B and I recently got back from vacation and I wanted to share some healthy things that I typically bring along in our bags when we’re going on a trip. These include some healthy vacation snacks, my favorite water bottles for traveling, and supplements that personally keep me feeling my best! I think we hear the word healthy and think of eating kale or doing a workout, but healthy to me means just taking good care of yourself. We can do this all the time, whether we’re at home or on vacation :)
Healthy Vacation Snacks
One of my favorite parts about going on vacation is trying new foods and local cuisines, especially if it’s an international vacation where there are once-in-a-lifetime experiences around food. But I still like to pack some snacks to have on hand just in case we have a travel disaster (like on our last trip!), or so we have some simple things to hold us over in the event that we go a long time between meals. Sometimes it’s hard to plan out meals while you’re traveling so it’s nice to be prepared with a few different types of snacks.
When I’m picking out granola bars and breakfast bars, I really like to be mindful of the fiber, fat and protein and look to see where those nutrients are coming from in the product. I want to make sure the bar is actually going to have some staying power. It’s not unusual for us to skip the large hotel breakfast in the morning and grab a bar on the go instead. This was especially true on our last trip because the hotel breakfast was not included in our stay.
Here are my 3 go-to bars for traveling:
*RXBar – I love the simple ingredients and that these are pretty high in fiber and protein for a bar. I typically pack a few of the regular size bars to have as more of a heavier snack slash meal replacement, and some of the kids size bars to have as a lighter snack.
*Trailnuggets Pro – Another bar that I like that’s not loaded with a ton of crazy ingredients is the Trailnuggets Pro bar. It’s a pretty compact size while still providing a lot of staying power with 10g of protein, 5g of fiber and 10g of fat in 1 bar. The orange, cranberry and beet flavor is my favorite just because it’s a little bit different from your typical bar.
One thing to note between the RXBar and the Trail Nugget bar is that the RXBar is getting a bulk of its protein from the egg whites, while the Trail Nugget Bar is fortified with pea protein.
*Larabar – the other bar that I enjoy backing is the Larabar. It’s not quite as high in fiber and protein as the other two bars, so I typically use this one more as a snack rather than when I really need something to hold me over.
Dried Fruit & Veggies
My favorite dried fruits include:
- Bare Brand – especially the dried apple
- Trader Joe’s “Just Mango” dried mango
- Dried beet chips from Trader Joe’s
- Dried okra from Trader Joe’s
The dried mango is perfect for a trip involving flying because the texture is not crunchy and you don’t have to worry about the bag getting crushed in your suitcase or carry-on.
Nuts and Trail Mix
I like to buy the individual 100-calorie packs of nuts for traveling. Sometimes I will get almonds but most recently I got an assortment pack from Aldi. While I’m not a fan of counting calories or restricting serving sizes, I find these individual packs to be great to toss in a small bag. They are also the perfect size to pair with a dried fruit serving.
B packed a bag of trail mix on our last trip and it was nice to change things up a little bit.
Best Water Bottles for Travel
One of the biggest issues I have with traveling is dehydration. It’s a mix of not having as easy access to water and drinking more alcohol than I typically drink. I have a few plastic BPA-free water bottles that I like to use when I’m at home, but I opt for an insulated, stainless steel water bottle when I’m traveling. Hydro Flask is my current favorite brand because the bottles come in so many different sizes and colors. Here are my two favorite:
24 oz. Hydro Flask – I like this water bottle because it’s tall and skinny. It fits nicely in the side of my backpack and in a cup holder but still holds a good amount of water.
32 oz. Hydro Flask – This water bottle is thicker than my 24oz bottle but still isn’t too bulky. It’s a great size if you want to carry some extra water with you down to the pool or beach, and the wide mouth makes it easier to add ice.
I don’t take supplements on a regular basis at home but I started packing a few things on trips to help boost my immune system. I started doing this a few years ago after I got so sick on our trip to Greece that it put a huge damper on our travel. I have travel anxiety when we fly and I think the stress of flying, a weird sleep schedule and being outside of my normal eating habits really suppresses my immune system. FYI – a lot of your immune system is in your gut!
Here’s what I bring with me now when we’re traveling*:
Don’t read too much into the prenatal vitamin… they were all sold out of the regular women’s vitamin at Target ;) I take the probiotic, multivitamin and Vitamin C daily, and I like having the elderberry and zinc on hand in case I start feeling sick. I also like to have melatonin on hand in case I can’t fall asleep. I find it’s helpful for adjusting to a time zone change as well.
*please seek custom advice by your own registered dietitian or healthcare provider before you start taking supplements
Healthy Tips While on Vacation
My focus is definitely on enjoying experiences while I’m on vacation, but I wanted to mention a few thoughts about general health and wellness.
We try not to plan late nights and super early mornings back-to-back so that we have a chance to rest and recover a little bit.
I always pack several travel size sunscreens so that they’re easy to carry around and reapply as necessary. I usually ditch my regular foundation on vacation and use the It Cosmetics CC cream, which is mattefying and feels light on the skin (my color is medium). It’s easily applied with your fingers and provides SPF 40, which makes it perfect to take on vacation. Skin cancer runs in B’s family so we’re really mindful about this.
Maybe it’s from having my nutrition private practice and understanding all of the negative health implications of binge drinking (more than 3 drinks in one day), but we have really shifted away from excessively drinking on vacation. We still enjoy a cocktail at dinner or a new wine, but we both agree that we don’t need to spend an entire day drinking in order to relax and have fun on a trip.
I hope this post is helpful to anyone planning a summer vacation. I would also love to hear from you – what are some of your favorite things to pack on vacation? Leave me a comment and let me know!