If you know me personally, you’ll understand two very important facts about me. #1: I really LOVE to travel, and #2: I am not willing to compromise when it comes to my health, and that of my energetic 7-year old son.
But the problem is, when we pack our bags and head off into the world, all of these good habits can slip. Like any other parent out there, when faced with a long and arduous journey, hungry child and a vending machine filled all manner of junk food, I will succumb.
And of course, I pay the price. Our moods quickly become manic, those excess pounds slowly creep on my tum, and I end up feeling horribly sluggish, uninspired, and fit for nothing but lying in my AirBnB rental.
So over the years, I’ve come up with a trick or two that will help you to keep glowing and feel awesome no matter where in the world we might be. Want to stay healthy whilst travelling? Keep reading!
#1 Eat real foods
You absolutely can be vegetarian (or vegan) when you travel and still eat the kind of mouth-watering food you want to. You really don’t have to live on cheese baguettes (been there, done that!) nor endless portions of rice and beans unless you really want to. And you most definitely don’t have to turn to McDonalds and potato chips from the nearest takeaway either. You simply need to switch your habits.
Do what the locals do- stay in a place with a kitchen (AirBnB is brilliant for this) cook from scratch using local produce and create delicious and nutritious foods that will keep your energy levels up all day long. Extra bonus- it also helps to keep the price down so you have more money for all of that fun stuff, like whale watching in the Azores…
Also get your planning head on and pack fresh fruit, nuts and seeds for those moments when little tummies start grumbling.
#2 Get enough sleep
It’s not always easy to get enough rest when you’re living a globe-trotting lifestyle. You have those red-eye early morning flights, late night arrivals into strange cities, and long bus journeys to contend with. Not to mention working on location and adjusting to new time zones.
That’s why I’d urge you to make sleep and rest your priority. Don’t set your feet onto solid ground only to dash off immediately ticking off all those sights you want to visit.
Chill out, relax, get an early night, eat some nourish food, and try to find your balance again. Don’t expect yourself or your kids to be superheroes on arrival- there’s plenty of time for that!
#3: Find a rhythm to your day
Rhythm is vital for all of our lives. Our bodies rely on circadian rhythms to help them function, our minds rely on the rhythm of the day to signal whether it’s time to get energetic or time to relax. This is especially important when it comes to our kids.
Most of us already have this rhythm to our day, whether we realise it or not. Just because you’re in a different place, doesn’t mean that you can’t do this. This doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing as you do at home, nor does it mean that you can’t decide to be really spontaneous one day and get out there to do whatever takes your fancy. But it does mean the day will ‘make sense’ to your kids.
So grow your daily rhythm organically, find what works for you family and stick to it.
#4: Get outside!
Travel shouldn’t just be about trailing around those tourist attractions and wasting hundreds of sweaty hours on the metro. Give your health and happiness the biggest gift possible and get out there into the fresh air. Explore the natural landscape around you, take deep breaths of healing air and feel gratitude for where you are. Forget the art galleries and museum and enjoy! Kids love to explore parks and playground all over the world, rivers and streams, climb trees, balance on walls and yes, even swim in the sea.
#5: Don’t stress
It’s easy to get stressed when you’re travelling. There’s those annoying passengers that insist on sitting right next to you on your transatlantic flight, long and painful flight delays, buses that ‘forget’ to stop where there supposed to and luggage that can disappear without warning, leaving you stranded for the duration of the trip.
But don’t let this beat you. You don’t have to feel like this. You have control over how you are feeling at every moment. So instead of watching your blood pressure fly through the roof, take some deep breaths and allow all of the muscles in your body to relax.
Travelling the world with kids doesn’t need to mean the end of all of your healthy habits. You absolutely can stay glowing and happy whilst making the most of your trip! Find what works for you.
Image © Kiran Foster