How To Stay Healthy And Feel Great While Traveling

fuel Mar 08, 2023
How To Eat Healthy While Traveling

It’s easy to justify unhealthy choices while traveling, and especially while on vacation—after all, it is a time to relax, refresh and recharge. That being said, throwing off restraint, though it feels natural when you’re away from home, doesn’t help you recharge the way you think it does, and often results in post-travel remorse. Let’s talk about how to stay healthy on your trips, and avoid post-travel remorse.


Know Your Personal Lifestyle Boundaries 🔔

You have boundaries you’ve set up in your life to help you get the results you want. That means your boundaries are important, and shouldn’t be thrown away too quickly. The first thing to consider as you work toward staying healthy on your future trips is the current boundaries you’ve set up in your life, and why they’re in place.


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Why Do You Eat Healthy On A Daily Basis? 🥗

When you choose to eat a healthy meal, there’s a reason. In the back of your mind, you’re quantifying the benefits of having a healthy diet. Junk food is still appealing (though perhaps not as appealing to you as it used to be), but you’ve chosen different diet choices for you and your family—diet choices that will build up your health instead of tear it down.


What Does Taking Care Of Yourself On A Daily Basis Give You? 🧐

You have habits you’ve formed over the years. You worked hard to put these habits in place to gain certain things. A few of those things might be:

  • Extra energy
  • Waking up feeling amazing
  • Having a sense of purpose
  • Being centered throughout the day
  • Being calm and peaceful
  • Having a fit, healthy body
  • Staying mentally sharp
  • Investing in relationships

You have the habits you have because they give you something. They help you lead a lifestyle more in line with who you are as a person, and who you’re becoming.




What Boundaries Do You Need To Abide By In Order To Prioritize Your Health Daily? 🌅

In other words, what are the key things that if you don’t do, your health suffers, and you feel terrible? This could be anything, but think specifically about what they are for you. Maybe a few are: drinking enough water, keeping sugar consumption low, getting enough sleep, or investing in relationships.

Once you have a few in mind, it’s time to keep them forefront while traveling and remember why you do them in the first place. Remind yourself that they give you a good return on your time investment, and that doesn’t change just because you’re traveling, and a new environment is making performing your habits harder. You’ll still benefit immensely from practicing the positive habits you’ve spent years building. So do whatever you have to to keep up these good habits while you’re traveling so you can feel great during the trip and beyond.


A Healthy Lifestyle Is An 80/20 Philosophy 💕

A healthy lifestyle operates on an 80/20 principle. 80% of the time, you exercise, sleep well, and eat healthy, wholesome, real food. Because this is the majority of your lifestyle the majority of the time, you don’t have to feel guilty on special occasions when you stay up late, or enjoy foods that fall outside of what you normally eat. That 20% can be enjoyed guilt free since your normal lifestyle keeps you at your peak and helps neutralize some of the negative side effects of the 20%.


The 80/20 Philosophy Applies Daily 💧

That being said, the 80/20 philosophy applies on a day by day basis. You need to eat well 80% of the day to indulge in the 20% and still feel good. You can’t exercise every day for a week, and then skip exercises for a week and still feel great. And you certainly can’t get 12 hours of sleep a night for a week leading up to vacation, and ditch sleep for a week of partying.

You’ve experienced what it’s like to lean too hard into the 20%. If you spend a full day just eating low quality food, you feel it that night or the next day. If you’re too sedentary for more than a day or two, your body starts to complain, and you feel low energy and sluggish. If you don’t get enough sleep for two or more nights in a row, you’ll feel yourself slowing down, and having trouble focusing.

There’s no substitute for a healthy diet, exercise, and solid sleep, and you can’t save them up for later.


Don’t Freak Out. Enjoy Yourself 100% 🌟

Keeping the above in mind, enjoy yourself while you travel. Find ways to make your habits more fun, and vary your typical diet without sacrificing your health. There are plenty of new foods to try out there that are still wholesome and won’t make you feel awful.

You can also find new ways to exercise that you find more enjoyable in a vacation or travel setting. And if you have the flexibility, you can adjust your sleep schedule to something that feels more refreshing to you.

We’ll discuss more ways to vary your routines below so you can still enjoy great results while having the flexibility to adjust to your new surroundings.


Different Types Of Travel, And How They Affect Your Healthy Choices ☔️

There are many different reasons we travel, each requiring a different approach to maintaining our healthy lifestyle. The length of the trip, where it is, the purpose, and what mode of transportation we’re using all factor in.


Visiting Family Or Friends 🏡

Visiting family and friends is really fun, but it will take some planning to keep feeling good while you’re there.

