When you are away from home for any extended period of time, it’s easy to get out of your routine and feel “out of whack”. Even if I am having the best time ever, often times I am left at the end of the day with a tummy ache. So, here’s what I do, when I feel like I’m away from my normal routine. Check it out…
1. Breathe and enjoy it – Don’t worry so much – I think the expectations we set up for ourselves to maintain a healthy lifestyle is probably what makes “leaving the routine” so difficult. It’s the internal pressure that we have to drink 2 glasses of water before coffee or to sweat it out for at least 30 minutes before breakfast, that when we miss it, we feel bad about ourselves. And god forbid we forget to pack the collagen peptide packets!
Don’t worry so much, it’s not worth it. Let it go and instead try to be in the moment. Breathe and enjoy it. Listen to what you need at that time, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss your daily handful of supplements one morning.
If you think about it this way, the purpose of routine is to help us manage our time and achieve our goals. When you’re at home or working routine is essential for productivity. When you’re on vacation, your routine, or lack thereof, should also align with your goals. And when your goals are to relax, disconnect from your daily reality and reconnect with yourself and your traveling partner, breaking from routine may be just what you need.
After all, you are away from home for a reason, and most likely it’s to disconnect from your daily reality. I think it is healthy to give yourself and your body a break from the strict day-to-day schedule. Bottom line – stick to your routine, when you can, while you’re away, but don’t over react if you miss a few steps along the way, it’s part of the adventure. Your routine will be waiting for you when you return home, and by then, you will be happy to jump right back into it.
2. Drink lots of water – I really can’t say this enough. I tell myself all the time that I need to drink more water (I typically keep a big jug on my desk at work for this very reason). But it’s even more uber important while you’re traveling. Airplanes, trains, and automobiles are breeding grounds for your next cold. As when your body is dehydrated, you are more susceptible, as you are not giving yourself a way to flush out the daily toxins, but also helping your body prevent things like headaches and tummy issues. (Which definitely tend to happen to me, while I’m on vacay.)
Another benefit of staying hydrated, which I’m a big believer in, is to clear up your complexion/skin. I can’t tell you how much clearer my skin became while I was away for two weeks. (And I was out of my routine!) I do think a big part of it was a reduction of stress and probably the moisture in the air was helpful, but I also think that the amount of water I had was a big contributor. When we got to Hawaii, we bought a flat of water to keep in our hotel room and we would grab a few to go every time we went out. Or, you could tots bring a re-fillable one with you… I just didn’t think of that when I was packing for my trip the morning we left. (I blame the honeymoon brain).
3. Think of “meals by day” – the 80/20 – There’s no reason not to enjoy yourself. While I was on my honeymoon, I sure did!
Some days we ordered French fries at happy hour, just because we could. (But that ended up being dinner at 4 PM, so we also ordered a Beet & Goat Cheese Salad and Roasted Brussels too – yay veggies!). Some days we’d start with coffee and fresh papayas and others we’d go straight for the Malasadas (Portuguese style doughnuts). But in the evening, we’d go for something lighter, like freshly caught fish and local veggies.
Not going to lie, balance is pretty difficult while traveling, because everything you don’t normally reach for, and then some, is available. (And you want it!) And as a foodie myself, it’s important to me to embrace the food culture in any place I travel to. My hubby Josh and I just LOVE food. However, to keep myself sane, I think of the day as a whole, instead of meal by meal. Even when I’m at home, I typically automatically adhere to about an 80/20 (healthy/unhealthy) rule. So ultimately, while I’m on vacay, I enjoy what I want, when I want it, and the next meal I’d try to have some extra veggies, so it will hopefully balance out. And if it doesn’t, I don’t worry about it. As long as I was getting some fresh, local foods during the day, I cut myself some slack if I wanted the Coconut dessert. If you listen, your body will let you know what it wants, but also tell you when it’s had enough.
Another thing that was super helpful was after 8 days in a hotel in Oahu, we switched it up the last 3 nights in Maui – we opted to stay in an AirBnB! By that time, we were ready to transition back to the “normal” and not eat out three times a day. We went to a local grocery store and picked up some ingredients and made dinner together (in our PJs!) And then used those leftovers to whip up an egg-scramble the next morning. Ultimately, it’s nice to have flexibility to have access to a kitchen, so you can cook when you feel like it.
4. Support your feet – But for real, get yourself some comfy, cute, athletic shoes that are supportive, your feet will thank you. Although those super cute new sandals or wedges go with your outfit, if you are going to be walking around all day, you are not going to “happily” last. Plus, if you planning on chasing waterfalls (like we did), you will want something you won’t be so worried about getting a little dirty.
While we were in Waikiki, we ended up buying new shoes *sigh*– not because we necessarily needed them, but because we were wandering up and down the shops every day and Josh loves shoes, so it was bound to happen. However, they were on sale, and I do still love them, so Happy Honeymoon Present to me! I couldn’t be happier to have these cute tennis to sport pretty much everywhere we went – with my rompers/jeans/lulu’s, you name it! (We did have our runners to throw on for extra muddy adventures, like hiking).
I didn’t always have my phone on me, but we typically averaged 8-16k steps a day exploring Hawaii. If you are in Europe, I’d double that. There’s just so much to see and do, you really don’t want your feet to be what stops you – so get yourself some comfortable shoes – you WILL NOT regret it!
5. Get out there, literally– What’s a better way to be out of your normal lifestyle than to embrace it? It’s nearly impossible to think you will go to the gym every day on vacation, so why not try something new? I am a believer that physical activity can be many things…
– Swimming or snorkeling in the ocean looking for fish
– Walking down the beach on the sand or from shop-to-shop or to dinner (basically whenever you can)
– Hiking up a volcano crater to get a view from the top
– Obviously, going on a quick jog along the beach
– Doing stretches in your hotel room
– Trying the sunset yoga class your hotel offers on the lawn
– Signing up for surfing lessons – man, that was a workout!
– Renting paddle boards
– Finding a local fitness studio nearby to try (I did seek out an OTF class in Waikiki)
– Savasana/meditation in your beach chair listening to the waves
Options are endless – but doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t be “active” if you are beach-side. But giving your body a break from the daily circuit training classes or sweaty yoga isn’t exactly a bad thing either. Some days, I was perfectly content relaxing and doing nothing – others, I had a little extra zest and craved a good sweat. It’s just up to you to make it happen, in whatever form that is.
I love to travel, explore, and adventure to new places. Part of the fun is putting yourself in the shoes of the local person and experiencing life from their lens. It’s okay to briefly step away from your typical lifestyle (workout routines, eating schedules, etc.) in order to really be in the moment of that adventure. It’s so healthy to give your body a break and not be guilty about doing it. You deserve it. Enjoy it and be at peace knowing you can jump right back in, with two feet, as soon as you get back.
Feel free to share any of your travel hacks that have helped you enjoy your trip to the max! – xo b