Long-term travel has a way of taking its toll on your body. Eating out at every meal, long travel days without exercise, and cheap drinks all add up. But it’s possible to maintain (or even lose) weight while traveling. Here’s how.
1.) Cook your own food
Choose hostels and AirBnBs with kitchen access. Buy your own groceries and cook for yourself. Compared to the U.S., produce elsewhere is generally much fresher and more delicious so you don’t need to be a pro-chef to create something amazing. This will also save you a ton of money.
2.) Workout videos
Download some workout videos onto your tablet or laptop so you can watch them offline. Then recruit some of your travel buddies to join you so you can stay accountable.
3.) Go on active adventures
Hiking, swimming, biking, and even just walking around a new city are fun ways to stay fit. More adrenaline-filled activities like climbing, canyoning, and surfing also fit the bill.
4.) Limit sugary cocktails
Sure, they seem like such a great idea when you’re on the beach. But all they really give you are excess calories, dehydration, and a hangover. If you’re in the mood for a drink, stick to wines, hard liquors, and beers.
5.) Don’t go crazy with the free breakfast
Whether it’s a hostel with endless bread and cereal or a full-on breakfast buffet at a nice hotel, it’s easy to over-do it. This is especially true when you’re trying to save money and think it will help you skip on lunch. Guess what? It won’t because carbs only fill you up temporarily. So go easy on the breakfast and make your own healthy sandwich for lunch.
6.) Pack healthy snacks so you don’t need to stop for a huge meal
While portion sizes are generally smaller abroad than they are in the U.S., they’re still pretty damn big. And a lot of people have three of these huge meals a day since they aren’t home with access to snacks. Pick up some nuts and fruits at the grocery store so you don’t have to go crazy with the restaurant meals.
7.) Limit indulgences to special, local foods
When it comes to traveling, moderation is key. You can’t go to a foreign country and not indulge. Trying the local cuisine is a huge part of the culture and experience. So skip the burgers, but occasionally opt for the local pasta or unique desserts.
8.) Take advantage of body weight exercises
If you don’t have time for a full workout video, you can still fit in several reps of body weight exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, etc are all great ways to ensure your muscles don’t whittle away during those long train rides.
9.) Take local classes
Muay Thai in Thailand, yoga in Bali or India, and dancing in Argentina or Spain are all unforgettable ways to stay in shape and have fun.
10.) Cut yourself some slack
Don’t set unreasonable goals. More importantly, don’t feel bad when you screw up. You’re on vacation for Christ’s sake! Be flexible, be good when you can, and forgive yourself when you indulge too much or are too tired to get out of bed.