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Travel Often by Traveling Healthy

Keeping a healthy lifestyle can be challenging at home and feel downright impossible when you’re traveling. But when you and your group travelers are getting ready for your next trip, you can take some steps ahead of time to ensure your upcoming adventures don’t derail your health journey.

You’ve been taking care of yourself lately with regular exercise and a better diet, but you just booked a tour and know from experience you don’t usually make healthy decisions. A lot of tours include a lot of food stops, from meals to snacks, and you enjoy treating yourself to some delicious bites along the way. And sometimes on tours, you sit a lot when traveling from city to city. Touring days often begin early or end late, which limits your time for going to the gym. 

You may come home from a trip of too much food and too little exercise regretting the decisions you made. But healthy travel is possible, and you can help the travelers in your group prepare for healthy trips by following these steps.

Get Your Steps In

When you receive the itinerary for an upcoming, take note of the times your days begin and end. A lot of tours provide a tentative schedule. A tentative schedule can allow you to plan for time in the gym, and just about every hotel or resort has a gym. Make sure you pack the proper clothing for the environment and a different pair of shoes to work out in. If you plan to do laps around your hotel, you might want a long sleeve shirt if it’s going to be cool outside. When you arrive for your stay ask the front desk where the gym is located and when it’s open. Then make sure the health-conscious travelers in your group know those hours.

Research your hotels prior to the trip so you’ll be aware of the amenities provided. Swimming in your hotel pool is a convenient way to exercise without giving up too much of your fun time. Some resorts offer yoga, aerobics or other classes. Call ahead and ask your hotel or resort if there are walking trails nearby or what is offered for exercise. Many hotels and resorts have options to allow you to stay fit while traveling — just ask!

Each day of your trip is likely to be different. Some days you might walk enough to have more than your daily amount of steps. Most itineraries indicate walking tours, or you can ask your tour company which days you and your group should prepare for a lot of walking. 

Eat Smart

Of course, many people’s favorite part of travel is eating! When traveling, you get to experience different foods — and usually a lot of them. Trying foods from a new area can be a lot of fun and create long-lasting memories, and a food tour or culinary adventure can be a highlight of your next trip. And they don’t have to leave you bloated and uncomfortable. 

Prepare in advance by checking your itinerary to see what meals are included. Try the healthier option at some meals, and when you’re on your own for a meal, choose a healthier option. Don’t just settle for what’s convenient — be willing to ask around for healthier food and walk a little bit farther to find it. 

Keep in mind your breakfast decisions often set the tone for the rest of the day. So, when you walk into the breakfast room, avoid heavier foods such as biscuits and gravy and instead opt for some eggs and fruit. Encourage your travelers to do the same. Eating a healthy breakfast starts you out right for the day. You won’t feel bad when eating your next meal, and it helps you make better decisions as the day continues.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

When you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, travel can feel like a weight-gaining trap. But you can travel in a healthy way and still enjoy exercise and healthy meals. Staying healthy on the road requires planning, mindfulness and flexibility. But it also requires you to allow yourself to indulge from time to time without feeling guilty about it. And when you’re leading a group, keep in mind your choices will impact their travel experiences. Sometimes, you may need to eat what they’re eating to help them enjoy their experience as much as possible.

You might not be able to eat and exercise as we do at home while traveling, but with a bit of effort, you can make some healthier choices. Don’t forget, it’s OK if you don’t always make the healthier choice! Travel guilty free — the gym will always be waiting when you return home.

Ashley Runyon

Ashley Taylor is a longtime bank and travel club planner. She lives in Ashland, Kentucky, with her family of six.