If you're a parent, this post should be especially handy, but even if not here's my travel tips to stay healthy and calm while on the road. If a mom of 2 year old toddlers can stay calm and healthy alone on an overnight trip, then you can too if you follow my tips! Trust me, whatever it takes for a happy and healthy vacation or holiday, am I right?
1. Get that sweat session in. Whether you're traveling early or not, get at least a quick workout in to release those endorphins and get your energy level up. Even if it's a 10 minute jog around the neighborhood, do something. You'll be glad for the chance to move once you're stuck in car or airplane seat.
I know, sometimes you have to leave for the airport at 4am; do a quick yoga dvd or HIIT workout before you go (just set your alarm a few minutes early to squeeze it in). For my drive with the twins, I ran early so that I wouldn't be antsy and frustrated easily while on the road. #WorthIt
2. Pack healthy snacks. Don't plan to eat out unless you know of a natural grocery store or healthy restaurant along the way. I always pack our own food because of my food sensitivities/allergies but also because it saves a ton of money. Plus when my two year olds get cranky, carrot sticks and homemade chia cookies can go a long way into restoring calm and making for happy kids (and mom).
3. Take stretch breaks. If you're in a car, stop at parks along the way (map this out before the trip) or locate coffee shops with kid-friendly areas. Broadway Coffeehouse in Salem is my favorite simply because there's a separate room for kids to play in as you sip your coffee. The tables are tall so the kids can't reach the top (genius) so I can work on the crossword or use my phone without my pen or cell phone being messed with by sticky toddler hands. Bliss. I wish there were more cafes like this!
4. Bring the essentials but also what's necessary. Everyone extolls the virtue of packing light, but also bring whatever is necessary for a good night's sleep. If it's a portable sound machine that will lull the kids to sleep or your own pillow, find a way to pack it in. Not a lot of room? Pack your own bamboo pillowcase (the familiar scent and feel is soothing plus this bamboo one is naturally antimicrobial and) and ear plugs, just in case unfamiliar sounds keep you up. A night of poor sleep can make a trip go from fun to awful, so keep your diet healthy and your bed as comfortable and familiar as possible.
5. Bring enough layers. If you have the space, pack extra warm fuzzy socks to serve as slippers or just to keep you cozy as you travel. Seriously, there's something super soothing about having warm and comfy feet (especially if you've been putting in the miles lately!) Bring a warm hoodie, as you never know when the weather will get cooler or if your hotel room is cold. Plus if you have kids, making sure they are comfortable is top priority. If you're in a car and have the space, bring their favorite soft cozy blanket for both warmth and familiarity.
6. Bring kid distractions. New toys and games that aren't messy like water wow coloring pads and car travel toys are key. iPad movies on Netflix can be downloaded before the trip and played when they lose interest in toys and books. For you, download a hilarious audio book to make those miles fly by. Podcasts and audio books are a lifesaver on monotonous drives or flights!
7. Bring your own toiletries. Don't rely on hotels to have organic body lotion or sulfate-free shampoo. (I've been to hotels that didn't even supply soap). Pack your own toiletries to keep your skin happy. If you have kids still in diapers, pack extra soothing diaper cream and baby shampoo (stick to that bathtime routine, trust me!) Pack a couple bath toys too while you're at it if you can, or use hotel-supplied paper and plastic cups to improvise in the tub.