LIVE: Travel well

Just like in my day-to-day life, I have a routine I like to follow when I travel. I find it much less stressful (and far more enjoyable) when I take a little time to plan my visit to a new destination so I can hit the ground running in a healthy way.

travel zoodles

*Pro tip:

Washcloths and coffee stirrers make great hotel room stand-ins for napkins and utensils ;)

Eat: Given my plant-based (and mostly gluten-free) lifestyle, it probably goes without saying that I Google Map restaurants close to my temporary home. But my favorite sightseeing destinations are always local markets and natural food stores. I love discovering interesting regional products and chit-chatting with like-minded souls in fun new places. Who knew that the Orlando Whole Foods has a real bar serving sustainable wines in the middle of the store?! My M.O. for business travel has been to secure a fridge for my room during check-in, then to scout out the nearest healthy grocers, or even farmers markets. I stock up on supplies for my meals and snacks, eschewing the questionable conference fare (although I admit it has gotten better as more people vocalize their dietary preferences). It's easy to gather ingredients for fresh salads--even the protein and exciting toppings--that don't require special tools for prep. Just make sure to score a set of utensils from the market or hotel restaurant!*

Move: Another thing I investigate before I depart is the location of the closest yoga studio. A quick check of online reviews, the schedule, mat availability, and other details and I've secured my om away from home. Sometimes you can even get in on an affordable new student deal. I've found some wonderful practice spaces and teachers this way, and I enjoy collecting studio tanks as useful souvenirs of my visit. Plus, doing yoga on the road often exposes me to different styles of yoga I most likely wouldn't explore at home. I tried Bikram at Bikram Yoga Baltimore and Kundalini at Guruvyoga in Orlando. And it's always a bonus if the studio is close enough to walk. The day I wrote this post I enjoyed a lovely mile-long stroll to Practice Indie, a funky place down a side street in downtown Indianapolis. I most likely wouldn't have found it without a little reconnaissance. And speaking of walking: I always take the stairs through airports, hotels and convention centers whenever possible (and safe)--it helps counteract all the sitting during long flights and dry seminar presentations.

Live: Just because you're away from home doesn't mean you have to (or should) give up your sustainable lifestyle. I jump at the chance to wave off hotel housekeeping during stays of less than a week. We hang up towels to dry and reuse at home , so why not avoid the extra resources necessary to provide daily new towels while away? During my trip to Indy, the Downtown Marriott offered a $5 food and beverage credit for each day I went without my room being serviced. I also make a point to set recyclables (paper, cans, bottles, and plastic) next to my trash can as many places will deal with them accordingly. And my habit of reusing bags is one I just can't shake when I travel. They take up no room in my luggage and I'm happy to reuse them for shopping, litter box cleanup, or some other task once I arrive home.

How do you maintain your routine while you're traveling?