Travel News

Your Top Healthy Travel Tips

Locations in this article:  Phoenix, AZ Rome, Italy

All January, we’ve been taking part in the New Year, New You health and fitness efforts. We’ve told you about 13 Ways to Stay Healthy in 2013, 10 Surprisingly Unhealthy Airport Eats and Healthy Airport Alternatives.  But we also asked for your advice and were overwhelmed by the smart suggestions. Check out the latest healthy living tips from our savvy readers so far…

Remember there’s one week remaining in our Travel Fit in 2013 contest so add your comments now to be in the running to win a 7-night, all-inclusive stay and a boot-camp program for two at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa in Antigua. Plus, you can win a number of health and fitness products including a Klean Kanteen reusable water bottle and an AirQuart travel bag.

Your healthy travel tips:

  • Important to remember even though you are on vacation, you can still choose to eat smart. Do have 3 meals everyday. A meal is including at least 3-4 food groups. Choose a starch (bread or cereal), a protein (cheese, egg or peanut butter) a fruit and/or a cup of milk/or yogurt container. At a breakfast buffet, choose your proper portions and 3-4 food group choices and remember to say NO and walk by other unhealthy, high-fat food choices. Just say NO! To help you know your portion of starches–potato, rice, noodles–use to size of your fist as a portion guide or choose 2 slices of bread. For your quantity of protein–meat, fish, chicken, turkey–use the size of the palm of your hand only, not including your fingers.- Sondra S.