Depending on the family and friends you’re visiting, they may make different nutrition choices than you’re used to. Nowadays, most people ask if you have any diet restrictions, so that’s a great time to let them know what your diet looks like these days. Be okay with food that’s not exactly in your revolving menu (the 20%), and stick to the options on the table that you know fit more with your lifestyle (the 80%).

Exercising and sleep are other considerations, but these are usually pretty easy to work with in this scenario. If your family or friends are night owls, they’ll usually sleep late, and if they’re early birds, they’ll usually go to bed early, so you can typically fit in a nice night of rest one way or the other. For exercise, take frequent walks or runs, and use body weight exercises to stay energized during your stay.


Traveling For Holiday Or Vacation 🏖

Let’s face it. When we’re on vacation, the temptation is to throw out our normal routines and fully enjoy all the trappings. But this isn’t as satisfying as it sounds, and never ends well.

Instead, plan out a few indulgences and enjoy them to the max. And you’d be amazed how little you need to truly feel luxurious. We all know that if you stuff yourself with candy bars, there’s nothing appealing about them after the tenth one. Less is often more in this kind of scenario. Pick a few desserts you’ll indulge in. Find one or two favorite snacks you’ll have between meals. Beyond that, treat yourself to your favorite healthy foods during meals, and you’ll have an awesome vacation, and feel great while enjoying it.


Traveling For Work ✈️

Honestly, this is perhaps the most important time to stay focused on maintaining healthy boundaries. Unlike vacationing, traveling for work can be incredibly stressful. On top of the new places and people you’d have to deal with on a vacation anyway, you still need to maintain your company’s brand, and actually get work done in a place you’re not used to. You don’t have your favorite nook to work in. You don’t have your coworkers around. The structure that helps you get in the right headspace for working just isn’t there.

And as if that wasn’t enough, you usually wind up working longer hours with having slept and exercised less than usual.

Here’s where doing everything you can to maintain your healthy habits is crucial. Under this amount of stress, you need to use every tool in your tool belt to stay at the top of your game.

Make sure to drink plenty of water and get as much sleep as you can. When going out to eat, choose options that will give you long-term energy, and not just exotic foods that will make you tired and bloated all day.

Do simple exercises or go on walks in between meetings or in the mornings. Anything to stay active.


How To Keep Your Healthy Boundaries When Traveling 🔔

While traveling, it’s so tempting to throw off every good habit we’ve developed over the years because it’s hard to maintain them in unfamiliar contexts. Something about the new environment and special circumstance gives the less disciplined part of our minds an opportunity to advocate for less healthy choices.

Looking into our past, most of us would agree that this less disciplined part of our minds has gotten us into a lot of trouble, and caused us regrets and more than a few extra pounds.

Let’s take a look at how to deal with this less than helpful voice in our head so we can enjoy a wholesome travel experience, and benefit from the good habits we’ve taken the time to develop.





Your Lifestyle Boundaries Are Your Template When Traveling 🍽

You’ve spent years investing in good habits. How many times have you said “no” to something negative to say “yes” to the right thing? You’ve put in a lot of work, and built up an impressive array of good habits that help you reach the health, mental, and relational goals you’ve set for yourself.

You’ve formed these habits for a reason. They’re helping you. Keeping you safe and on track to enjoy your best life.

So instead of throwing them away while you’re traveling, lean into them. Allow them to enhance your time traveling. Keep eating healthy, keep exercising, keep up your morning routine, and keep telling yourself the truths you need to hear to be your best self.

During a vacation or business trip, these habits might look different. That’s okay. Maybe instead of getting up at 6am, you get up at 8am. Maybe you don’t have access to the same exercise equipment you’re used to. No problem. Do push ups, lunges, and squats and pack a jump rope. Go on a walk around your hotel. It doesn’t have to look the same as it does at home, but you’ll feel so much better when you keep up the spirit of your positive habits, and keep reaping the rewards even while traveling.


Don’t Plan On Detoxing When You Get Home ❌

If you’re thinking, “I’ll eat whatever I want here on vacation, and then just diet hardcore once I get home,” you’re setting yourself up for failure, and will definitely experience some post-travel remorse. The problem with this line of thinking is that it gives your body the justification it’s been begging for to eat whatever unhealthy (but guiltily delicious) thing it wants. And by giving your mind a way out, it’s playing along.

Instead of giving your mind and body a pass to pig out and make you feel terrible for two weeks after you get back home, why not stick as closely to your normal diet as you can so you can:

  1. Feel awesome (and guilt free) all vacation long
  2. Slip right back into your normal routine

To be realistic, we have to admit there’s a part of us that loves letting go and bending boundaries every once in a while. But how much good does that really do us when we feel terrible afterwards?


