When you check-in to your hotel room, you don’t have to check-out of your healthy habits. I spend a lot of time in hotels. Book tours, speaking events, and let’s not forget—doctors visits, have taken me far and wide. Eventually, I got sick of stale-smelling evenings in hotel room after hotel room, so I started being proactive about making these stays healthier and happier.
I know many of you travel too—some of you more than others. Maybe you’re checking into hotels when visiting your kid at college, for work trips, or you’re just a sucker for the open road. Regardless, your health doesn’t have to suffer during your stay. Try some of the following tips the next time you’re away from home and you’ll find yourself more rested, clear headed, and energized for whatever comes your adventurous way.
1. Make yourself at home. This tip is mostly for your mental and emotional health. Bringing a little comfort and love along with you on your journey will make you feel more welcome and relaxed, leading to better mood and sleep. You could…
- Unpack your clothes and hang them up or put them away in the dresser.
- Pull out your toiletries and set them up in the bathroom.
- Place a photo from home or keepsake on your nightstand.
- Bring your favorite pillow with you.
- Roll out your yoga mat so you’re ready to stretch anytime!
- Drape pretty scarves over electronics to block extra light while you sleep.
- Bring a cozy shawl that can double as a light blanket.
- Dab essential oil on your pillows or use it with a travel diffuser to cover up the “eau de hotel” (I enjoy Thieves spray, but it’s about what brings you joy). Some oils double as a disinfectant as well—score!
2. Call ahead and ask for a mini fridge and electric kettle (also bring your filtered water pitcher if possible). Staying hydrated and eating well are key to keeping your energy and mental clarity tip-top. Most hotels will provide these amenities if you ask ahead. Here’s why they’ll make your hotel stay awesome:
- Your mini fridge keeps healthy snacks fresh—whether you bring them along (foldable coolers are perfect for this!) or make a trip to the local grocery store. Fruits, veggies, hummus, cold-pressed green juices, nondairy milk, and more are great to have on hand so that you aren’t tempted to head to the drive thru for lunch or a midnight snack.
- Other non-refrigerated items to stock up on: Instant oatmeal packets (I love Nature’s Path Flax Plus), nut and coconut butters (single serving packets are super on the road), trail mix and your other favorite snacks.
- No need to wait for pricey (often delayed) room service. An electric kettle makes tea and morning oatmeal in a snap. Eating a hearty breakfast and relaxing with a nice cup of tea or warm lemon water can do wonders for your energy and mood when you’re away from home.
- And if you prefer filtered water and can pack your pitcher, make sure to bring it along! You don’t want to skimp on H2O or have to stock up on bottled water just because tap water turns you off. Plus, chlorine in tap water has been known to mess with your healthy gut bacteria, which is key to your keeping your digestion, mood and immune system in good shape. Not to mention the fact that US consumers spend billions of dollars on bottled water each year and 75% of plastic water bottles end up in our landfills, oceans, lakes and streams.
3. Research healthy restaurants ahead of time & find out what delivery options are available locally. HappyCow’s website and app are great resources to help you track down veg-friendly food near your hotel. GrubHub, Door Dash and Seamless are popular delivery services that may be in areas you’re visiting. Planning ahead meant that we didn’t have to sacrifice nourishing food while powering through our company meetings. Often the most unhealthy options are the easiest to access, but with a little Googling you can enjoy convenient, energizing meals that won’t take over your whole day.
4. Queue up some sleep, relaxation & exercise tools. Before you leave town, load up your computer, phone, tablet, or Kindle with some mind/body wellness resources. And block out some R&R time so that you’re more likely to use these resources and keep your health on track. This is especially important if you’re traveling on weekends for work. Let’s face it, skipping self-care on Sunday makes Monday a drag—you need to recharge! Here are some of my favorites: FMTV’s yoga classes, Headspace’s meditation app (free, simple and quick meditations), and white noise apps for sleepy time (Pzizz, Sleep Machine, White Noise—just to name a few).
5. Get up early to start your day right. This one is a biggie for me. If I feel rushed in the morning, I carry that anxious feeling through the rest of my day. So I try to give myself at least two hours in the AM—one hour to relax and one hour to get ready. Did I mention poop? Yep—you know you feel better when you get that out of the way first thing! If you tend to get constipated on the road, make sure you’re staying hydrated (see above!) and active. Plus, you can take extra probiotics and magnesium citrate to get things moving (just check in with a holistic practitioner if you’re new to these supplements). When you take time to consciously start your day, you’ll reap the benefits all day long.