Brittany: Healthy travel tips

Hi friends! I’m on vacation right now, but have some fun plans for the blog until I’m back in blogging action. Today’s guest post is from the lovely Brittany, who recently got married! We’ve been friends for quite a while, and I’m so excited to have her guest posting today. Read on for some of her healthy travel tips! xo, G

Hi Fitnessista readers! I’m Brittany the lady behind Eating Bird Food, a blog that features healthy and delicious recipes, workouts and and a glimpse into my daily life. I’m a full-time marketing manager for an online grocery store as well as a health coach, newlywed and mom to a cute little yorkie named Olive. Through EBF I try to show that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring, difficult or bland and that small changes can create a big impact!

Gina and I have been blog friends for quite some time and her blog is one of my all time favs so naturally I’m pumped to be guest posting for her while she’s away 😉

I thought I would share some of my favorite ways to stick with healthy eating and working out while traveling. I’m all about relaxing, enjoying vacation time and indulging. (I did a lot of indulging on our honeymoon two months ago and came back with a few extra pounds to show for it — all those piña coladas were totally worth it.) That said, I think it pays to keep these tips in mind, especially if you travel a ton for work and are trying to stay healthy, lose weight or maintain weight loss.


On our honeymoon in the US Virgin Islands this past June

Overall, I think a lot of people have trouble sticking with health goals while traveling because let’s face it, we are surrounded by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that are full of items that are obviously unhealthy and non-nourishing to us. Have you ever tried to find something healthy to eat at an airport? It can be a big challenge!

My number one word of advice is to plan ahead. Eating healthy and working out on the regular takes a bit of planning and it takes even more when you’re traveling! Here are some of my go-to tips when I’m going on a trip.

Before heading out:

1.) Pack snacks or meal replacements. A few great ideas: fresh fruit like bananas, apples, and oranges (they’re super portable), oatmeal packets (all you need to add is hot water), nuts and dried fruit, nut butters (some brands offer individual packets), protein bars or fruit and nut bars (Health Warrior Chia bars are my fav at the moment), raw veggies or sandwiches made at home prior to traveling. If you’re flying and feel like being a rebel you can even bring overnight oats – I’ve never had them make me toss them when going through security. If you’re driving you can bring a small cooler packed with perishable items like hard boiled eggs, pre-cooked meat or seafood, salads, etc.

2.) Pack a water bottle and keep it full. Staying hydrated is SUPER important when you travel.

3.) Check to see where the closest grocery store is to where you’ll be staying. On your first day of a trip go buy some fresh veggies, fruit and other items you can prepare in your hotel room. Yogurt is also great if you have a mini fridge in your room. I pretty much always look to see if there is a Whole Foods nearby where I’m staying. 🙂

kombucha on tap

Austin, TX Whole Foods — kombucha on tap

4.) Research the area you’ll be staying online. Use Google maps or your phone to search for restaurants nearby your hotel, check out their menu online and see which restaurants offer healthy options that look good to you.

5.) Bring your workout gear. At the very least, bring sneakers so you can walk around the area you’re visiting. You’ll get in a workout and get to see the city by foot. Most of the time I wear workout gear, including my sneakers, on the plane or car. This way I’m comfy and they don’t take up a ton of space in my suitcase.

6.) Pack your daily vitamins. Keep your immune system up by not skipping on your vitamins. This is particularly important if you’re flying (there might not be snakes on a plane but there will be lots of germs).

While you’re traveling:

7.) Eat as healthy as possible when eating at restaurants. Choose options that will be filling with a mix of protein, whole grain carbs and healthy fat. Make modifications to dishes to make them a bit healthier by asking for no cheese or for your protein to be cooked without oil/butter.

salad from Cane Bay

Build your own salad at Eat @ Cane Bay in St. Croix

8.) Remember that quick/ fast food isn’t always bad. Many big cities have lots of healthy and fast options, but if you’re options are limited there’s always Starbucks. They are EVERYWHERE and they actually have some pretty healthy options. Check out their cooler for things like veggie trays, protein plates, fruit cups and salads (great for snacks and lunches); order oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit or check out the mixed nuts or KIND Bars they usually offer at the counter. Just stay away from the pastry case and the high calorie coffee drinks.

9.) Limit your alcohol. The calories from alcohol are empty and alcohol can also impair your judgment when making good food choices. I totally get wanting to indulge (I’m right there with ya). If you do try to stick with the healthier options like a glass of red wine or a vodka with soda water and a splash of lime and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.


