It's summer, which means most people are traveling (even I have a rare vacation scheduled for August!). I've always been one to love being home and my routine, so traveling isn't always easy, but I have learned over the years how to make traveling easier
and less stressful, especially for when you get back!
1. Always Pack Snacks
Whenever I know I have a trip coming up, I head to Natural Grocers (the best place in Lincoln I've found with real food snack options at decent prices) and start throwing a little bit of everything in my cart. They have jerky bars (Epic Brand is my favorite), seaweed snacks (they taste better than they sound), nut and seed bars (try Primal Kitchen, Larabar, or RXBars), banana/coconut bites, and all sorts of interesting items that will not only travel well, but will also suit my real food dietary needs (and they taste so good).
2. Do Research Before You Leave
Find out what restaurants are in the town you will be staying and/or if there is a decent grocery store nearby (especially if you are staying more than a day or two). I like to browse through menus to find the best restaurants that will have a mix of new items to try that will also keep me on track (and not feeling sick). Plus, I'm weird in the fact that I love exploring grocery stores in other cities. In both Portland and Denver in the past year, I explored their Whole Foods stores and found lots of interesting items that we don't necessarily have here.
3. Stick to a Sleep Schedule (as much as possible)
I've never flown anywhere longer than 2 hours out of my timezone (again - haven't traveled much!), but I do know the importance of keeping your circadian rhythm on track as much as possible. If you can, upon arriving, try to acclimate your body to the new time zone, whether that means staying up an extra hour to your "normal" bed time or going to be a little early to get on track. This is also a time that I wouldn't mind recommending melatonin, especially if you struggle with sleeping in new places or will be really tired and jet-lagged. I do caution with dosing though and recommend 1mg or less! Chamomile tea is also another nice calming, relaxing option that isn't a pill/supplement!
4. Don't Slack on Water
Just because you are away from your routine doesn't mean you should (or can!) slack on water. Stick with drinking half your bodyweight in ounces plus 1.5 x the amount of diuretics you drink (which might happen to increase on vacation too!).
5. Find Yourself a Kitchen
If you are staying a while, look into staying at a place with a kitchen, even if it's small or just a microwave. I've gotten by in a lot of hotels with just a microwave. Yes, I enjoy exploring new restaurants, but sometimes I just want to keep it simple, save money, and cook something where I'm staying!
6. Keep Moving, But Don't Fret on Exercise
I used to stress over keeping up with my exercise routine while traveling, but now I just make it my goal to move as much as possible. Usually that comes by walking, but if there is a gym available to me, I might check it out too. I don't always though - sometimes it's nice to just give my body a few days rest! Either way, don't let the stress of missing a workout cause more harm than good!
7. Relax! Don't Overwhelm Your Schedule
Last but not least, enjoy your vacation. Take some time to simply do nothing - sleep in and enjoy a lazy morning or have an afternoon or night in the hotel just to relax. When we live lives that are so overscheduled, it can be tempting to treat our vacations the same way! But a vacation should be a time to get away and relax, not try and pack as much or more into our schedule than we normally do.
If you are traveling this summer, I wish you all the best! Enjoy the new views and time away.