4 Healthy Things I Don’t Do When I Travel

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Since I’m traveling today, I planned to write a travel-inspired blog post. I thought about doing the whole healthy travel thing, but I know I’ve done that before on CNC.

You’ve seen me pack all kinds of healthy foods.


You’ve read posts about my favorite travel-friendly meals and snacks.


You’ve even seen me walk a mile to the commuter rail for a little extra exercise.


Been there and done that with the healthy travel posts, right? I figured, so this post is about typically-healthy things I don’t do when I travel. (You like what I did there? Switching it up, people.) Obviously, being healthy means different things to different people, and it’s all about what works best for you. With that said, here are some healthy things I don’t do when I travel.

I don’t wear sneakers.

When you’re traveling, you’re suppose to wear your sneakers to encourage you to move more, take the stairs, and all that jazz, right? I do sometimes wear sneakers when I travel, but the majority of the time (and especially in the warmer months), I wear flip flops. It makes getting through security so much easier. Even in the colder months, I often wear my UGGS instead of sneakers, just so I can easily slip them off and on.


I don’t take the stairs.

Bypass the escalator and take the stairs to add a short burst of exercise to your travels! You’ve heard that one before, right? Since I almost always travel with my carry-on (I refuse to check luggage), I often use the escalator and walking escalator in airports. I’m usually lugging around my suitcase plus a backpack and usually a bag full of food, so I tend to pick the easiest travel option. Plus, I don’t want to get all sweaty lugging around my stuff!


I don’t drink a ton of water.

I know travel, and especially flying, dehydrates me, but I don’t drink a ton of water while I am traveling. I have a tiny bladder and pee ALL the time, so when I’m en route, I don’t drink all that much just so I can avoid lots of trips to the bathroom. When I arrive at my destination, however, I definitely try to make up for lost hydration, and I almost always have a water bottle with me, so I can drink throughout the day.


I don’t stick to my usual habits.

One of the things I love most about travel is that I have the chance to break away from my usual routine and try something new, especially when it comes to food and fitness. Instead of sticking to what I normally do, I like to branch out and try new foods, restaurants, and workouts, which, a lot of the time, inspires my own healthy habits back home.


Questions of the Day

What healthy things do you do when you travel?

What healthy things do you not do when you travel?

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  1. I don’t wear sneakers, either! I’m typically wearing heels, sandals, etc, but not sneakers, though at the end of the day, my feet sometimes wish I would have! The healthy things I do though, is eat a nutritious breakfast each morning!

  2. I def dont drink enough water in general 🙂 But Im glad to see that you wear flip flops, its all I wear when I travel too, for the same reason, so much easier 🙂 I also love trying new foods when I travel, what would be the fun of NOT doing that!? So jealous of your crossfit trip, I would love to go next year!

  3. I have to wear sneakers when flying… not for health reasons though. I just want to have good footwear for when our plane gets stranded on an island, duh! Seriously though, I can’t bring myself to only have flip flops on, in the off-chance scenario that we crash and must survive.

  4. Oh, I definitely follow in the same boat with my travel adventures. Sometimes it’s hard to do everything healthy when you travel. Like most of the time I don’t sleep enough, I stress too much, don’t drink enough, or eat enough. I sound fun, right? 😉
    Or sometimes I don’t bring enough food either, which is a disaster if I don’t Snack too often. You live and you learn.
    Have a blast!

  5. Hand sanitizer and washing your hands every chance you get is a healthy thing to do while traveling too! That way you dont get sick!

  6. I bring healthy food and workout…but I’m the same with hand luggage and the escalators! I’m usually laden down and sweaty enough as is without potentially falling down the stairs 🙂

  7. I never drink enough water when traveling either…because I don’t want to have to pee constantly.
    But I do workout every day when I travel, even if it’s just something small like a walk. I have to do it otherwise I just feel off. I also try to choose the healthiest food options that I can so my system doesn’t get thrown for a loop.

  8. I always wear flip flops or sneakers and I pack snacks because I cannot stand paying the crazy prices at the airport, although I tend to give myself one treat.

  9. I’m a flip flops girl, too. It’s just so much easier when traveling! I always pack socks in case the plane is cold, though. If you don’t want to drink a lot of water on a flight, I recommend getting an under-3 oz water spray bottle for the airplane. It is SO refreshing to mist your face on a dry plane! I often bring moisturizer and moisturize on cross-country or international flights, and mist before for added moisture.

  10. I actually do drink a lot of water when I travel & have a small bladder…but the headache is not worth it to me to not drink enough.

    But, I def do not wear sneakers when I travel–it’s almost always flip flops in the summer & boots in the winter!