  • My trick to airport dining is packing snacks ahead of time in my carry-on (baby carrots, almonds, apple, etc., to munch on if I cant find something) and then walk around the airport to find a healthy option (sandwich, yogurt, etc.). Choosing a buffet breakfast is all about balance. Look to include fruit, healthy fats, grains, veges, and proteins (in whatever combination you can find). I have found that exercising while travel is not too difficult if you make it a point to walk as you explore the city/resort that you are visiting. I love to take walks in the morning and evening to spend time with my travel buddy and plan out our day. Fitting in a job or a hike is also a great way to stay active while away.- Cara M.
  • Eating fresh/less processed foods; drink lots of water; squeeze in some time on the cardio equipment in the hotel; stretch often and walk as much as possible in and out of hotels, planes and trains – just keep moving since if we rest – we rust!- Annie C.
  • Remember to bring along packs of tissue and packets of antibacterial wipes–both have many uses (like napkins, clean hands and face, wipe off whatever is dirty, etc.) They will keep you clean, healthy, and hopefully germ free!- Terry G.
  • Bring workout clothes and exercise at the same time you do everyday at on while on vacation…you can change it up with doing exercises that fit into try vacation, the important thing is to do it! Do not eat like your on vacation, still make healthy choices and do not over indulge. Try drinking your alcohol choice with water instead of juice or sodas, example vodka and water with a lemon or lime, it will be a lot less calories and your drinking water! After each meal make it a point to walk somewhere!– Jessica S.
  • While on the road rest up for the busy days ahead or to make up for lost sleep on the way home. Whenever possible stop and move around if traveling by vehicle and in an airplane get up and walk if possible. I know if you’re like me I try to not drink much before getting on a plane because of restroom lines but once I’m on a sip on water to hydrated. EAT! You can take healthy snacks on an airplane and most airlines have healthy alternatives also.- Stephanie M.
  • And for travelling, make sure you rest your mind and focus on yourself and having fun at your destination! Stretch before your flight!!- Lina B.
  • I would say the most important way to keep healthy on a trip is to keep hydrated! Especially if you’re in a hot location, on the beach and drinking alcohol. Its so easy to forget to keep yourself hydrated while having fun on vacation. My husband and I love traveling but one of the main reasons we travel is to take in as much as possible not just sit on the beach everyday. See what your resort has to offer. Snorkeling, partaking in activities, dances, swimming and see what landmarks are around. You would be surprised how many people don’t take advantage of learning about the culture and location they have traveled to. All of these activities are not only fun but great exercise. Try something new like parasailing and kayaking. My all time favorite was snorkeling. I could have kicked around in the water all day like a child. Walk around and see everything and go hiking. Wake up each morning and thank god for the day and take a walk or run on the beach or vacation destination. With the challenges of our daily lives most don’t have time to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home. Surprisingly it can be easier while on vacation and also a lot more fun! Take advantage of it and most of all HAVE FUN!-Stephanie M.
  • My healthy tip is to LIVE!!! Make yourself priority and live each day like its your last with no regrets! Eat plenty of vegetables and lean meats and spoil yourself!- Lina B.
  • For airport travel, I make sure I pack several protein bars in case I cannot find something that is healthy and quick. I also pack an empty reusable water bottle (Klean Kanteen) that I can fill up with water once I’m through security. Saves money and the environment too.- Mary S.
  • For exercise, I’ve found that many hotels now have local (and safe) jogging routes mapped out for you. What better way to see a new location than on a jog?- Marylee
  • Drink lots of water, set your watch to your destination’s time while flying and sleep/stay awake to get on schedule, eat a healthy breakfast every morning, and maintain your exercise routine (or take advantage of the hotel pool/gym). Usually easier said than done while travelling!- Clark W.
  • Remember to bring along small packs of tissue and packets of antibacterial wipes–they will keep you clean and healthy when you get or feel dirty and don’t take much room. Either can have many uses, like napkins, clean face and hands, wipe dirty things off, etc.– Terry G.
  • I usually always get a little earlier and use something fast as roast beef, salad and French fries, accompanied by a glass of wine, at breakfast and prefer to go with lots of fresh fruit with yogurt and cereals and in the exercise took sweatshirts and tennis walking each have the opportunity.– Luz T.
  • When on long plane flights, I drink double up on the water intake just to keep hydrated, plus I walk the aisles as often as possible. Gotta keep moving! Once at my destination, I explore as much as possible by foot–good for my fitness and my cultural curiosity!- Marti M.
  • I make healthful sandwiches for the airport, and put a post-it note on my door so I don’t forget them.- Linda C.
  • I started bringing my own healthy snacks so I won’t be tempted by airport food. Not to mention it saves money. Bananas, apples, granola or protein bars and dried fruit are great travel snacks. I also bought a water bottle with a filter and fill it up at water fountains after I’ve passed through security.- Patti N.
  • Do isometrics for your glutes and abs. Tighten for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 5-10 minutes every hour of your flight or layover. At a breakfast buffet the smart choices are cereal or oatmeal with fruit on top or on the side and a yogurt.- Rina H.
