10 Wellness Tips to Conquer Your Next Business Trip!

Things have been going well! You are so proud of yourself for the progress you’ve made towards a positive wellness routine, but now you are facing a business trip. This anticipated break in routine has you worried and feeling somewhat overwhelmed. You’re thinking, “I won’t have a kitchen, my favorite local grocery store, my go-to restaurants, or the workout accountability buddy that helps keep me on track.” You’re concerned about the long travel hours, busy meeting schedule, carb-loaded breakfasts, catered lunches, unending supply of snacks, business dinners, late night cocktails, and an unfamiliar bed.

It is challenging for busy professionals to maintain healthy habits on a regular basis, so when a work trip is added to the mix, it can be intimidating. Yes, a business trip takes you out of your element, but it does NOT have to ruin your progress. You can still lead a healthy lifestyle—just plan ahead and make some modifications.

Below are 10 simple steps to help you prepare for your next business trip. Making positive choices will fuel your body while you are away, and you’ll feel more confident upon your return!

  • Pack your own food - Bring non-perishable items that easily fit into your bag. Examples are nuts, seeds, nut butter packets, dried fruit, trail mix (save money by purchasing items in bulk and combine all to make your own), multi-grain crackers, and low-sugar protein bars. Pack perishable foods in a small carry-on cooler: fresh fruit, cut vegetables, individual hummus and guacamole packs, plain yogurt, and hardboiled eggs. Pre-portion prior to the trip to save time or bring Tupperware to prepare there.

  • Ask for a refrigerator - Contact the hotel in advance and make sure you have one in your room. If you prefer/have time to purchase food when you arrive, locate the nearest supermarket prior to or upon your arrival.

  • Drink up - Whether you bring your own water bottle or stock up on the bottles provided, keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink throughout the day.

  • Start with an energizing breakfast - Begin the day on a positive note.  Either make your own breakfast or make simple swaps. If you’re facing a platter full of pastries, bagels, and muffins and can’t resist, have a few small pieces. If available, choose items such as fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, and nut butter on a slice of whole grain toast.

  • Don’t skip meals - Yes, you may think that you are doing yourself a favor by “saving up” for the fancy restaurant or cocktail reception, but you’ll end up eating twice as much and may not make the best choices because you’re starving.

  • Stay active – Pack comfy clothes and move when you can throughout the day. Start with a workout at the hotel gym, do a video in your room or a guided exercise from your favorite app. Get up and stretch between meetings, walk with friends during breaks, and take the stairs when available.

  • Be mindful – Avoid mindlessly grabbing from bowls full of pretzels, chips, or nuts, or continuously accepting passed appetizers. Instead place a portion of food on a plate and enjoy it slowly.

  • Ask for substitutions - Nowadays restaurants are pretty accommodating. Swap the fries for a sweet potato. Ask for the protein to be grilled or baked rather than fried. Order a side of vegetables or a salad and ask for the dressing on the side.

  • Monitor the alcohol – Minimize or avoid signature cocktails. Instead choose a drink with club soda or have it on the rocks. Have one glass of wine and sip it slowly. Sip on water between beverages.

  • Get your z’s - Get a good night sleep to fully reenergize and be your best self the next day. This will also curb cravings that are more likely to occur when you are tired.

Most of all, please stay calm and don’t stress. The business trip is only temporary and you are not looking for perfection. Even if you choose to follow just a few of these tips, you will be one step ahead and feel better when you get back home. Enjoy learning, exchanging ideas, and networking with old and new friends - which is the main focus of a business trip after-all, right?

Happy travels! :)

Talya Kosstrin