Fun drinks while honeymooning

10.) Get moving. Wake up early enough to get in a quick workout before everyone else gets up OR incorporate activity into your day. Go for a hike with your family, take a bike ride, walk on beach. Being physical can help remind you to eat healthfully and it will make you feel better throughout the day. Need workout ideas? Check out these posts: Take Your Workout With You & Great Travel Workouts.

morning workout

His and her morning routine: I got in a little workout and stretching while Isaac drank a mango daiquiri 🙂 

At the end of the day, enjoy yourself! Do your best to eat healthy and stay active but don’t make yourself crazy. Sometimes you won’t have control over the situation (i.e. your client picks a restaurant that only serves fried food) and that’s okay. Also, don’t deprive yourself or get down on yourself. You’re likely to have a few indulgences or unhealthy meals while traveling. Enjoy them, don’t feel guilty and just hop back on the healthy train when you get home! If you need healthy recipe ideas for getting back on track, feel free to stop by my blog.

Do you have any tried and true healthy travel tips? I’d love to hear them!

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  1. Jackie on September 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Great tips!

  2. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on September 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Great tips! The hardest for me is saying no to all of the fun adult beverages when I’m on vaca 🙂 Other than that, ordering healthy when dining out and bringing my snacks along with me (yes, even a protein bar stashed in my purse when I’m at the bar or other places) always help me!

  3. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on September 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Some good tips here — keeping a good balance of indulging & healthy regular eating is important even on vacation!

  4. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie on September 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Great post! Soon relevant!!!

  5. Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind on September 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    So necessary! My best tips are splurge sparingly and work out in the mornings. 🙂

  6. Megan (The Lyons' Share) on September 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Great tips, especially the “planning ahead” and eating as healthily as possible. I have to travel 4 days per week, every week, for work, which means a lot of eating at restaurants. It’s tough to be as healthy as I’d like, but it’s definitely possible with advanced planning! I ALWAYS have a stash of healthy snacks in my carry-on/ work bag!

  7. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on September 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Love these tips!

  8. Holly@ EatGreatBEGreat on September 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    These are some fantastic tips! I’m actually leaving for a business trip in a week, so I’ll definitely be utilizing these ideas!

  9. Ashlee@HisnHers on September 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Hahaha looks like my husband and my routine in the morning

  10. Brienne on September 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Great tips! I love your blog!!


  11. Alex @ Kenzie Life on September 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Congratulations on your recent nuptials, Brittany! I loved these tips! I try and bring my vibrams or yogi gloves when I travel since they take up less space and I can go for a run at the gym if I’m staying at a hotel or do some yoga in my room. I always keep some nuts with me when I travel and hummus is my favorite veg plane food. I find I really get hungry when I travel so I try to eat balanced meals especially before the flight and watch my portions since the airport boredom can make it easy to overeat.

  12. Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food on September 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Great tips! I travel a lot for work so I’ve definitely done a lot of these! I also pick my hotel based on whether they have a nice gym and offer free breakfast. Most free hotel breakfasts have stuff along the fruit/yogurt/English muffin variety!

  13. mary @ minutes per mile on September 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    my honeymoon is in a month — these tips will be useful! we’re going to mexico so i imagine many daquiris and tacos will be involved… with some workouts, too, i hope!

  14. Andrea on September 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Great post, Brittany! I really enjoyed the healthy travel tips, as I have an almost two week, two stop trip coming up soon.

    Random…but was the pic of you and your hubby taken at Morgan’s Mango? My boyfriend and I just got back from the USVI and I was thinking it looks just like that restaurant.

  15. kris on September 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Great travel tips! I also like to make an effort to get myself out of my airplane seat every hour or so on longer flights. It’s so easy to just stay seated, but getting up even just to walk to the bathroom and back helps with my circulation. Bonus: add in a couple squats or lunches as you wait in line to use the bathroom 😉

  16. Natalie on September 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Awesome tips! I don’t travel for extended periods, but I do visit family a lot. They aren’t totally on board with the healthy eating, so I tend to pack some clean eats! 🙂

  17. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on September 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I have still YET to try Kombucha! It is everywhere! I need to try it!!

  18. Diana on September 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

    These are awesome tips. I’m about to go on vacation in the middle of my half marathon training, so trying to keep healthy is a priority.

  19. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on September 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Definitely some great tips! I really think planning ahead is key to a healthy lifestyle – whether you’re at home or traveling!

  20. Noelle @ NoelleRuns on September 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Planning ahead is my favorite tip. I never leave for a trip without a bag full of healthy snacks, just in case!

  21. Kimberly Smith on September 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Great post! So true. I used to travel A LOT for work, and when I didn’t take the time to pack snacks (non liquid, of course) to bring with me on the plane, I often found myself stuck with only greasy food choices, especially in certain parts of the country.

  22. Anna @ Fitness à la Anna on September 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  23. Priya on September 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    i travel LOT and this is what i find helps 🙂

    look up some restaurants and things to do when you’re there. you can then have an idea of what time you have for what (maybe a workout?) and see some good healthy restaurants and some splurge ($, hopfully still healthy!)

    also, bring some dired fruit, and some edamame 🙂

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