The Top 10: Healthy Travel Tips

Faced with long flights, abysmal airline food and tempting foreign delicacies, travelers often worry about staying healthy while on the road. So we gathered our favorite tips from Indagare’s in-house fitness experts and community of health gurus. Read on for our best advice for traveling healthfully, whether for work or vacation.

Interested in a health-focused journey? Contact Indagare for customized itineraries and recommendations.

Our Experts

  • Kelly Brennan: Indagare travel specialist and licensed nutritionist
  • Gina Paoloni: Indagare’s president and a marathon runner
  • Linda Wells: Founding editor-in-chief of Allure magazine and current chief creative officer of Revlon
  • Corie Tappin, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.: owner of LA’s SoulSpace
  • Isabella Channing: Owner of the Shack Yoga (Bridgehampton and José Ignacio)

On the Road…

Plan Ahead
For early morning flights, we recommend preparing overnight oats or portable snacks the night before to avoid rushing and making unhealthy choices in the airport. We also recommend bringing a reusable water bottle (approved by TSA) so you’re not limited to the six-ounce water servings onboard. Another must-pack essential is wet wipes. “Since planes are notoriously dirty, I bring wipes to clean surfaces that my children and I will be touching,” says Indagare Insider Corie Tappin, whose other tried-and-true wellness supplies include chloroxygen, for managing altitude; ganmaolin, a Chinese herbal formula, to ward off colds and flu; a Z-pack; and saline nasal spray.

Hydrate and Stretch
A major key to healthy travel is hydration, hydration, hydration. It’s easy to forget to drink water even when we are home; couple that with not having ready access to reliably potent water when traveling and we risk dehydrating ourselves. Make drinking water a priority. A good tip is to set a reminder to rise from your airplane seat every two hours on long flights to stretch, preventing tight muscles and stimulating circulation, and use that time to get a glass of water from the flight attendant.

Get Acclimated
When you arrive at your destination, try adjusting to the time difference immediately, even if it means taking a short nap. Your sleep schedule will benefit later.

Related: Indagare Favorites: Wellness Escapes

Staying Active …

Make Time to Exercise
Building activity into your itinerary is critical. Include a hike to explore a new area, or consider a bike tour to see a new city. If a morning workout is part of your routine at home, try to keep up with it on your vacation. The best hotel gyms, according to Indagare Insider Linda Wells, are in the City of Light. “At the Peninsula Paris, the trainers go out of their way to make your workout fun. And the pool at the Ritz Paris is poetic.”

Mix it Up
Use your trip as an excuse to incorporate variety into wellness routines. “I encourage people to be creative and not too regimented with their exercise programs,” says Corie Tappin. “It’s great for your body to mix things up a bit.”

Be Realistic
It’s crucial to set realistic expectations about working out. “I used to always get really thrown off-kilter when I traveled,” says Indagare Insider Isabella Channing. “Then I perfected my twenty-minute exercise routine that I can do anywhere. The best part is that I don’t impose upon myself any more than twenty minutes.”

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: Spa Hotels

Get Moving
If all else fails, get moving. “I always bring my running shoes so I can exercise if I don’t have access to a gym. Walking is a great way to get to know your way around a new place and get your bearings” says Indagare President Gina Paoloni. “I like to walk everywhere to give me a sense of place, to inhale the fragrance of a city and listen to the people. And if I get lost (which I usually do), all the better,” says Linda Wells. “Some of the best hikes I’ve taken are on trips that weren’t hiking-centric. One of the most transporting is the Path of the Gods, above the Amalfi Coast. Everyone is so busy getting to the water that they don’t look in the opposite direction, up in the hills, where meandering paths are free of crowds and offer picture-perfect views of the coastline.”

At Mealtimes…

Strike a Balance
While dining out on vacation is half the fun, it’s important to strike a balance between staying healthy and enjoying yourself. Indagare’s Kelley Brennan recommends choosing one meal each day to be your “splurge” and ordering lighter fare for the other two. Indagare Insider Linda Wells advises postponing indulgences until the end of the trip: “When I go to Antigua, I don’t have a rum punch until the second-to-last night, because it’s packed with sugar.” Be aware of alcohol and its empty calories. “Don’t be tempted by sugary drinks like piña coladas, which contain a hefty 650 calories,” advises Indagare president Gina Paoloni. “Instead, choose a glass of rosé wine, with just eighty-three calories. In fact, have two!”

Embrace the Destination
That said, it’s important to enjoy local cuisine—especially when savoring foreign delicacies. “I’d rather indulge a little on a trip than miss out on something special,” says Indagare Insider Linda Wells, who advises staying away from the mini bar and instead buying snacks at local markets. “It’s a sad situation if you go to Paris and skip the croissant or the soufflé. I come from a family of food lovers, and some of my best memories are of the meals we had on trips.”

Practice Moderation
While staying healthy on the road is important, so is moderation. You don’t want to deprive yourself of one of travel’s great benefits: stepping out of our comfort zone. “We learn that we don’t need to rely on our gym or yoga studio or healthy supermarket next door,” says Isabella Channing. “We launch a bit into the unknown and are forced to find inner resources to maintain balance. This work, although it can feel hard at first, is the most valuable.”

Related: Just Back From…The Golden Door

Indagare Tip: Snack Smart

To curb cravings and avoid tempting airport munchies, we recommend packing snacks so you always have a healthy option on hand. Here are some of our favorite items:

  • Nuts
  • Protein bars (with less than five grams of sugar)
  • Justin’s individual peanut-butter and almond butter packs
  • Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Rice crackers
  • Tea (peppermint and bedtime)
  • High-quality probiotics, including omega 3s and grapefruit seed extract

Interested in a health-focused journey? Contact Indagare for customized itineraries and recommendations.

– Blair West on April 11, 2017

Column

Quotable

While it’s impossible to avoid changes in your diet and exercise routine when traveling, breaking out of a routine can cultivate a newfound connection with and awareness of ourselves. It is what helps shift our perception and deepens our knowledge of the world.”
~ Isabella Channing, owner of the Shack Yoga (Bridgehampton and José Ignacio)

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