Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018
Seaside – Jan/Feb/March 2018

Healthy Travel: Don’t Leave Diet & Exercise Behind

sailingI love to travel. Who doesn’t? So many exciting places to see, plus meeting interesting people keeps you vibrant and young at heart. Yet traveling can be challenging, especially when you are trying to keep fit and healthy. Since I travel a lot, I want to share a few tips that I use to make my trip healthy and happy–and pound-free.

In the Airport

Let’s start with airplane travel. Today, air travel means waiting and waiting can lead to unhealthful eating. As you sit in the terminal for your flight to board, look around you. From fast food eateries to ice cream shops, temptation is everywhere. To combat giving in to that 700-calorie cinnamon pastry, I reach for my carry-on where I find more than just packed clothes. I always fold in some goodies when flying and that doesn’t mean candy and potato chips. Raw veggies, fruits and my delicious granola bars are the way to go. (Check out my healthy granola bar recipe in an upcoming post.)

blueberry cake donuts

Resist the temptation of high-fat, high-calorie airport offerings by carrying your own healthful snacks.

On the Plane

Also, drink plenty of water when in the air. Hydrating is key. I recommend drinking a 16-ounce bottle of water for every two hours you’re in the air.

Don’t forget to hydrate your skin too. Bring your favorite moisturizer and slather on your face and hands. A mineral water spray is also wonderful and refreshing. When you get to your destination, your skin will thank you.

water bottles

Stay hydrated when you fly.

Finally, move about the cabin. I take a least two walks per trip. I also periodically raise and lower my heels while seated and raise my knees to my chin as an abs exercise. It may look strange, but you won’t feel like a pretzel by the end of your flight. [Also, check out Carmel’s in-flight exercises story].

At the Hotel

When you get to the hotel, your first destination should be the fitness center. If your hotel doesn’t have one, remember the world is your gym! Walk around the neighborhood and get the lay of the land. I love walking especially after a big dinner. Walking off your meal will also help you sleep better, which can be challenging in a strange bed.

I also have a no elevator rule, unless we are in a big city with tall buildings. Taking the stairs is the best go-to cardio at any destination.


Don’t just lounge on the beach, get moving.

Also, choose vacations that include activities that keep you moving. Instead of just lounging on the beach, take a brisk walk, go horseback riding, or participate in a game of beach volleyball. I love to sail and often help crew. All the scrambling around on deck and hauling the sails up and down burns calories and helps keep me active and fit.

Getting a good night’s sleep while traveling is equally important. Some people pack their own pillow. That’s not a bad idea, but pillows take a lot of room in the suitcase. Instead, try taking along a small atomizer spray of lavender. It’s a great way to freshen up a room; plus, the beautiful scent will help lull you into a deep sleep. In the morning, spray the room with either citrus or eucalyptus to get you going again. These sprays are available online or in grocery stores like Whole Foods.

Eating Smart

Trips are full of temptations and it’s hard not to indulge in the local fare. You should take advantage of the culture and cuisine of the city or country you’re visiting, but, remember, everything in moderation! When you order, be portion-savvy and order lean meats such as chicken, fish and beef. With steaks, order the option with ‘loin’ in its name (‘loin’ = ‘lean’).

Cuban market

Local markets like this one in Cuba are great places to stock up on healthy snacks like fruit.

Finally, order your dishes without sauces and gravies. To keep from denying yourself, order the sauce on the side and use it for dipping to spice things up.

Enjoying a holiday doesn’t mean taking a vacation from good health. Don’t let traveling temptations and lack of exercise sabotage your next trip. You don’t want to start all over when you get home!

Until next time, healthy traveling. – by Carmel Baronoff, RFT Healthy Travel Expert



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Carmel Baronoff

Carmel, who dubs herself as the “Health Coach” for baby boomers, shows audiences that with healthy eating, continued activity and mental clarity, being 50 and older can become the best time in our lives. She is the cheerleader and guide for living well in during your 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond with the promise of achieving new meaning and satisfaction for decades. Carmel hosts the PBS television show “Living Well with Carmel.”