Ever feel like you need a ‘vacation after your vacation?’ 

Returning home completely exhausted, undernourished, dehydrated, stressed, and inflamed can make it feel like travel is an “all-or-nothing” approach. Many of our clients have experienced this “ON or OFF” mentality when approaching travel, but we at Move Fully Nourished are here to share an alternative that offers rest, nourishment, less stress, and feeling rejuvenated upon your return. 

Traveling to a new place often includes enjoying and experiencing the culture through food–as it should–but when trying to work toward optimal health,  we need to be mindful in order to create a positive travel experience!

Apply these ‘Healthy Travel Tips’ to your next adventure!


It’s All About Balance–Energy

No matter where you go, or the activities you set out to do, our number one principle when it comes to health is always balance. Planning back-to-back activities with little sleep or laying on the beach all day with no movement at all, are both extremes that don’t provide your body with balance. In order for our bodies to excrete the toxins we are exposed to while traveling, we need a balance of movement and rest. Try to schedule fun activities including movement during your trip, but also set aside time strictly for relaxation!


Take Deep Breaths 

When traveling, even the most scheduled trip can be upset by delays, missed flights, traffic jams, or unexpected closings, which can be a major source of stress.  It’s important to ‘go with the flow’ while traveling, and practice mindfulness by taking deep breaths. Use long lines, waiting for a travel mate to get ready, and other frustrations as an opportunity to practice resilience and awareness of your breathing and emotions. If this is a foreign concept to you, just try inhaling while thinking “breath in” and exhaling while thinking “breath out.”


Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Dehydration is a serious problem while traveling. When our bodies are dehydrated, our metabolism gets sluggish, and detoxification pathways excrete less. Therefore, we absorb fewer nutrients from our food, and we don’t think as clearly. When traveling people often feel restricted because of rules about liquids getting through security at an airport, or not wanting to stop to go to the bathroom multiple times on the road. However, making an effort to stay on top of hydration helps keep inflammation levels down and the other important functions of your body humming along. Plus, those bathroom breaks get you up and moving. We recommend purchasing a large stainless steel or glass water bottle to take with you at all times–you can carry it through security empty and fill it up as soon as you get to your gate, or have several filled bottles in the car with you to sip on!


Tune in to your Hunger and Nutritional Needs

Whether you are eating in a restaurant or preparing food for yourself, pay attention to your choices.  At Move Fully Nourished, we encourage our clients to prioritize protein, non-starchy vegetables, smart carbs, and healthy fats on every plate–we call it our PVCF model

Without this PVCF  balance, we find ourselves feeling hungry and/or uncomfortable within a short period of time. This often leads to food cravings like sweet treats and processed convenience foods that contribute to the groggy feeling many experiences on vacation! No matter what plan you are following while traveling, this model always applies–even if the ratios are altered based on your needs, goals, and health conditions–the PVCF model works every time. 

It’s also important to tune in to what your body is telling you. If you find yourself snacking without hunger or finishing your meals–even the very last bite–but feeling sluggish, stuffed, and like you need a nap afterward, then clearly you aren’t listening to your body cues. Remember, you ALWAYS have the choice to choose how much and what to eat, especially when traveling.  By all means, eat the gelato in Italy if you want it, but make sure you are eating it to enjoy it and not just to finish it because ‘it’s there.’ Bonus points for preceding the gelato with a roasted veggie protein dish for a little PVCF combination!


Snack Well

There are certain times when snacks–or small meals–are essential while traveling. For example, at an airport, on an airplane, on long road trips, or while hiking. Prepare balanced snacks in advance to bring with you. Also, you can bring almost anything–food-wise– with you through airport security as long as it’s not liquid. Think hard-boiled eggs, carrot and celery sticks, an apple, and a package of dry roasted almonds. Create your own bento box and voila!

If you need to buy something while traveling, think PVCF. Chances are you won’t find a completely balanced meal but hopefully, you can locate something nutrient-dense like nuts, fresh fruit, or a good quality protein source to tide you over until you reach your destination.


Know Your Triggers

How well do you know your body? Do you know which foods upset your stomach? Or that too much caffeine can cause anxiety? 

Learn to listen to your body and start to identify your triggers so you continue to enjoy your trip without the crash and burn. Remember, no ‘cheat meal’ is worth feeling uncomfortable or bloated when you are trying to have fun with your friends or family.


Include Joyful Movement

Your body needs movement for optimal function. Often when traveling, exercise routines such as going to the gym and attending group sessions go out the window.

However, there are so many joyful ways to move our bodies to support our health. Depending on where you are in the world: try a drop-in exercise class, or follow along with an online app, go for a local hike, explore nature, find a secret beach, dance the night away, swim some laps in the hotel pool, jump in the water for water aerobics, do some gentle stretches, the list is endless, just move your body in a way that feels joyful for you!

Part of enjoying yourself comes from feeling well, so remember that just because you are in a different zip code doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of yourself!  When you nourish your body and balance your activities, it gives you more energy to explore, adventure, and enjoy, leaving you with memories to cherish forever!

Try applying some of these principles to your next trip or long-term travels–happy adventuring!



Your Online Dietitian Coach, Ashley Anderson MS, RDN, LDN, CPT, PN1 

Your Online Dietitian Coach, Rachel Brown, RD, IBCLC, CDECS, MBA

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