Shawn Johnson's the body department - healthy traveling

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

I wanted to share some of the things that I like to do to stay healthy when I travel. Staying healthy while traveling can seem like an oxymoron, especially if you’re planning a beachy relaxing vacation, when the last thing you’ll have on your mind is exercising or vegetables. And it shouldn’t have to be, traveling should be a time to enjoy yourself, and let go of the pressures of everyday life. It’s important to let yourself indulge while on vacation, while still caring for your body and treating it right. For me, this means eating healthy when I can and saying yes to every gelato stand I walk by.

Whether you’re heading off for a tropical locale, cross-country road trip, or a European adventure, here are some tips to keep your body and your mind healthy along the way.

Snacks always. One of the things that saved me on my Euro-trip last summer was that I had stuffed a rather large bag of snacks into my carry-on, and I did not regret it one bit. Even though instant oatmeal and sugary granola bars may not be the healthiest options, they are better than nothing, and having familiar foods on hand is really nice. Depending on where you’re traveling you’d need to check the rules for food you can bring in and out of the country, but for the most part — protein bars, trail mix, instant oatmeal, stevia and other wrapped foods are a-ok!

I know, I probably sound like your mother speaking, but taking your vitamins is really going to keep your body and immune system running at peak performance while on vacay. You come into contact with so many people while traveling, in airports, public transit, etc, exposing yourself to tons of unknown germs and sicknesses. And ain’t no body got time to be sick while on vacation. Bring along a multivitamin to take everyday day and maybe a few packets of Emergen-C if you do start to feel sick. Also, traveling puts your body under a lot of stressors, whether you feel it or not, so taking an Adrenal vitamin is going to help your Adrenal glands keep your Cortisol (stress hormone that can do some major damage to your body) at a healthy level!

Whether you’re lounging on a beach in Cabo or sight-seeing some ancient ruins, its important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water throughout the day is going to keep your immune system up, your metabolism going and is going to keep you energized for exploring!

Trying to get a workout in while on vacation sounds like a big ‘ole nope to me. But what’s great about traveling is that you really can’t get a feel for the area unless you walk everywhere like the locals do. So forget about your early morning workouts and just walk. Walk everywhere, you’ll see so much more of your surroundings and you’ll get your body moving while you’re doing it.

Eating out for every meal can be expensive, so give your wallet a break and scope out a local farmers market or corner store and have a picnic instead. You’ll most likely find some great deals on local fruits, veggies, fresh-baked breads and cheeses and you can enjoy a lovely meal outside in a park or square. All the locals are doing it, so go and join them!

Traveling with friends can be a wonderful bonding experience and you’ll be sure to come home with memories you’ll never forget, but I found it helpful to have some alone time, even just for a few minutes a day. It gave me a chance to think and take in my surroundings. It’s also a great way to combat the too-much-togetherness problem that is bound to happen sooner or later when you live and breathe every second with your travel buddies. While traveling I like to go sit at a cafe, drink some coffee and appreciate everything that I have seen and done that day.

When you’re not in a familiar environment it can be easy to let your healthy eating habits fall by the wayside. Making sure to eat enough food and get the right nutrients for the day is so important and will make your trip even that much better. Go ahead, be daring and try the local grub, the famous pastry, (hello to all the chocolate croissants) but make sure you get some greens in and maybe a piece of fruit or two. Listen to your body, eat when you’re hungry and don’t over do it too much.

Last but certainly not least. Journaling for your mental wellness. Traveling opens your eyes to so many new sights, smells, people and experiences that it’s a shame to not have them saved for later. Take some time each day to jot down a few things that happened and how you felt by them. It’s so fun to go back later and read what you wrote. I advise getting a journal with a pocket in it so you can save little things from your trip to glue in your journal later. I saved random little subway tickets, museum passes and other mementos that I can look back on later.

So there you have it, a few of the things I do while traveling to keep my mind sharp and my body healthy.

*This post was originally published on Lacey’s website, Runs & Roses. For more from Lacey visit