Planning on traveling this holiday season? We’ve got you covered! Whether for work or fun, it’s never pleasant to feel sluggish or tired after a long day of traveling. Here are our top tips for staying healthy and (at least a little) less stressed during your holiday travel adventures.
Whether you’re flying or road tripping to your holiday destination, planning ahead is the key to success when it comes to staying healthy. Plan out what snacks you can bring with you and what you can pick up either on the road or when you reach your destination. Although this may be a bit more time intensive on the front end, packing your own snacks allows you to bring food that is nutrient-dense and energy-filled, which your digestive and immune systems will surely appreciate.
If you’re flying, pack snacks that can easily travel through security and may complement things you can pick up at a grocery store once you’ve landed. If you have the ability, packing a small soft-sided cooler as a carry-on will also give you more flexibility with what you can bring.
Here are a few of my favorite security-friendly snacks:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Power balls or homemade protein bars
- Raw sliced veggies with single-serving hummus or guacamole packs
- Rice crackers with single-serving almond butter packs
- Trail mix or nut and seed granola
- Dried chickpeas (Biena, Saffron Road, or The Good Bean are a few of my favorite brands)
- Rx bars, KIND bars, Lara bars
- Oatmeal cups (just add hot water once you’re through security)
If you’re driving, your snack options are truly endless! I like to travel with a small cooler and will fill this with raw veggies, hummus, guacamole, berries, yogurt cups, and hard boiled eggs. Paired with the above snack ideas, you will be ready for whatever adventure comes your way.
Whether you’re flying or driving, staying adequately hydrated can be a challenge. Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue and headaches. Plus, dehydration often masks itself as sugar cravings… so if you find yourself with an inkling for something sweet, try drinking some water first!
If you’re flying, pack a water bottle and fill it up once you’ve passed through security. Driving? Pack a few water bottles per person and aim to drink one water bottle for every two to three hours in the car.
Staying well hydrated comes with an additional bonus—more frequent bathroom visits. Now this may not seem like a bonus at first, but think of these as mini movement breaks. If you’re flying, it’ll encourage you to get up every so often to stretch your legs, and if you’re in the car, you can turn these pit stops into fun activity breaks.
Sitting for too long is never a recipe for success. Prolonged time without movement can lead to stiff muscles, achy backs, low energy, and sluggish blood. If you’re on an airplane, aim to stand up at least once per hour. Have a layover? Use your extra time to walk around the airport and/or find a quiet place to do some yoga or stretching. Some airports even offer walking courses or yoga rooms.
If you’re headed out on a road trip, plan out a few places to stop along the way where you can explore or go on a brief walk. Any time you stop for a bathroom break can be a great time to do some light stretching to keep your body limber.
Traveling can be stressful enough without worrying about your nutrition or activity goals. In fact, even with the best intentions, if we are overly stressed, this too can negatively impact our digestion and immune function. If possible, try to do some form meditation or deep breathing daily, even if it’s just two to three minutes. At the very least, be kind to yourself, relax, and have fun!
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.