We just returned from a child-free vacation/mini-adventure. Our travel itinerary included a wedding, an Ironman, plus two additional carefree days with zero parental responsibilities and a bunch of down time thanks to the generosity and support of some very loving and caring family members.
(did you hear the tires squealing as we tore ass out of the driveway before anyone could change their mind?)
So I’m back! And here today with a few healthy travel tips before my brood returns and life returns to “normal”.
Pack Your Own Food
Preparing food from home can save you time, money and unknown food options while on the road.
I made a couple salads to be sure we had a decent helping of greens at least a couple of the days we were away.
Chocolate zucchini muffins, homemade hummus, prepped red peppers, cucumbers, carrots, hard boiled eggs, wax beans and cherries all travel well too.
(as do dark chocolate and almond butter. Just saying.)
Exercise Before You Leave
I always try to make time for a run or other activity the morning we leave for a trip. It feels good to get a few miles under my belt before putting a bunch of miles under the tires.
On a related note, I used to always bring my running gear on vacation. Unless it’s going to be an especially long trip, I now typically leave everything but my sneakers at home and take advantage of the rest days. It’s much easier to just find others ways to be active without doing anything formal.
Informal activities on this trip included walking around Lake Placid for 12 hours, turning pages in books with no pint sized interruptions and getting a groove as the sun goes down at wedding receptions.
(none of those people in that picture are me, but one of those empty wine glasses on the table is definitely mine.)
Hit Up the Grocery Store for Meals
Shop for food as an alternative to fast food joints or restaurants. It’s often cheaper and you’ll have more control over the quality of your food too.
Produce aisles are often stocked with pre-prepped fruits and vegetables these days. You can stop at the deli and bakery for fixings for a couple of sandwiches. Hit up the dairy case for single serving containers of yogurt, cottage cheese or Sabra.
My favorite grocery store meal lately is a package of raspberries or blueberries from produce, a container of greek yogurt topped with almonds, walnuts or pecans from the bulk foods section.
Sometimes we luck out and can find a hippie grocery store to raid their Kombucha stash and coconut ice cream freezer.
Have you tried the No Sugar Added So Delicious coconut ice cream yet? Not too shabby! Only one store around here carries it right now, so finding it on the road was a real treat.
(seaweed + coconut = the perfect lunch.)
Pack a Water Bottle, Cutting Board and Travel Knife
The water bottle feels like an obvious suggestion – but the cutting board and travel knife have proved to be two helpful items to have on hand. I readily use them both (especially when shopping for meals at grocery stores – or AFTER shopping, I should say. There is no whipping out my knife at the register. I do actually pay for everything.) and these things don’t take up a lot of space either.
That’s a Kuhn Rikon Travel Knife and I use it all the time. It’s sharper than the knives I have for every day use at home – I quite easily sliced off a big chunk of my thumb with it during veggie prep a while back (who wants a carrot stick!?)
It’s even dishwasher safe (and good news – blood and flesh wash right off).
It can be easy to stick with healthy habits while you’re out of town – but don’t be afraid to have fun and enjoy yourself too. Travel (and slice) safely – and be sure to thank your loving and generous family members for the care and feeding of your children for the five days and four nights you were gone.
(a gigantic thanks again mom and ellen!)