  11. I HAVE to have on socks through security, no way I can go barefoot on those public floors. (I have a thing about public areas…like public seats-train, movies, airplanes. ick, I have to have on pants, dont want my skin touching all that!)

    I also dont like to go the bathroom while traveling so I dont drink enough water.
    I also will try local foods to where I am traveling, even if they are not the healthiest.

  12. This was a great post – I do the same thing and always want to splurge (both money and calories) on new foods while I’m traveling. Problem is I have a terrible time getting back to a routine when I get home. Do you ever feel that way? Like now that I’ve gotten to indulge I don’t want to go back to the same old routine. Any advice?

  13. I usually do wear sneakers, although you’re right, they’re a pain in the butt at airport security. When I travel, though, I always eat the local foods and try everything. I definitely don’t think twice about any kind of “diet”. Traveling and trying new foods is too fun!

  14. I love this, especially the flipflops! I never wear sneakers either. I feel so much like the stupid swiss tourist if I do.
    And I drink almost every day on my vacation. Not a lot, but pretty consistent – a glass of wine or champagne for dinner 🙂

  15. I never bring a healthy meal to the airport. I always end up buying something, and it is usually an unhealthy sandwich. At least I do one lap around the terminal before I buy anything to eat just to get a little extra exercise.

  16. Oh, I totally splurge on food when traveling… I’ve stayed mostly gluten-free since my MS diagnosis last year, but when I was in NYC… real pizza and bagels? (Good thing I crave fresh fruit a lot, too!)

    I echo the sentiment of a few of the posters above–I used to wear some sort of slip-on shoe going through security, but I wear my workout shoes these days to save room in my carry-on (which is the only luggage I take)! I’m often untying them in the security line… 🙂

  17. I stop for Starbucks way too often while I am traveling. It is a guilty pleasure of mine that is a perfect vacation splurge. Healthy habits include drinking a ton of water, walking a lot, and always eating a healthy breakfast. I also don’t snack on vacations because I am never hungry between meals. I think this helps balance out those high calorie meals when you eat out!

  18. I actually do wear sneakers and take the stairs 🙂 My feet tend to swell on planes and I have found that running up the stairs (even if I do get sweaty) and wearing sneakers keeps my feet from bloating up. I’m bad at drinking water and tend to replace it with wine, haha 😉 It helps with my flying anxiety!

  19. Amen to the flip flops and Uggs! You have to at least look semi-cute while you travel 😉 And it’s definitly hard to eat right when you’re in and out of airports, especially with security being so tight these days. I do always try and buy a bottle of water while I’m sitting around waiting for a flight instead of a big soda. BUT, a mid-flight diet coke is always a winner 🙂

  20. I try to drink a lot of water while I’m on vacation, especially to limit the alcohol…but I’m with you on the traveling part – teeny tiny bladder! I don’t really “exercise” but I do try to book excursions/activities that are active and fun, like kayaking or cave tubing!

  21. I always drink very minimal amounts of water, too. I swear, I have the smallest bladder known to man, and I always try to avoid the airplane bathrooms. As a result, I generally avoid liquids prior to my flight and during the majority of the flight.

  22. I’m with you on the water thing! I always get stuck in the middle seat on a plane so going to the bathroom is such a chore. I do try to keep a workout routine while I travel, though, and also try to keep similar sleeping hours instead of going completely opposite of my normal pattern.

  23. What a fun post! I do all of the things you do when it comes to traveling! I hate going to the bathroom on planes! Eww!

    Healthy things I do when I travel: continue my exercise regime, eat healthy for main meals (with indulgences here and there), stay active throughout the day but also schedule some down time.

    Unhealthy things I do when I travel: drink too much.

  24. I’ve tried the whole cutting back on water thing on a plane since I, too, have a small bladder, but one time I fainted from dehydration on a plane! Since then, I chug up and always pick an aisle seat for easy bathroom access 🙂

  25. My “don’t do’s” are pretty much the same as yours – I just can’t bring myself to travel in sneakers or take the stairs when lugging a carry-on. I also don’t practice moderation… I tend to eat and drink WAY too much while on vacation!

    My healthiest travel habit is definitely running to explore a new place (http://peaksandpassports.com/category/running/) – I’m not a huge runner but I absolutely love my vacation runs!

  26. I DO always pack some snacks so I can avoid unhealthy airport food if the options are limited. And I DO drink a lot of water – I make sure to get an aisle seat! I DON’T wear sneakers either – I’m usually traveling for work and wearing heels. I also DON’T do any of the stretches that I always read about that you’re supposed to do on long flights! Hopefully getting up for the bathroom breaks helps :).

