How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

A must-read before you travel! These 7 essential tips will keep you feeling energetic and healthy while on the road.


Is it just me, or don’t you just feel like you have to hit the gym and go on a diet every time you return home from a trip? It’s like you went on a vacation from everything, including your usual routine, so you feel like you have to get back to it right when you get home. To me, this was a huge issue after coming back from two big trips to Greece and Africa. I had fun, but I ate poorly, slept poorly, and didn’t take care of myself at all. It made me realize that I needed to find a way to incorporate healthy habits into my traveling schedule. So I made a list of habits and things that I thought might help and tried them out on the next few trips I took. I felt soooo much better throughout my trip (and after!) that I just had to share it with my fellow Urbanette’s!

Here are the healthy habits I (now) stick to as much as possible when traveling:

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Packing Workout Outfits

This is the perfect way to make sure that you have the right mentality before you even start your trip. Many people pack by thinking of what they are wearing and when, so if you tell yourself that you have to pack at least one workout outfit, then you’ll be much more likely to find the time for a workout in your schedule. Also, packing an entire outfit with sneakers (which take up a lot of suitcase real estate, so wear them on the plane) will make you try even harder to make sure you use it. A few things that I tend to forget are hair ties, a pair of headphones and a reusable water bottle, so definitely do not forget those. You want to make it feel as much like your normal routine as possible, so make sure you take everything that you would normally use during your workout.

Staying Active

If you are on a beach vacation, take a swim in the ocean. Treading water alone can help you burn between 200 to 600 calories per hour, so all you need to do is jump in. Even if you’re on a relaxing getaway, try to do ten pushups, sit-ups, or yoga stretches every so often to get your heart rate back up. Little exercises here and there will help keep your metabolism up throughout the day. During my trip to NYC, I was shopping and eating the entire time, so I made sure to walk more than five miles each day to stay somewhat active.

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling


This goes with staying active but it deserves its own explanation. Although stretching in the morning might not be apart of your normal routine, it is the best way to start a day full of activities. Your metabolism starts up and your muscles wake up after a night of sleeping. You can even stretch in the shower, while getting dressed, and in the elevator going to the lobby. Incorporating a stretch here and there will help your muscles stay warm throughout the day.

Try to eat vegan. You’ll remove the risk of getting sick or picking up a long-term stomach parasite (yuk!).

Sticking to Healthy Snacks

Temptations are everywhere, especially at the airport, but try to resist the urge to grab a bag of chips or M&Ms. Instead, grab almonds or fruit and don’t forget your big (reusable) bottle of water! Or, better yet, shop for snacks that are compact and travel well (like nuts and organic food bars) before you go so you never end up hAngry (you know, when you’re soooo hungry you get -ahem- a bit grumpy). Staying hydrated will help you curb your appetite and keep your energy up while traveling. Always opt for bottled (preferably in glass) spring water rather than fake, flavored water like Vitamin Water, which is mostly just sugar (junk food posing as healthy). Your body needs pure, unadulterated water to stay hydrated and healthy.

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Eating Plant-Based, “Tapas-Style” Meals

Many restaurants do not have a tapas-style menu, but it is easy to split dishes between your travel mate(s) and get a taste of everything. By having your meals “tapas-style”, your brain will interpret the different foods much quicker and register that you are full, faster. This way you can eat less and feel full, which is especially useful ifyou can’t find healthy food. If your brain is concentrating on one entree, it takes longer to register fullness and you tend to eat it faster than you would a “tapas-style” meal where you need to stop and change dishes, and your brain is registering a lot of different flavors. This is a great trick for when you’re at an airport, since the food is almost always seriously unhealthy. Also, if possible, try to eat vegan. You’ll remove the risk of getting sick or picking up a long-term stomach parasite from undercooked meat (this happens more often than you’d like to know!), and it’ll leave you feeling energized, instead of sluggish and sleepy.

Cutting the Alcohol

Yes, you are on vacation, but do you really need to have five beers in one sitting? If you are trying to get that vacation buzz, try a tequila on the rocks, a gin and tonic, or a vodka soda. Much of your calorie intake (and your hangover) comes from the sugar in what you drink, so try to pick drinks with the least amount of sugar and carbs. Your body will thank you in the morning!

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Taking Coffee Black (or Espresso)

Waking up to a large cup of coffee with sugar and milk may sound like the perfect way to start the day, but if you are trying to maintain your waistline while traveling, watch what you put in your coffee. A shot or two of espresso by itself is the perfect way to amp up your energy while staying healthy on vacation. If you must have milk, opt for almond, oat, or soy milk. Cow milk is inflammatory and causes your body to create mucus (yukkk!) — neither of which sound good at any time, but especially while traveling!

Next time you travel, remember to pack a workout outfit and go into your vacation with an active mindset. Stay hydrated, exchange chips for fruit, and keep your heart rate up! Just those three things alone will help you stick to healthy habits while on the road.

Avatar of Lauren Liebler

Lauren is a half-American, half-Cuban native of Miami with a passion for writing. She started writing as a freshman intern and found her way to a career in publicity. She is an avid traveler, devout foodie, and frequent shopper, but above it all, she believes that finding a balance is the key to living a wholesome life and staying levelheaded.

Reader Discussion: 67 Comments

  1. Avatar of Eloise Ferris

    Eloise Ferris

    Mmmm.. I love the idea of taking black coffee 😉

  2. Avatar of Lana Wiliam

    Lana Wiliam

    Thanks for writing about staying healthy while on a trip. Travel well, my friends!

  3. Avatar of Paul Daiz

    Paul Daiz

    Great tips! When I travel I make sure to drink lots of water and limit alcohol!

  4. Avatar of Angela

    Excellent tips! I especially like the one about “eating meals ‘tapas-style'”!

  5. Avatar of Selli Coaze

    Selli Coaze

    Oh wow! Helpful tips! I’d better start following these. The truth is, I struggle to eat healthily and do workouts when I’m at home… How much more when I’m on a trip?!

    • Avatar of Christen


      It is actually easier for me when I’m travelling because usually I stay active and walk a lot to visit. Also, I find the healthy vegan food very interesting to discover while I’m visiting another country! And you have a great state of mind that will help you move and eat clean!

  6. Avatar of Josephine Murphy

    The best tip I can share, “fix your attitude before getting on a plane (or car), have your fitness goals ready!” I do this, I’m sure others can to…

  7. Avatar of Genie Mackenzie

    Genie Mackenzie

    YES! Making an effort to be active is VERY IMPORTANT!

  8. Avatar of Juli Woods

    Juli Woods

    I’d like to add, as much as possible, get adequate sleep and rest 🙂

  9. Avatar of April Henry

    April Henry

    Whenever I’m on vacation, I start my day with fresh fruit, yogurt or cereals.

    • Avatar of Carla Peters

      Carla Peters

      I haven’t tried fresh fruits in the morning. I always choose coffee I guess. What fruits are you taking? is it grapes? apples? I cant take oranges in the morning.

  10. Avatar of Hena Taylor

    Hena Taylor

    Yeah temptations! Can I be honest?! I’m finding it hard to resist bag of chips whenever I travel… *sigh*

Load 10 more comments

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.

All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.