it means salad for dinner out, while that pizza just looks so good.
Snacks should be treats
Do you eat cake or dessert or ice cream on a daily basis when you’re not travelling? No? Then don’t do it while travelling. Again, if you’d be on a short holiday for a week, there’s no harm in eating whatever you want. But if you’re staying for a longer period, there’s no need to get a snack on a daily basis. We easily adjust to eating habits and before you know it, it became a routine to always have a sugary dessert after eating out. And you might even be buying desserts for after your home meals. Try to keep snacks as treats, when you really crave some. Snacks are way better when you really want them anyway.
Compare restaurant meals with what you would eat, if you’d make it for yourself. Even though something like avocado toast or a smoothie bowl is super healthy, it’s often a lot. If you would only make yourself one slice of toast for breakfast, 2 slices in a restaurant are basically a double meal. Do this 3 times a day, and you’re practically eating for 2. You can go crazy every once in a while. But doing this 4 days a week will get you in trouble. Finding places where the portion sizes are better suited for you or where you can choose sides separately, will help you reduce your portion sizes while eating out. Or only get a quick smoothie or street food snack for lunch, instead of a whole new meal after you had a big breakfast.
Bring sport bands
Of course, you can always look into a gym membership. Plenty of gyms offer one-month options, so if you stay in one place for longer than a month, this might be the best solution. However, they are often expensive or there isn’t one close by or it’s just hard to fit in a good workout a few days a week. Then those sports bands are an absolute lifesaver! They are small, so they easily fit into any suitcase or backpack. They come in different strengths so you can pick the one that fits your personal strength. It’s so easy to just squeeze in a 30-minute workout during the day or in the evening, just to tighten the muscles a bit. Either set up your own workout plan or find your favourite YouTube workout videos.
Rest, rest, rest
I understand you want to see everything and do as much as possible. But sleep is very important. If we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies tend to crave unhealthy food. So not getting enough sleep, will risk you grabbing a bag of chips instead of some fruit or yogurt as a snack. And I don’t think many people will be able to push themselves to a work-out or a long walk instead of taking public transport, after a lack of sleep. So make sure you get enough rest, to be able to follow up on the above-mentioned tips.