How To Travel (Better) & NOT Break Routine
by Live Better
It’s all well and good, until you travel.
We’ve started the year with motivational quotes, goal-sheets with no white space remaining on the page, and a few mornings in a row of consistency. We’ve got our meals prepped, our workouts planned, yoga mat cleaned, and clothes laid out on the floor for tomorrow morning.
And then the first trip of the year hits. We’ve been looking forward to “vacation” (I really don’t like that term) for a while now; the pre-holiday rush was stressful, end of year deadlines snuck up (like they always do) and stayed late in the office…we need this time away.
What about our newfound consistent push towards better health? We hear, “Oh, I’ll get right back to it once I’m home. I just need this down time to “recharge” before I’m back on the grind.”
But what if this first trip away from home is a business trip, you ask?
Doesn't matter which type of trip it is - if you think you’re going to lie by the pool and sip margaritas while you nap, or indulge in client dinners and conference buffet lines, with no plan and return home to routine perfection - you are sadly mistaken.
Inertia is real. And no more real than when you are getting tan with a base of piña colada. Skip the first day’s workout, you’ll skip them all.
Why is this always the case? We no longer have our mattress, our pillow, our refrigerator, or our supplement cabinet. It’s a break in our routine, that vehicle of efficiency we so often prescribe for you. However, as we preach, your routines should be like an extra suitcase you can pack up and take with you.
As I write this email, I am sitting on my balcony in Cabo San Lucas, feeling good about my fitness and (baseline) nutrition. “Vacation” (read: travel) should be about recharging, taking time for yourself to grow and relax, and spending time with family or on your solo-adventure activities. I'm also looking at lots of areas to practice wellness (see text above).
We know, though, that if you think you’ll achieve this outcome by drinking late into the night without a training and nutrition strategy to mitigate that detriment, you’re in for a rude awakening come (next) Monday morning.
It just takes preparation.
What are these things specifically that I need to prepare in advance?
1) Training Schedule
Every single day of your trip should be mapped in advance. Know you’re going to have the longest travel day in the history of the world? Stretch in the terminal and roll on a lacrosse ball to relive some tension in your hips. Have a full day to yourself? Complete your long run and explore a new city on foot.
Here are photos showing last week for my training routine next to this week (while on vacation):
They don't look all that different in structure. Just because I'm traveling doesn't mean I won't prioritize my progress I've made to this point.
It is a commitment to movement. This also allows me some flexibility to take more time off my legs throughout the day, nap, and indulge once in a while. Here are some other good strategies to help you plan workouts:
Join workout classes. There are Barry’s Bootcamps in tons of US and international cities now, alongside many other classes available via ClassPass.
Research running routes via Strava (find a “segment” and join a pop-up race)
Commit to the “One Mile A Day” running challenge by Live Better (tag us on Instagram with #1mileaday)
Join One Mile A Day Challenge
All of these workouts, planned the week before, need to go into your calendar with a specific date, time, and location. They are just as much a part of your week as anything else.
2) Nutrition & Supplementation
We receive more asks for healthy food while traveling than anything else. Without our home conveniences, we seem to lose our bearing and it’s off the wagon for a full week. Airport food, hotel food, “vacation” food, and work dinner food(s) are all indulgent or too quick for their own good. This takes proper planning.
You need three things:
Travel day nutrition
Morning / Evening nutrition
Every trip Bret takes alone, with Live Better, or with his family, he creates a map (and corresponding list) of all healthy restaurants in the area. He specifically targets a few he wants to try, while always being able to pull up one on the fly if plans change. This discipline, created before he leaves, allows him the freedom to roam the city and still rely on pre-determined healthy options. See below for the map of Barcelona:
Each one of those "flags" is a health food spot (we suggest FLAX & KALE if you go to visit!).
Below is a picture of my “goodies” drawer I always make while traveling. It is a specific place I put all my nutrition so it is organized in one location and that I make a habit of visiting.
I have health bars for mid-day and travel day snacks (Clean Bars), instant coffee packets (Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee) I can make in my room, Brain Octane MCT oil for coffee (Bulletproof), collagen peptides for coffee (Vital Proteins), nut butter for mid-day and travel day snacks (RX Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter), whey protein for post-workout supplementation (Vital Protein), and day/evening support multi-vitamin packs (Onnit).
No matter what my mornings or evenings look like, I can always rely on what I have in this drawer. I don’t have to go in search of food at 1am in the hotel lobby, pay for $15 eggs post-workout for breakfast, or rely on Flavia-quality coffee from a dispenser.
Oh, and there is always free, filtered water in the hotel gym. It’s the best place to find cold water that you don’t have to pay $5 for in the hotel room (and waste plastic). I make a few stops a day and refill water bottles.
Travel is made so much easier when we can bring our routines with us. This doesn't have to make each trip difficult to plan; when you've successfully done this once, you have your blueprint to repeat it as much as you need. Travel should make us stronger, allow us time to be creative and relax, focus on our health, and clarify the things that matter to us when we return home. This is the full focus of a Live Better Retreat and the focus of each trip we take individually. Our goal? Travel Better.
If you're having trouble planning for a trip, or just want to ask us questions in general, sign up for a coaching call below!