6 Faux Pas That Even The Healthiest Travelers Fall Prey To

Photo by Daniel Kim Photography / Stocksy / Stocksy

Staying healthy when you travel is easier than ever these days. Hotels are offering gyms and in-room fitness videos for streaming, healthier snacks are popping up in convenience stores, and vegan options and salad bars are improving the airport experience of flyers everywhere. But just because we have access to options that support our well-being doesn't mean we always take them.

On average, I travel anywhere from one to two weeks a month. Just in time for holiday travel season, here are six things I never do when I travel. While this time of year is one to relax and celebrate with family and friends, incorporating some of these tips into your routine will keep you from totally derailing your health goals come January 1:

1. Eat the airplane snacks.

Even if these may seem healthy, they're typically salted, dried, roasted, sugared, or just pure, refined carbohydrates that are cheap to make and last a long time. Remember, airplanes are in the transportation business—not the health food business! They're trying to save as much money as possible, so the snacks that have the longest shelf life and cost the least are going to be the ones that are put in front of you. Plan and pack ahead with fresh fruit or raw nuts and skip the in-flight treats.

2. Order a soda or alcoholic beverage on the plane.

When the beverage cart rolls through the tiny isle, my "health-conscious" eye really widen. There are so many sodas and alcoholic beverages being passed around—both of which are incredibly dehydrating and terrible for your system when traveling. Your immune system is already suppressed from the stuffy air in the plane, and these drinks will only make your system need to work even harder.

My beverage of choice is always the same: "Water, please, no ice. Thank you. Can I ask you for a bottle? Or, even better, can you refill my water bottle to save on plastic?"

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3. Skip my workout.

Traveling tends to throw you off your agenda and make it easy to skip your morning meditation, afternoon run, or lunchtime stretch. But it doesn't have to. The second I have my travel schedule set, I'll take out my planner or iCal and schedule in time blocks that I can use to either head to the gym or meditate.

Even if that means waking up an hour earlier than the rest of the crew on Thanksgiving, it's about sticking to your goals and getting the job done. You'll always feel energized, focused, and ready for the day ahead after getting those extra feel-good endorphins pumping through the body. A double bonus, if you're jumping time zones, working out has been shown to counter jet lag.

4. Forget to pack my own snacks.

I cannot emphasize this one enough: Bring your own food for those times you're taxiing on the runway, stuck in a cab, or in your childhood home surrounded by chocolaty temptations. Here are a few healthy travel snacks that are delicious, portable, and mbg-approved.

5. Forget to research your final destination.

There's a certain enchantment of being spontaneous and just showing up at the airport and picking a warm, sunny destination to jet off to, especially during wintertime when it's dark and freezing at home. Then reality sets in, and you need to plan, plan, plan before taking off anywhere. 

While I can pack and be at the airport at a moment's notice, I prefer to know the destination and purpose of my trip first. Then I'll choose the hotel (usually based on which one has the best Wi-Fi and proximity to a grocery store). I typically prefer to cook my own foods in the room, too, to help me stick with a budget, so in-suite kitchenettes are a bonus.

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6. Surround yourself with people who have unhealthy habits.

As I suggest in my upcoming book, Living {Cancer} Free, you are most like the five people you surround yourself with. I know, I know, you can't always control who you're visiting for the holidays. But we can control our own choices.

Before you head on the road this year, try out this exercise to stay on track: Write down your health goals and have them clearly accessible when heading out in a group outing (maybe stick 'em in our wallet). Over time, I've developed a habit I like to call #ownyourweird—I know that every time I go into a situation, I will be choosing different foods than most people at the table 99 percent of the time.

I can't care. Let me be weird, because my "weird" is what will help me go through life feeling my absolute best.

Want to learn how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

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