Allow Yourself To Indulge While Keeping Yourself A Priority 😎

We often think that on vacation or a special occasion, we have to indulge in everything our mind tells us to or we’re wasting the opportunity. This is what we’ve been waiting for for months. But giving in to the part of your mind that’s known for making chronically bad decisions just isn’t the best plan for true relaxation and refreshment. Listening to the part of our mind that’s worked hard to develop healthy habits that make us feel like our best self is a much better plan, even while on vacation.

That being said, there are still plenty of ways to indulge without feeling terrible afterwards, and compromising your health. Here are a few ideas:

  • Diet: Eating a lot of surgery, fast foods on vacation might taste good, but it affects your sleep, makes you feel awful, and leads to weight gain. Instead, choose the meals you love and make sure they’re made with wholesome ingredients. There’s no reason the occasional dessert needs to be a health concern. Pre-choosing healthy snacks to have between meals is another idea to keep you from consuming every form of junk food that crosses your path. {Check out our “Dining Out & Eating On the Go Guide here}
  • Sleep: Going to bed late and getting up late isn’t as refreshing as going to bed earlier and getting up earlier after a deep, full night of rest. But staying up late on vacation is almost inevitable, so just be sure to sleep as long as you need to, and take naps as necessary.
  • Exercise: This is probably the biggest one that people like to ditch when on vacation. A great way to handle this is to pick some activities to do while on vacation that keep you active. Swim in the lake or pool, go walking at a local market or event, or find a sport to play with your friends or family at a local park.

You can still indulge in things you normally wouldn’t get to do at home, but they don’t have to be things that work against your health and well-being.


Tips For Eating Healthy On The Go 🚗

Traveling often calls for diet changes, but that doesn’t mean you have to revert to the least healthy option available. With a little planning and foresight, you can change up your diet, and still eat healthy and feel great.


Balance Your Plate: Protein, Carbs, Fats, Etc. 🍽

Instead of focusing on foods that tend to be carb heavy just because they’re most appealing or available (desserts, packaged snacks like chips or crackers, and soft drinks), intentionally look for ways to add healthy carbs, fats, and protein to your plate.

This could look like having a hamburger, chicken breast, or some hummus for some protein, or olive oil and sprinkled parmesan for healthy fat. Add some colorful root vegetables and mixed green salad or quinoa for complex carbs, and top it off with some fruit for a wholesome meal. The key is that when you look at your plate, you shouldn’t just see a bunch of one thing. Mix it up, and try to get a little from each of the above categories for the best results.


Pack Food If Necessary When Traveling 🛒

Sometimes travel destinations simply don’t have wholesome food options. All you might have to depend on are chips and soda (not the healthiest diet by anyone’s standards).

To avoid fasting or subjecting your body to whatever junk food is available, you can bring your own wholesome food with you. Mini coolers are great travel companions (depending on how you’re traveling) which you can stock with cheese sticks, fruit, or boiled eggs. If you can’t bring a cooler, try bringing dry goods like dried fruit, trail mix, beef sticks, or protein bars.

At the end of the day, you’ll feel better if you stick with more healthy options, even if it takes a little more time up front to prepare them.


Drink Plenty Of Water And Stay Hydrated 💧

Traveling can take it out of you. And for some reason, it’s easy to forget to hydrate when traveling. Drinking enough is critical for helping your body function at its peak. When in a new environment dealing with different foods than your body is used to, staying hydrated becomes doubly important.

If you don’t normally bring your own water bottle with you, your next trip could be the excuse you need to start. Having your own water bottle gives you more options for staying hydrated, and finding water on the go. If you’re flying, most airports have water bottle filling stations by the water fountains, so you can fill up and take the water with you to your hotel room, or next meeting.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll have fewer headaches and feel less fatigued if you make hydration a priority.




Take Action! 💥

  • When on vacation, try doing non food related activities
  • Define your 80/20 rule for yourself. What does it look like for you on a daily basis?
  • Download our “Eating on the Go” guide 



🐄 Beef Sticks

🥾Trail Mix

🐻 Keto Sour Gummies

💜 Chia Fruit Pouches

🍫 RX Bars


Conclusion ✔️

Traveling doesn’t have to be a cheat on your health. It should expose you to experiences, culture, and relationships that enhance your existence without taking years off your life. To fully enjoy your trip, no matter what your reason for travel is, keep practicing your most essential habits. When you do, you’ll experience greater resilience, enjoy yourself more, and avoid post-travel remorse when you arrive back home.


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