A change in schedule or environment can really challenge your healthy intentions. While you usually have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, at the airport, a bagel and cream cheese will have to do. And yes, you would normally snack on almonds during the day, but eh, Peanut M&Ms are close enough.
When you’re on the move, it’s just so easy to give up on your healthy lifestyle and give in to the guilty pleasures. But starting a trip off on the wrong foot can set you up for a series of bad choices while you’re away. Avoid falling off the health wagon during the busy holiday season with these healthy travel tips.
1. Stay hydrated
Rather than buying water (or soda) everywhere you go, bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up at the water fountain before you board your flight (after you go through all security check-points). Portland’s international airport (PDX) now has designated water-bottle-filling stations (inside the Northwest Travel Mart). Your everyday goal should be eight cups per day, and since plane travel is dehydrating, on travel days you should aim for an additional cup or two.
2. Eat a healthy airport meal
They do exist. If you’re looking for breakfast, grab some oatmeal or a fresh banana at Starbucks (located at both SEA and PDX) or Coffee People (PDX). If you’re traveling during lunchtime, choose a vitamin- and protein-packed smoothie at Jamba Juice (PDX) or a salad at Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express (SEA). And if you need a quick dinner, enjoy a meal at the brand new PDX Food Carts section in the airport, which includes delicious food from local carts/restaurants like Koi Fusion and Pok Pok.
3. Pack your own snacks
One problem with eating at the airport — healthy or not — is price. Save yourself some money by bringing your own travel snacks. Combining protein and healthy carbs will help you stay satisfied and energized through a long flight, so think nuts, all-natural bars (like KIND Bar or Larabar), crackers with nut butters, or good ol’ fruits and veggies. Also, with goodies like these in your carry-on, you’ll be less likely to get that chocolate bar before boarding.
You’ve been running around all morning. So if you’ve got a little extra time before your flight, visit the Massage Bar at SEA to receive a 15-minute foot and seated chair massage. And if you really deserve a break, head to Butter London and get yourself a mani-pedi. It’s okay to treat yourself — we told you to.
5. Keep moving
Try to stay on your feet before your flight, especially since you’re about to sit for a while. Walk around the airport, do some gentle stretches or simply stand with your back against a wall, shoulders down and back, spine tall, practicing good posture. Learn some do-anywhere workouts so you can energize your body while you’re waiting to board, and in the hotel or at your in-laws’ house after you land.
6. Boost Your Blood Flow
For longer flights, wear compression socks to help improve your circulation and blood flow on the plane. Also, be sure to roll out your ankles in-flight, and get up and stretch in the aisles. Your joints will thank you.
7. Stay comfortable
Stress affects your body as much as your mind. So do whatever it takes to make yourself less stressed on your flight. Download a new movie or book for some escapism en route, bring along a neck pillow or eye mask to help you fall asleep, wear noise-cancelling headphones to tune out other passengers — whatever helps you feel comfortable, do it. It’ll be worth it.
Check out some more tips on how to stay healthy when you travel, and if you have any travel advice, please share with us by leaving a comment below.
Happy and healthy holiday travels!