I travel for work. Summer is a slow travel time for me, but coming up on fall when travel picks up again, I’m planning a trip for later this month. So, it’s got me thinking about how I can make travel fit with my current dietary restrictions. In my territory, I have 13 states and 4 Canadian provinces. It’s stressful, tiring, fun and it has given me opportunities I would have not had otherwise. I’ve been doing this for at least 4 years now, and in that time I’ve had a baby, competed in two bodybuilding competitions and now am dealing with SIBO. Here are some of the most important tips I’ve learned over time and found that allow you to travel and still achieve your goals!

  1. Stay at a hotel that has a fitness center and a room with a microwave and fridge. If you don’t know, call. I like Hilton Garden Inns because they have a decent fitness center 90% of the time and rooms with fridges and microwaves.
  2. Give yourself time to stop for perishable food and bring what you can. I try to always leave time to stop at a grocery store for food. I go on my way from the airport to the hotel. Depending on your nutrition goals, buy what you need and/or can’t bring. For example, I’m allergic to gluten and eggs, so I buy and bring breakfast foods like quinoa flakes and hemp protein. When I was in competition prep I traveled with bags of chicken and veggies for the travel days since reliably finding meals that fit my macro goals is a hassle and sometimes you don’t have the time to search the whole airport for decent food. Sometimes airports don’t have decent selections. Bring or buy snacks that can fit in your bag for the day in case you don’t have a chance to grab anything or end up eating at a restaurant with options that leave you hungry or with gaps in your macros.
  3. Bring a sleep-aid like melatonin, valerian root, herbal tea, GABA, etc… Hotels have strange noises, smells, lights, pillows and mattresses. I like melatonin especially because it’s what your body produces naturally to get you ready for sleep.
  4. Have a travel spork – I have a metal one that is a spoon on one side and fork/knife on the other. I’ve broken two plastic versions of this so decided to get the metal one.
  5. Plan your day out ahead of time. I check out the gym first thing when I get to the hotel so I know what equipment they have. Then, based on my schedule for the next day, I plan out when I’ll get up and what workout I’m going to do.
  6. Find a silicone collapsable bowl. I found one at Rite Aid randomly and it has come in SO handy!
  7. Bring workout supplements in small food containers with tight fitting tops – the ones they make for salad dressings. Label them with a permanent marker. These containers are small enough to fit in your suitcase and fit powders for just the right amount of days. For example, I would put my pre-workout in one container, BCAAs in another, and glutamine in a third. Just to be safe, I’ve found it’s good to put them all in a big gallon plastic bag in case one leaks somehow.
  8. Bring your own treat for the end of the day so you can skip dessert when eating out but not feel like you’re missing out. I like to bring Lily’s chocolates, Barnana banana peanut butter bites, or ingredients for a protein mug cake. If you do mug cakes, your travel bowl will be key here.
  9. If you don’t have time to fit in workouts or your hotel doesn’t have a gym and you can’t change this, bring your own tools. Elastic bands and sliders are lightweight and compact to easily fit in your bag or suitcase.
  10. Prioritize your sleep. Skip the late night drinking marathons and work. You’ll feel less like a sack of doo at the end of your trip if you do this. If you’re anything like me, when you feel like a sack of doo you make bad food decisions and of course over indulge in caffeine, so it’s best if we not get to that place.