  • Walk walk walk everyday for miles to sightsee and enjoy the serendipity of travel.- Gladys T.
  • Walk, walk, walk. Bring snacks to the airport and for on the airplane. I always carry a snack sized bag of almonds and craisins or other dried fruit so I can have what I want when I want it. Also try to be active when on vacation. Go explore, ski, dance, go into the water and jump the waves or swim in the pool. Don’t just look at it, jump right in! Be curious and challenge yourself to try new things.– Mary Z.
  • Remember to bring along small packs of tissue and packets of antibiotic wipes–both can have many uses like napkins, face wash, etc. and they will keep you clean and healthy when you get or feel dirty!- Terry G.
  • For the airport food: beware! I usually bring tons of snacks while traveling (for the sake I hate airplane food) so stock up on granola bars, nuts, fruit leather, and always always have your water bottle attached to your hip! I think that breakfast buffets are somewhat manageable, stick to fruit and oatmeal, coffee and tea. But where travellers go wrong, buffest any other time of the day, be it brunch, lunch, dinner. I have been caught saying “I’m on vacation!” as I stuff myself with German pastries or Belgium chocolates, but do you really want more work for yourself when you get home? No. So stick to portioned meats, whole grains, and try your hand at exotic veggies and fruits! Make sure you walk a lot, or hit up fitness classes or the gym at your hotel. I have ran every where from the streets of Rome to along the docks in Ireland. It’s fun to see the city so early in the morning, and it usually leads to great stories! happy healthy traveling all!- Jackie L.
  • Create a sumptuous, cheap, healthy mid-day feast at local markets or groceries. Buy fresh grainy bread, a small bottle of olive oil, fruit grown in an orchard down the road, fish caught nearby and grilled on the spot, cheeses made in the village. No processed food or chain restaurants when you travel! Then spend the afternoon walking the neighborhoods and nourishing your spirit, and for supper you can get by with a snack and some local wine–perfect!- Mary M.
  • I’m a more mature traveler. Remember to do ankle exercises and leg movements in your seat to keep deep vein thrombosis away. I drink a full glass of water for every hour I’m in the air. It not only hydrates but eases jet lag. Of course I get an aisle seat. During my frequent trips to the restroom I do upper body stretches in the restroom just to ease upper body stiffness on longer flights. During layovers I walk, replace my healthy snacks: almonds, apples, celery. I will do deep knee bends and chair deep knee bends near a wall out of the way of others. Walking prior to flying, during layovers, and post flying are a must.- Cheryl A.
  • While on vacation, fitness comes with exploring. Hit the streets/trails with the goal to see as much culture and scenery as you can. Participate in a local dance class, seek a local hiking club to join for the day or find a local to recommend an activity popular to the area.– Kelsie H.
  • Power snacks are the way to go to stay away from quick (expensive) processed snacks. Almonds, peanut butter packs and fruit keep me satisfied. Another tip to prevent overeating at a bland breakfast buffet is to down a couple glasses of water first. You will eat less plus you probably needed to catch up with the hydration from the previous days of traveling.- KR
  • What’s your trick to airport dining? Eat at the first restaurant closest to my departure gate. How do you choose smart at a breakfast buffet? I love breakfast buffets. Fresh fruits, yogurts, and toasts. What’s your trick for fitting in exercise on the road? I pack my sneakers EVERY time I go somewhere, I’ve only used it once! I’m so bad at staying in shape when I travel. No healthy travel suggestion is too big, no change in behavior is too small. I travel with Almonds and try to drink more water. Other than that, I honestly go on vacation from EVERYTHING when I travel. I would love to get some tips on how to become better at making exercise just as important as having fun.- Terry E.
  • A month before my trip I start walking. Walk as far as I can, then turn around. Next day, walk just a little bit further. Each day I add a little bit more distance so by the time I go on the trip I can explore to my heart’s content.- Cara D.
  • Actually, I carry food with me when traveling and purchase bottled water along the way. I always pack a snack or meal in my carry on luggage because (a) then I know what I am eating and (b) I am not paying those inflated airport prices! My family members loves that I usually make enough “mini” sandwiches” for all of us and snacks, too. Breakfast buffet? Easy! Yogurt and fruit. If they have an omelet station, request an egg white omelet if available. The best way to exercise while traveling is to walk instead of taking an elevator or cab whenever possible. Of course, you have to practice good safety sense–don’t walk alone in unfamiliar areas–but walk when you can.-Gale D.
  • When traveling it is important to stay hydrated. If flying I try to get up and move around or even stand for a moment. I always take some healthy snacks along and try to stay away from fast foods in airports and look for fruit, salad, proteins, etc. It is not difficult to exercise while abroad. A nice run or hike and exercises using your own body weight are easy to do like push ups, crunches, planks or burpees.- Lauren J.
  • Traveling is big part of my job. I have food allergies and to keep healthy on the road I visit my local health food store before my departure and pick up enough healthy snacks to last my entire trip. That way I am not at the mercy of the hotel mini-bar (if available) to satisfy hunger on the run. If traveling to a foreign country I make sure I know words such as “vegetarian” or “no dairy” and “allergy” prior to my trip. Healthy food in airports can be hard to find at times so bringing healthy snacks is a necessity for me. Finding time to work out can also be challenging but I have a mini-workout that includes yoga and stretching that is easily done in any hotel room and help keep me stress free.- Christine W.
