5 Tips for Staying Healthy and Well While Travelling
Travelling can be an incredibly exciting, stimulating, and life-changing experience.
You’re soaking up new environments and cultures while making friends and trying your best to keep in touch with your loved ones back home. But as enjoyable as it is, it can also be exhausting.
Being out of a routine can feel freeing and liberating, but keeping track of how you’re doing both mentally and physically when on the road is particularly important to ensure you stay at your best and such a combination is known as wellness travel.
“Wellness travel promotes your health and wellbeing, both physical and mental, through activities that you do during your trip.” - We Travel
So whether you’re away for a few weeks or a year at a time, we’ve put together some top tips for keeping happy and healthy while on the move and how you can give the right amount of attention to your wellness.
What do you enjoy doing to keep fit at home?
Whether it’s running or yoga, HIIT classes or karate, there are often free or cheap ways you can keep up your favourite activities while on the move. Of course, don’t put pressure on yourself to exercise as often as you might normally do at home - after all, there are hundreds of other distractions and activities you could be doing while away that don’t involve being stuck inside a stuffy gym.
You may even end up walking further than you imagined, probably swimming in the sea and maybe even engaging in brand new types of exercise that comes with exploring a new culture - whether it’s Muay Thai boxing or American football.
But if you find that you’ve stiffened up from long train or plane journeys, or you simply need to reconnect with your body, perhaps try some YouTube videos like Yoga with Adrienne, that can be practised even in small spaces like hostels or hotel rooms.
“Wellness is taking over as travellers seek out healthier, more active vacations”. - Leslie Barrie, Skift.
There are also plenty of useful fitness apps out there like Nike Run Club and 30 Day Squat/Ab challenge which allow you to track your progress and workout in short bursts.
If you have a travel buddy, maybe suggest some short workouts that you can do together. That way, you’ll both feel more motivated and it will feel more enjoyable and less of a chore to fit around your travel schedule.
Taking some time every now and again to pause and check-in with your mind and body is just as important - if not more - when you’re travelling.
Meditation can seem strange to start with, and some people just feel like it isn’t for them. But with the help of apps like Calm and Headspace, you’ll find ways of practising mindfulness that suit you and easily fit in with your daily schedule.
Even practising meditation for a few minutes a day, or just trying out the breathing exercises on Calm can help you regain some mental clarity.
Calm and Moody Month created for women to track their hormones and cycles - also allow you to log how you’re feeling each day and leave notes to help you assess what it is that made you feel a certain way. Did spending three days reclining on a beach make you feel relaxed and happy? Or anxious and stressed that you were missing out on other activities? It can be really useful to get an idea of the travel activities that boost your mood, and those that you should maybe try doing less of.
Much like mindfulness apps, journaling gives you a space to express your thoughts and feelings, and reflect on what’s happened in the day.
It can be incredibly therapeutic and even comforting to write about your experiences - especially when you’re constantly taking in so much new information. Keeping track of your travels can help you in the moment, allowing you to asses your likes and dislikes from being on the go, as well as when you return home and have a thousand memories to reflect on.
And who knows, maybe your travel diaries could one day be turned into articles, blog posts, or even a novel!
Having a good book to read, whether you want to pack a couple of well-loved paperbacks or you can’t imagine travelling without your kindle, is always a good idea for when you’re away.
Whether you’re solo travelling or with a group, a book can provide a bit of comfort and entertainment while on long journeys, on the beach, or if you just want a relaxed evening in. If you have space for more than one book in your luggage, try to take one easy read and one more gripping book, so you have an option for when you just want to zone out and another for when you really want to get stuck into a story.
You’ll also find that a lot of hotels and hostels have communal bookshelves so you can swap your reads along the way with other travellers, so you don’t need to worry too much if you speed through your the only book you’ve packed in your first week away.
While travelling is the perfect opportunity to meet travel buddies and perhaps even life long friends, it’s important not to get carried away with always trying to be socially engaged.
Listen to your mind and body and learn to realise when you’ve reached your limit. And, especially if you’re on a longer excursion, try your best to pace yourself and realise you don’t have to say no to everything. Take rest days from time to time and try to get a good amount of sleep when you can - especially if you’ve had a bout of early starts and uncomfortable train journeys.
If you do miss out on a social event, don’t feel guilty about it, and know that there will be many others to join in with over the course of your travels.
Most importantly, just be kind yourself and travel in a way that suits you best.
Wellness travel doesn’t have to be an entire trip dedicated to being healthy. But what it does require is for you to take a conscious approach to working on your wellness, whether physical or mental. If you do so, it will improve your trip endlessly and allowing you to feel full of energy for the rest of your adventure.