If ever there was a time to indulge, it’s on holiday. But a lack of sleep, criss-crossing between time zones and that third gelato of the day means travellers aren’t necessarily the picture of health. The good news is, having the time of your life and keeping healthy – both mentally and physically – is possible. Follow these tips and get involved in one of our recommended activities to do just that; your inner wellness warrior will thank you.
From digital detoxes to early-morning stretches, keep these tips in tow and you’ll be feeling – and looking – top notch while you’re away.
Get your beauty sleep
Unless you’re restricted to a two-day city break, see your trip as a marathon rather than a sprint. Like a marathon, travelling is physically taxing, so be sure to listen to your body and when it’s had enough, head to bed. Don’t feel guilty about getting your beauty sleep, you’ll be able to appreciate the attractions and sights so much more after some shut-eye.
Is bouncing between time zones getting you down? Read this article to get rid of your jetlag beast and get back to the fun stuff.
Slow it down
Who wouldn’t want to spend a few extra days here? Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
Considering the hectic, pervasive world we live in, it’s no wonder the slow travel movement is attracting more fans than ever before. Gone are the days where ticking off an entire country in a week or less is considered the dream, it’s much more favourable to stay longer in one place. Think trains instead of planes, bikes instead of cars, one destination per week instead of four. This gives your body and mind a chance to take in your surroundings, find the cool spots and most of all, enjoy it – plus it’s better for your physical health too. If you are tight on time, we recommend four nights per destination, minimum.
Dedicate at least five minutes each morning to having a good stretch. This will combat the stress and strain put on your body through the long hours sitting on a planes and exploring on-foot.
Incidental exercise is your new best friend
Like most (lazy) explorers, we’re not keen on wasting precious adventuring time in a hotel gym. Instead, we look to good old incidental exercise to keep weight gain at bay. A key in offsetting the dreaded kilo-creep, getting your body moving shouldn’t be too difficult on your travels – walking tours, bike tours and strolling round a museum are just a few easy ways to up your activity levels. Add a few fast calorie burners like getting off a stop earlier on the bus, taking the stairs instead of the lift and standing on public transport, and you’re well on your way to meeting your daily fitness goals.
Top tip: If you’re looking to keep fit while travelling, invest in a pedometer (or just use the one on your phone). Counting your steps will motivate your inner-competitor, guaranteed.
Keep the phone for necessities
Travelling places physical distance from you and your normal life, but only you can give yourself the mental space needed to gain perspective and emotionally recharge. Give yourself the break that you deserve with a mini digital detox: this means getting off social media for a few days, taking less photos (with the focus being to actually seeing the sites outside of your phone camera filter) and being prepared with paper maps and written phone numbers to hand. Sound intimidating? Set yourself smaller goals at first – 12 hours away from your phone is a good place to start – and go from there.
The 80% rule means you can still chow down a burger. Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash
Half the fun of being away comes from good food – so we’re not here to hound you about healthy eating. As big foodies ourselves, one thing we have found useful is sticking to the Hara Hachi Bu principle – an ancient Japanese wisdom which instructs followers to “eat until you are 80% full”. Instead of devouring everything in sight, take your time when you’re eating, notice when you’re full and *deep breath* put the fork down. After years of being told never to leave food on your plate, it takes some practice. If you stick with it though, Hara Hachi Bu will become second nature, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a meal, rather than bloated and in need of a lie down.
Slip, slop, slap
Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash
Don’t let the overcast sky fool you, UVA and UVB rays pass through clouds and glass (and even reflect from snow) so always remember to pop some sunscreen on before your day out travelling.
Incidental exercise may be your best friend, but water is your soul mate. Cast aside your nurofens, many headaches and pains are down to plain, old fashioned dehydration. On your travels make it your business to never leave your hotel or Airbnb without a water bottle, and refill throughout the day too.
From walking and cycling tours to deep-sea swims and off-the-beaten-path horse rides, self-care has never been this good.
Photo by Hannah Persson on Unsplash
Our go-to whenever we arrive in a new destination, bike rides are a great way to explore a new destination and keep in tip-top shape while you do it. Head to our website to find the best bike tours around the world.
Exploring the city on foot takes travellers beyond the standard tourist spots and works off that New York cheesecake, need we say more? From strolls through Central Park to hikes through the Dolomites, follow this link to find out more about the best walking tours in the top cities and beyond.
Dive into the deep blue and see what lies beneath on these underwater activities in the world’s most idyllic holiday spots. Our favourite? Swimming with the world’s rarest and smallest dolphins known as the Hector’s, in New Zealand’s Akaroa Bay.
Horse riding tours
This workout happens only with the help of a furry friend. Saddle up, these horse rides are worth the hype. Fancy finding out more about your favourite team sport? Head here to discover the horse rides you have to take at least once in your lifetime.
Finally, don’t forget your spa day
Rest and rejuvenate at Iceland’s tranquil Blue Lagoon. Both body and mind will thank you after a detoxing dip in these stunning geothermal pools. Follow this link for all the information on the world’s ultimate spa destination.