7 Ways to Stay Fit When Travelling With Kids

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If there’s one thing I love to do apart from chasing my little boy and tinkering around my kitchen is to travel.  But I am sure you would agree how it can get challenging to stay on track with your healthy routine while travelling.  I am no party-pooper though and I still believe in enjoying the wanderlust moments and not having to snack purely on celery sticks during your entire tour.

We recently went on our first snow trip experience as a family over at Falls Creek Victoria.   It was over 7-hours drive and we stayed there for 4 days and had the best time ever!  This wasn’t our longest trip though compared to when we flew to Dubai for a two-week vacation and travelled more than 50 hours back and forth.  Having experienced a number of times travelling with a toddler has kind of equipped me for this latest trip and I wish to share some tips with you if you also want to keep your family’s health in-check whilst cam-whoring and food tripping during your holiday. 

Our snack box during our 7-hour road trip to Falls Creek
  1. PACK HEALTHY FOOD.

If traveling on the road, pack whole foods like fruits (apples, bananas, mandarins, berries), cut veggies (carrots, celery), and nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, trail mix, granola).  I also pack baked goodies like my WHOLEMEAL BLUEBERRY MUFFINS or HEALTHY BANANA BREAD.   No time to bake?  You can always prep easy sandwiches the night before and quickly toast them up before you leave in the morning.  Go for wholemeal or multigrain bread and put some all-natural peanut or almond butter, or boiled eggs, cheese and tomatoes, or even smashed avocadoes.  The ideas are endless!   As a last resort, you can make a quick trip to your grocery and search for wholegrain crackers if you are really pressed for time to prep.   I have a sweet tooth and so do my boys!  If you also are, go for dark chocolates or even dates which is a nutritious sweet treat.

If travelling on air, check first if your airline allows you to carry raw and whole foods like fruits when on-board the craft.  If not, the safest option would be your healthy sandwiches, whole crackers and nuts.

2.  BOOK ACCOMMODATION WITH A KITCHEN.

With the advent of AirBnb, bed and breakfast options, it’s actually much preferable and more cost-effective these days to book studio apartments or rent local homes with full-range amenities including a kitchen which allows you to make some meals of your choice.  Ok, not all meals I guess, since I’m also a firm believer of experiencing food culture whenever you travel.  In our last trip though, I found it rather convenient to cook our breakfast in our room rather than having to rush out in the morning to search the area for cafés, wait for a table, and try to battle with a toddler to settle and eat (if you know what I mean mommas).

I didn’t bring everything from my fridge and pantry, although I wish I did!  Ha!  I brought mostly the lighter items that can easily fit in a cooler like yogurt, smoked salmon, berries, oats, and we bought the rest of the items from a nearby supermarket the night we reached.  We had in the mornings some creamy oats (Theo’s favorite), smashed avo toast plus some sides of proteins like eggs in different ways, sausages, or smoked salmon.

Better than room service! DIY breakfast during our snow trip.

3. SUPPLEMENT AS NECESSARY.

I don’t know with you but to me, I would rather be on the safe side and have an extra layer of defence from catching some nasty virus while travelling.   Apart from our daily CELLSENTIALS® (multivitamins and antioxidants) and Theo’s USANIMALS, I also pack these PROBIOTICS for healthy digestion which is super important when travelling.  When picking your supplements, make sure it has high doses of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and zinc, which are great immunity boosters, and vitamin E to help fight off infection.

Keep yourself extra-hydrated as well.  Carry a water bottle with you always which you can refill whenever you are in a restaurant or if there are drinking stations.  This is especially useful if you travel during warm climate with kids as there’s higher risk for dehydration.  Make sure you get them to have regular sips of water BEFORE they even start asking for it.

4.  LOOK AT THE MENU BEFORE GOING IN A RESTAURANT.

I learned to do this recently and it does make it easier to eat healthy when they actually have healthy options in the menu.  Read customer reviews or go to travel search engines like Trip Advisor which has tons of recommendations from travellers.

Moderation and balance have always been my philosophy even when it comes to eating.  We rarely go for buffets or eat-all-you-can simply because I just can’t eat that much food in one sitting without ending up in the loo after!  And also, you will usually get more high-quality dishes from ala carte menus.   So what do we order?  First, a protein dish (chicken, fish, or other meat), then paired with something light like a hearty soup, or a filling salad, or a veggie dish.   Don’t be timid to ask the waiter if they can customize the dish for you too like maybe have the dressing served separately so you can also control the portions.

Can’t skip dessert?  Try to share with whoever you are travelling with.  Donnell and I order one dessert first to-share and see how far our appetites can go.  And usually, we never get to order a second one.  Besides, wasting food is not in our agenda when travelling.

5. SQUEEZE IN SOME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.

Schedule even 10 minutes at the start or end of the day to get some time for you to either hit the gym (if your accommodation offers that), or having a good run down the beach or out in a nearby park.   This makes me reminisce the early morning runs I had in Atlantis the Palm Dubai while catching a glimpse of the glorious sunrise.   Nothing beats getting some fresh air and sunlight at the start of your busy day.   You can do it while your little tots are still asleep, or you can even tag along the entire family for some sweat fun in the morning!

Pressed with time? Just do some simple stretches or yoga flow if that’s your thing the moment you wake up.  Do some deep breathing and slow stretches to loosen those tight muscles.  You will also feel less sore at the end of the day after hours of walking around.

Who can resist a view like that?!? Sweating it out at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbor Hotel

6. GET YOUR MUCH NEEDED REST.

You’re probably surprised to read this but yes, getting some beauty sleep can ensure you have enough energy for the entire trip.  And you’ll thank yourself for it when you see your photos sans the tired-looking, raccoon eyes.  So how to get a good night’s sleep?  It depends on what your night routine is like but I find that unplugging from digital devices at least half an hour before my sleep time works best.  Also, try not to eat a heavy dinner as that would mess up your digestion.  You very well know that sleep and bloatedness never go well together.  If at all you had too much to eat, a warm cup of green or ginger tea can also do the trick.

Take it easy also on the caffeine and sugar towards the evening.  Go for decaf if you can’t really skip coffee, and again, split the dessert during dinner.  I know, it is hard!  But your body will thank you for it, I promise!

7.  LESS IS MORE.

I learned this from the legendary globetrotter Anthony Bourdain when he talked about one of the things you should do when travelling which is NOT to have an itinerary.  I know, it’s shocking to hear and you’re probably shaking your head in disagreement.  I mean, itinerary is almost synonymous to travel, right?  But I agree when he said that when we have a ‘schedule’ to be on this and that tour, it takes away the MAGIC that unfolds when one explores and experiences a new place, its people, and culture.  So instead of cramming four cities in two weeks, pick one destination and get to know it inside out.  This also means less transfers, packing and unpacking, which can get crazy exhausting if you have kids in tow.

As the saying goes, “Dolce far niente” (the sweetness of doing nothing), which is made famous by Italians for how they completely enjoy and savor a moment.  Don’t be scared to just sit and watch people or the sun set while sipping your wine, or espresso.  Too much stress while travelling is the last thing you would want.  Just relax, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

I hope enjoy your next holiday and feel A-OK during and after your trip.   Did you find this article helpful?  Leave a comment below on your own tips to travel fit!  Or better yet, share this post to your friends too.  Here’s to healthy travelling!

xx,



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