If you travel pretty frequently for trainings and industry conferences like I do, you know how being away from home can disrupt your regular routine. All of a sudden, you’re eating out instead of meal prepping, skipping workouts, and frazzled from a jam-packed schedule and very little rest. My solution is to plan ahead. Here is my go-to Travel checklist for fitness professionals & enthusiasts.
Tip #1: Book the Right Hotel
For the exercise inclined, a good hotel is made up of far more than it’s star rating and amenities. When I’m searching, I always look for the following options:
- A suite with a full kitchen. I got into the habit of booking suites while trying to maintain a food budget. Not only is it more affordable to buy your own groceries, but if you have as many dietary constraints as I do, it just makes sense to make it yourself.
- A fitness center. Sure, I CAN work out in my hotel room, but I’m more likely to get in the mindspace for a full body workout when I’m in front of dumbbell rack and cardio equipment.
Tip #2: Give Yourself a Travel Buffer
When I made the switch from pursuing that research life to a life of fitness, I made a promise to myself:
I will never compromise my health (mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical) for the sake of a man, money, or someone else’s comfort.Nadia Santiago circa Fall 2011
Stress can take a huge toll on even seemingly healthy, happy individuals. We live in such a fast-paced society, that most of us are hard pressed to simply slow down long enough so that we can bring ourselves back to balance. The travel buffer is an easy way to take advantage of already scheduled time away from the normal grind. It’s simple really:
- Arrive a day early.
- Stay for an extra day (or at least an extra 6-12 hours).
“But that’s impossible!” you might think. Before you object, just know that this buffer doesn’t have to be all play. Research actually shows that a little bit of solitude and space in your schedule goes a long way in boosting productivity, creativity, and innovation. Bonus for my fellow introverts out there: You also get to mentally recharge.
Tip #3: Research Nearby Restaurants
There’s a good chance that you will have to eat out at least once, even if you booked that suite with a kitchen. The best way to navigate around this is to Google or Yelp local restaurants with healthy options.
- Start by searching “Organic Restaurants.” More often than not, restaurants that are organic will have the MOST healthy options, along with options for allergies and food sensitivities. Find out why I (a self-proclaimed skeptic) made the hard switch to organic in my blog titled Top 5 Lessons Learned After Becoming A Nutrition Coach.
- Browse their menus before you go. This practice has helped save me a TON of time and effort. The last thing you want to do is show up and find out you don’t want what they have to offer.
- Ask if they deliver. I recently started doing this. To my pleasant surprise, I’m finding that most restaurants these days are available for delivery through services like DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates.
Tip #4: Pack Your Workout Gear
It’s only natural that you wouldn’t want to sweat in the formal wear you brought for work or training. Last thing you want is the excuse of improper clothing to keep you from getting a quick workout in. Pack the essentials:
- Workout Top
- Workout Tights, Shorts, or Sweats
- Sports Bra
I personally bring one outfit for each day, two if I’m traveling for a fitness-oriented training. A good rule of thumb is to consider your weekly workout routine and do the math. If you’re staying for a week and work out three times a week, bring 3 outfits.
Tip #5: Bring Supplements with You
Last but not least, bring any regular supplements you take with you. This may include one or more of the following:
- Greens powder
- Protein/Meal Replacement Shakes
You don’t have to bring the entire bottle of pills or the giant jar of protein in your pantry. Just pack small portions in mason jars or a BPA free alternative. This aspect of your routine is important, so avoid skipping it if possible. Your body will feel better if it gets the nourishment it needs.
Which one of these tips was new to you? Also… Do you have your own travel checklist? Share your thoughts in the comments below!