Traveling is a great part of many people’s lives. For the most part, traveling for business is much harder and more stressful than traveling for pleasure, but both can derail your progress if you aren’t careful. Even though it may only be for “a few days”, a vacation from your normal fitness habits can threaten your long-term goals – and make it very difficult to get back on track towards reaching them.
Here are a few Dos and Don’ts when traveling if you are looking to keep those abs when you get back from your trip.
DO: Know your local grocery stores
You wouldn’t leave without knowing where you are staying, right? Approach this the same way. Search online for the closest grocery stores, like Whole Foods (which will even cook your food for you) and other markets where you can pick up some healthy pre-made foods.
DO: Bring a Food Scale and a small indoor grill
Some hotels won’t allow you to bring your own grill, but some will. If you’re allowed to have one in the room, you can cook all, or most, of your meals and measure them out like you would at home. This can be annoying, of course, but it is the best way to ensure you will stay track with your goals.
DO: Call the hotel ahead of time
Contact the hotel where you are staying and ask if they have a microwave and/or mini fridge. If they don’t, at least now you know and can prepare ahead of the game. Some hotels have shareable microwaves on certain floors where you can heat up your own food. Preparation and planning ahead is without a doubt the key here.
DO: Order custom meals
There are a number of companies who pre-make custom meals. It’s as simple as going to their website, selecting from their healthy menu choices and having them deliver the meals to your hotel – they even come in their own Styrofoam coolers. Re-fill that cooler with ice from the hotel ice machine and voila! All you need to do is heat them up.
DON’T Trust restaurants
You can’t rely on the hotel or nearby restaurants to cook your perfectly non-oil, non-butter, served-without-spices chicken with broccoli. Most restaurants cook with oils and butters – and their wait staff may not even know it. So even if they said they didn’t cook with those ingredients, how can they guarantee it?
DO: Research the hotel fitness center and nearby gyms
Most hotels these days have at least a few pieces of cardio equipment and a dumbbell rack. Some, however, don’t – so don’t assume yours will. In that same vein, most hotels don’t have dumbbells heavier than 50 or 60 pounds. If you need more than that, you’ll either have to tailor your workout to the equipment or find another place to train.
DO: Bring resistance bands
You can throw most sets in your luggage, and most are small/compact enough that they won’t take up much extra space or weigh down your suitcase. This will ensure you can get in a workout every day, regardless of what time it is – even if it is just for 15 or 20 minutes in your hotel room.
DON’T: Expect all gyms to stay open late
Your home gym might be open well into the night, but don’t rely on all gyms being the same. If you do find a gym your hotel, make sure to look up their hours of operation. There’s nothing worse than getting motivated for a workout only to show up and be locked out of a closed gym because you didn’t do your homework.
DO: Buy small ziplock bags for your supplements and powders
So you might be thinking that having a ziplock bag with some white powder passing through security is a tad sketchky, right? Possibly. But most airport security will simply ask you to open your own supplement bags (if you decide to bring a few) and that’s it. The best thing you can do is before you leave buy a bunch of the small ziplock baggies and make packets to take with you. Use a sharpie to label each small baggie is so you don’t lose track later. Another great way is to travel with your supplements in a fish-hook plastic container. These will separate all your pill supplements for you and make carrying them around easy as well.
There’s no reason to be unsuccessful with your fitness/wellness lifestyle when traveling. Stay prepared and stay healthy and on track with your goals no matter where you go.