I believe that travel is an essential part of a healthy life. Taking time out of our regular routines to explore new places helps us to see things from a different perspective, it opens our eyes to what is possible and broadens our view on life.
Travel takes us away from our everyday stresses and instils a sense of freedom which is great for our mental health.
My family and I set off on a year long trip around Australia with our Jayco camper 6 months ago and we haven’t looked back. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to explore this gorgeous country of ours and share the experience with my children!
I am also a Naturopath so my families well-being is one of my number one priorities.
Here are my top tips for keeping your family healthy while on the road.
1. Focus on getting the good food in
Food is one of the pleasures of travel. You want to be able to enjoy the local beer and wine, call into the local bakery, visit the ice cream shop and test out the grub at the local pub – guilt free!
We recently spent a few months in the Margaret River region where there is an abundance of wineries and breweries, which all seem to serve yummy gourmet pizzas or burgers.
While we were there, one of the kids favourite things to do was ride our bikes down the main street to the ice cream shop to choose which flavour they wanted to try next!
I had no problem with sampling the wine in the region, treating ourselves to a pizza or enjoying an ice cream because on the whole we have a good foundation of healthy habits and include plenty of the good stuff – real, whole foods – in our diet every day.
Real foods or whole foods are foods that are close to their natural state with minimal processing. They are foods that are ready to eat, straight from a plant or animal.
Vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, fish, yoghurt, meats and whole grains like spelt, brown rice and quinoa are real foods. These are the kinds of foods we should base our diets on. They are nutrient rich and fuel our bodies beautifully.
When we eat more real foods in our diet we notice our energy levels improve, it is easier to maintain a healthy weight and we glow from the inside out. Who doesn’t want that when they are travelling?
2. Stock up on local produce
Avoid heading straight to Woolies or Coles when you arrive in a new town. Instead, seek out a local farmers market or fresh produce shop and stock up on produce local to the area you are visiting.
Becoming a locavore in the area you are travelling in helps you to fully immerse yourself in the local food culture and there are loads of health benefits from eating local produce too.
3. Eat a good breakfast
You tend to have more time in the morning when you are travelling than when you are at home so make the most of it and fuel yourself for the day ahead.
Eating a good breakfast, rich in protein and healthy fats helps to sustain you until lunchtime and reduces cravings for rubbish later on in the day.
4. Pack your lunch and snacks
Packing food for day outings and on travel days saves you heaps of money and prevents those last minute fast food or bakery stops.
I always pack fresh fruit too depending on what is in season, but it will often be strawberries, bananas, apples, stone fruit and grapes. A container of mixed raw nuts is usually included or I might be organised and have some Bliss Balls ready to go.
We might also have rice crackers, cheese, hummus, rye sandwiches, frittata, leftover chicken or meat.
We always have plenty of water with us too so we stay hydrated and avoid having to buy bottled water (not only a waste of money but also terrible for the environment).
5. Include plenty of slow time
There is always plenty to see and do when you are travelling but make sure you are getting plenty of down time too.
Holiday Travel offers us a break from our busy schedules. It is the perfect time to rest and recover from our often hectic lives. Sit in the sun and read a book, lie around and tell jokes with the kids, lay down under a tree and watch the clouds, float in the ocean, do whatever fills you up and calms you down.
Get in the habit of getting to bed early. Without the temptation of Netflix, I have been getting lots of early nights on our trip and my sleep has been more restful because I am reading before bed rather than watching a screen.
Getting plenty of good quality sleep replenishes the adrenal glands, enhancing energy levels and stress management.
6. Get moving
There are plenty of opportunities to be active when you are travelling so make the most of them.
Have a go on the kids boogie boards, hike to a waterfall, hire a SUP or take an evening stroll with the family. Some of our best memories on our Australian road trip so far have been our active days together!
We travel with our bikes and try and walk or bike ride where ever possible. We also have surfboards, skateboards, balls, skipping ropes, yoga mats and suspension training straps so we are geared up for an active adventure.
Even on those days when one of the kids isn’t in an active mood (whining that they can’t be bothered!) we have plenty of equipment to do our own fitness, which for me is often a few yoga stretches and some deep breathing.
Keeping your family healthy while you are on the road doesn’t have to be hard work. With a little thought and organisation your whole family will be healthy and vibrant throughout your travels.