Thursday, November 16, 2017

Travel Tips from Dan!

I have a very special guest today on the blog- my husband Dan! This year he started a new job where he gets to travel a ton (and we're talking cool places like San Diego, Charleston, HAWAII...). He's already picked up some great habits on staying healthy while he's out and wanted to share them with all of you! Even if you don't travel for your job, I know this is a busy time of year with visiting family and friends, so I hope you can all learn something new. Feel free to leave your own tips or hacks in the comments- Dan wants to hear them all! Enjoy :)

Hi everyone!

Sorry, it’s been awhile since my last guest post. Unfortunately I haven’t done too much running this year, but I do have some healthy travel tips to share since I started traveling a little more for work. I am by no means an expert, but I wanted to share with you some things I’ve learned and especially invite you to share with me some tips of your own! Some of my advice is health-based and some is finance-based. While being as healthy as you can be, it’s important to save money too, because we want you to be able to afford more trips for many years to come!

My pointers are based on flying to a destination, staying at a hotel for several days to a couple weeks, and being able to pack a lunch box most days. So if your travel consists of driving to a weekend culinary destination where you’ll be walking all day, then feel free to tailor these tips to your individual situation and hopefully they’ll still be useful to you.


In the Airport


  • Do yoga and back exercises the night before your flight. It doesn’t take long to start feeling stiff sitting on that plane. The longer the flight, the worse your body will be aching. Do yourself a favor and exercise a little bit the day before.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring an empty water bottle with you to the airport. Once you’re through security, you can fill up your water bottle at a water fountain or a water bottle filling station. Don’t pay $3 for a 16oz bottle in the terminal. It’s expensive and wastes plastic.
  • DO NOT buy food in the terminals or on the plane. Instead, bring your own snacks, protein bars, crackers, etc. with you. The fast food at the airport is even more overpriced than your local spot, and doesn’t taste any better. It’s also not as nutritious as the snacks you already know and love.
  • Piggy backing off of the last tip, make sure you bring enough snacks for your layover too. Traveling is exhausting and you’ll definitely be hungry after your first flight or two. I’m glad I had these snacks with me for my layover in Charlotte. The water bottle was a reused bottle I brought from home. So, I spent about $2 total on my layover munchies instead of $10-$20 at one of the fast food joints or restaurants in the terminal.
  • If you’re physically able (and especially if you’re not in a rush), always opt for taking the regular stairs instead of escalators or moving walkways. Get those limbs moving and the blood pumping. You’ll be plenty stationary once you’re on the plane.
  • STAY AWAY from Starbucks! I know you love it, I know it’s addicting, I know it’s everywhere… but it’s just simply not worth it. Drink coffee at home before you leave or get free coffee during your flight’s drink service.


On the Plane


  • Speaking of drinks on the plane, opt for water, juice, or coffee instead of soda (pop/coke depending on where you’re from). We all know by now the negatives of soda. Sure it’s refreshing, but you shouldn’t compromise your health just because you’re up in the air.
  • Once again, pack your own snacks.  Not only is this cheaper than buying the pre-packaged boxes on the plane, but you can also have something nutritious and filling.
  • If your flight is longer than 2 hours (or any length if you have an aisle seat), I highly recommend standing up, stretching, or even walking around a little bit. You’ll probably end up doing this anyway to head to the restroom, but make sure you get some quality stretches in too. If you’re in the middle or by the window, I know it’s a pain to ask your seatmates to move just so that you can do some toe touches in the aisle. If you don’t stretch on the plane, make sure you stretch when you land.


At the destination


  • If you can, try to prepare your lunches and dinners most days instead of eating out. This is definitely easier if you scope out your hotel ahead of time and make sure they have a full size fridge and a stovetop. If you’re staying at an air bnb, then of course they have a stove, so GET SOME GROCERIES!
  • BONUS TIP: On my most recent work trip, my 3 coworkers and I ate out on the hotel grill pretty much every night, using food we got from the local grocery store and fish market. This is a pretty cheap and healthy way to eat local food while still socializing and hanging out. It was just as much fun as eating at a restaurant, but for a fraction of the price, plus we usually had leftovers for lunch. Definitely consider this when traveling with a group.
  • Now despite what I just said, I actually do recommended eating out every 3 nights for longer trips. The reason for this is to maintain sanity and to keep your trip new and exciting. Believe me, I understand that eating your own prepared foods gets old after a while, especially on vacation. Following this rule of thumb will help you stay motivated and not burn out, and also end up saving money.
  • When you do eat out at a restaurant, opt for chicken, fish, or vegetarian dishes instead of red meat. For their traditional hamburger recipes, most places will substitute chicken or veggie patties.  On my recent trip, I had a draft beer and veggie pizza at a brewery while watching the World Series. If you’re going to indulge, this is the way to do it- not grabbing fast food every day!
  • Going back to the grocery store, there’s plenty of healthier choices to be made. Choose almond milk instead of regular milk, choose orange juice with added nutrients, and choose bread that’s full of nutrients instead of plain white or wheat.
  • To stay hydrated throughout the trip, I have a specific system down. On the first day when I go grocery shopping, I buy a medium sized Gatorade bottle and a couple of gallons of the cheapest water the store offers. I drink the Gatorade on the first day and keep refilling the empty bottle with the gallon containers of water as needed. This gives me all of my clean drinking water needs for less than $3.
  • Go on walks (or runs!) to explore the city you're visiting.  You see so much more and get in lots of steps when you walk places instead of driving.  Some of my favorite moments of my trips have been going on long walks and discovering cool places that I would have missed.



Question for you all:

We all know that organic food stores have more attractive looking produce. I have read that these places are actually more wasteful and less sustainable since they just throw out a ton of fruits and veggies just because they don’t look as nice. What are your thoughts/opinions on this subject? Thanks!

That’s all I have for now. Happy travels!

1 comment:

  1. As much as I am team pack my lunches & snacks during regular life, I actually usually make an exception at the airport. If I have a longer layover I'll scope out the airport online before I go to look at food options. I take snacks to make sure I don't arrive hangry, but then I usually kill time and get some walking in by wandering around looking at the different options.

    Since I pretty much NEVER get Starbucks something like that is a nice one time treat for me while I suffer through the flying part of traveling to get to the fun part of exploring. I find that these smaller "splurges" keep me from going wild. Plus, airport internet sucks, so I mooch of the Starbucks internet. :)

    Our travel often has us staying in hotels with no cooking amenities, but we enjoy free hotel breakfast whenever it's offered + stop by a grocery store to pick up things for PBJ. That way we can do lunches on the go AND save money. Then we head out for dinner and try new things. And we'll head to a local liquor store to pick up wine or beer to enjoy in our room post dinner - it's way cheaper than drinking at the restaurants!

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