  27. I’m horrible about exercising when traveling for work! I always think I’ll sneak a workout in but my business trips normally mean I’m working 7am-9pm (thank goodness they don’t happen often!)
    When I’m on vacation, I do workout but I dont drink enough water 🙁

  28. I try so hard to eat healthy when I’m traveling! But, … it doesn’t always work out. I don’t really drink soda so I definitely drink plenty of water but, it’s the eating out that gets me. Especially if I’m staying in a hotel for the whole trip! (Which I just did, btw. Went to Great Lakes to witness my daughter’s Navy boot camp graduation. I’m seriously telling random strangers because I’m just so PROUD of my kid!) Anyway, I absolutely CRAVE vegetables when I get home. As far as other healthy stuff, I usually manage to squeeze a workout or two in but then I blow it all with a burger, fries and a beer later. Oh well, you only live once, right? 🙂

  29. I SO appreciate you switching it up from the usual healthy travel posts. I honestly don’t think it’s that hard to stay healthy when you travel? Just practice moderation!

  30. That’s not unhealthy….that’s normal.
    Besides you got in a killer workout, you ate chicken and sweet potatoes, you had DARK chocolate almonds, etc….ahh..I think you’re good far outweighed your “bad” !

      1. @Tina:
        You’re so welcome! It totally made my day. My favorite is when the pug runs around in a circle. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve..erm paw.

  31. I definitely don’t drink enough water when traveling, I hate the hassle of using those TINY airplane bathrooms.

    On long flights, I try to make a habit of not eating all of the dessert provided in the meal, whether it be a brownie, cake, or cookie. I have a huge sweet tooth so resisting something sugary in front of me is really hard but I know I don’t need those unnecessary calories. It takes a lot of will power for me but I’m always glad I didn’t eat all of it later.

  32. I usually take advantage of using the hotel gym for some speedwork on the treadmill since i refuse to get a gym membership of my own (running outside > running on a treadmill). But if there’s a layover or some downtime at the airport, I don’t make a conscious effort to get up and move too much. Although, that’s mostly out of fear I’ll A.) get lost or B.) my plane will miraculously arrive 2 hours early and leave without me. Totally rational, right? : )

  33. I’m pretty good about bringing healthy foods to travel with but I tend to not exercise much when I travel. We usually end up walking a lot on vacation but I skip the hotel gym.
    Great topic!

  34. Love the twist on this post. 🙂 I do try to be good about staying extra hydrated when I’m flying (even if it means using the bathroom a million times – hello, aisle seat!)
    I also allow myself to indulge more on vacation which I suppose can actually be a healthy habit depending on how you look at it!

  35. When I travel I try not to eat too greasy. I normally stick with sandwich shops and fruit or oatmeal and coffee. I’d hate to have an upset tummy during the flight or at the airport! Yuck! I do eat more chips and processed snacks which dont sit well. Oh and I tend to drink more soda which is no bueno. I do like to walk or take the stairs insead of the escalator or the little thing in the middle that is like a mini transporter just to waste time though. I dont really consider the health effect. I do like to wear sneakers because I like to take my shoes off during the flight and not have my bare feet on the floor. I always love to feel a little snuggly on a plane full of strangers.

  36. Well Tina,

    My doc thinks I have chrons or colitis…waiting for results 🙁
    Devastated. About your age and a real mess. I don’t even know the diff btwn the two 🙁

    The worse is that I’m dealing with fibromyalgic onset pains for last few years and unable to exercise. I’ve been depressed the last few years and a poor eater (very poor, as in an ounce of dark chocolate every.single.night. every heavy eating days). I don’t know how to eat anymore and desperately want to avoid meds (they SCARE,,,and honestly….afraid of weight gain 🙁

    I’m ashamed of my emotional eating (very out of control ) for about over a year now and am uncertain how the heck to eat anymore. Food moves through me very very slowly. I already eat little to no grains/dairy/legumes. But clearly something HAS to change. SO lOST. So lost. I so amazed by your energy and how you live life regardless when I know know it must …suck.
    If you can email me re: food….I’d feel very appreciative. I’m quite different than you (not an exerciser , and a binger) but even if you can direct me to books/sites/nutritionists with specific meal plans? I think with my binging habits, a routine meal plan/structure is what I need vs. intuitive eating. Thanks. I feel ashamed putting up this comment, but am quite sad.

    On another note , I found this: http://www.thefreckledfoodie.com/paleo-microwave-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough/
    Just wish I knew if I could/should eat it or not. Maybe I need a completely clean break of simple, whole foods until I can heal my body. Thanks again. Would love if you could email me with sample 2-3 items for b, l, d, snacks (or if you did a post like “kath eats” does sometimes where she does “Lately” and then does individual categories for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks (afternoon and night). Thanks.
    I’m out of control . It has to stop.

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