  • Pack clothes that fit well, nothing elastic waisted or baggy. This way, you will know you cannot afford to gain weight or be tempted to overeat.- Kate H.
  • Fairly easy to eat healthy at breakfast buffets IF they offer fresh fruit. Also, eat the fruit & avoid the fruit drinks. And if there’s an omelet station, ask for egg whites only & with as little oil as possible. Fruit, egg whites omelet and maybe a nice chunk of wheat bread makes for a great, healthy meal. – Sharon L.
  • I drink a full bottle of water before each meal. I eat slowly and when I feel the first feeling of “full” I stop. – Tracy B.
  • The biggest trick to airport dining is to not dine there at all! Airports are designed to play on our stresses, making us seek out sensory fulfillment in unhealthy snacks and beverages. Drab walkways direct us to a cozy bar with cheese-covered fries and beers waiting to cheer us up. Instead, bring healthy food that is sensually stimulating. Food can go through security. Bring an orange for its texture, smell and taste. Pack some baked veggie chips with olive oil and sea salt for another sensory experience. Not only will you avoid the unhealthy foods, you will also save traveling dollars for a place with yummy food by not participating in jacked-up airport pricing. Also, although you can’t bring a full water bottle through airport security, you can bring an empty one and fill it up at the water fountain. This saved me so much.– Dawn R.
  • Visit a local grocery store and purchase healthy snacks instead of hitting the vending machine. An added bonus is you will get a new experience in that culture and hopefully find something you’ve never tried before or can’t get at home. Also, go green and bring your own refillable water bottle.- Mallory B.
  • The night before a flight, I try to eat simple, healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, baked chicken, etc. When traveling, I try to find a quiet corner in the airport, and do stretching exercises. Planes are getting more and more cramped, so stretching is vital to feeling well on a flight. I also try to drink at least one 8 oz bottle of water for every 4 hours of flight time. During the flight, I try to stand up and gently stretch also. This is trickier since flights are so cramped, but doable. Usually I stand by the restooms and do it. Usually other people see me and start to gently stretch also. Trust me, you will arrive at your destination much relaxed and happier if you can stretch, and hydrate before and during a flight. Happy traveling!– Cathy C.
  • You can eat healthy at airports! Most restaurants will serve you portions of steamed vegetables if you request it. At buffet’s you can load up on fresh fruit and more vegetables with a little protein like maybe some tuna. On long flights, exercise is a bit harder but if you get to the airport early you can walk the length of it over and over. Just make sure someone is watching your luggage, or for an even better workout, drag it with you. I have all sorts of tips and ideas for staying fit and healthy on the road, lol.
  • Walk as much as you can, and avoid taking public transportation when you can. Also, sign up for walking tour’s, they really give you a work out! – Char P.
  • Pack a pure food meal for the plane. Eating is one of the last things we prepare for, knowing we can buy something in the airport. Airplane snacks are discouraging. Pack protein, fruit, vegetables, fiber and water. Going on Medical Weight Loss made me mindful of all the extras we eat without a second thought. Sitting on a plane is hard on my legs, so I am careful to avoid salt now. Shop at Farmer’s Markets during your vacation to stock up for the return trip home. One of my favorite parts of my California trip last summer was the Berkeley Farmer’s Market. We carried a dozen peachers, plums and apricots on the flight back home to Michigan. The flavor of the fruit was incomparable to what was in our stores back home! – Anna D.
  • Healthy clean eating! Plenty of water & a fitness regimen at least four days a week!- Rebecca P.
  • The first step is obvious – walk as often as you can. A few flights of stairs vs elevator? Take the stairs. Long layover at an airport? Go for a stroll. Phoenix Sky Harbor is perfect for a good walkabout.. – Dale M.
  • I do handstands whenever possible- Felicita P.
  • Packing a container of antibacterial wipes is not only good for the airplane ride to wipe surfaces around me but also useful to sanitize hotel rooms and for exploring the city or whatever I take along baggies of unsalted nuts, dried fruit, baggies with veggies, packets of hummus and fresh fruit for nutritious snacks. A Lara Bar or something similar is also a healthy treat to take along. My beverage choice is a refreshing sparkling water with a slice of lime. I take my own tea bags of choice. Walking or taking stairs when possible is a way to get in exercise at the destination or packing a jump rope to use in the hotel room. I choose whole grain cereals topped with fresh berries or whole wheat bread and fresh fruit for breakfast. I try to avoid processed foods when possible.-SW
  • Pack a protein power bar in your pocket and power walk during your airport layover for travel POW!- LL
  • Sometimes you really can’t work out at a gym but I always take along comfortable walking shoes, fitbit, phone with earphones and walk a couple of miles; it’s free and you get to explore the area too!- RJ
  • I always bring my workout gear and walk as opposed to ride whenever possible.- Daniel D
  • I’ve learned to plan walking into my vacation plans. I’m always surprised by how many different muscles I use getting around a city (as opposed to biking and running which are my regular methods of exercising). If I research my destination enough, I’ll find hills and huge museums to wear me out!- Melissa C.