Already Googled, ‘how to stay healthy while travelling’? With the rise in people believing travel has become stressful, there’s no wonder the wellness trend has infiltrated the travel industry. From adopting a traditional Mediterranean diet in Greece to living ‘lagom’ in Scandinavia, there’s a myriad of ways to incorporate healthy habits into your travels – without denying yourself that extra scoop of gelato. Need some help? Some of our globetrotting Travel Directors share their top tips for how you can have your croissant and eat it, too.
What are some of your go-to techniques for staying calm in a crowded city?
Marisa: Working in Italy, we encounter many overcrowded spots. Personally, I don’t mind, as I love cities buzzing with energy and good vibes but I notice some of our guests can sometimes feel overwhelmed. My advice to them is to try to go beyond the main tourist areas – venture down the alleyways, off central squares or go for a walk to the residential area. Find a nice coffee bar, have a cappuccino and greet the locals. There’s no better way to feel a personal connection to the city. That is my personal go-to technique every time I find a little time off. Just slow down, enjoy and savour the atmosphere of a foreign city, instead of running around taking in as many sights as possible.
“Find a nice coffee bar, have a cappuccino and greet the locals. There’s no better way to feel a personal connection to the city.”
Travel Director, Marisa
Patrizia: Deep breaths help me stay calm. Safety first, so if a square or a street is way too busy, I just avoid it.
Michelle: I typically don’t get overwhelmed in large crowds or busy cities. I am a Travel Director and live in New York City, after all! But if I was to get anxious in a large group of people, I would try a breathing technique. Not like count out loud and make it noticeable, instead, I would put my hand on my stomach lightly and just breathe.
Isabelle: In a crowded city, I would always follow my instincts. If I do not feel comfortable, I won’t go into the crowds. I can always come back early morning the next day, or maybe I might prefer exploring other neighbourhoods just outside the focus points. It is about the feel of the city as a whole, not just one street or area.
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Of course the roses caught my eye. 🌹💐 ….Nothing like the smell of fresh flowers on Prince St.. • • • Photocred: 📸 @itsbrittwaters 💕 • • • #newyorknewyork #nycpassion #nyc #soho #ingoodcompany #flowers #roses #redroses #market #villagemarket #freshflowers #flowerpower #travelgram #travelblog #travelnyc #smileoftheday #smile #travelinfluencer #thegoodlife #citylife #soho #manhattan
How do you make a hotel room feel at home?
Marisa: Travel Directors live at hotels (I personally spend half a year at various hotel rooms!). My one main thing is to make the room comfy, let in as much natural light as possible and play some of my favourite music, which I always carry with me on my laptop or iPad.
Patrizia: I bring items that I normally use at home, like my own shower cap, my washcloth, my hairdryer, but also my favourite nuts, cereals and crackers. I pack light but meticulously with things I always use. I always pack a set of cutlery, as I like to buy fruit and yoghurt and eat them in my room while watching TV. It saves me from having to borrow cutlery from the hotel.
Michelle: If I am only in a room for one night, I usually only open my suitcase and don’t take a lot of stuff out of it. I make sure its organised enough to select clothes easily out of it. If I am staying in a room for three nights, I will unpack some of my clothes and hang them. To make the room feel like home, I always put a water bottle by my bedside and my essential oils – lavender and eucalyptus.
To make the room feel like home, I always put a water bottle by my bedside and my essential oils – lavender and eucalyptus.
Travel Director, Michelle
Isabelle: I always bring something from home which I like to have around me – in my case a book or something else to read, nice pyjamas and slippers to make myself comfortable in the room (and to look decent in case of an emergency in the middle of the night!) and my favourite personal soap.
What are some exercises you can easily do in a small space (like a hotel room)?
Marisa: My exercise routine is pretty simple; easy stretching in the mornings and taking the stairs as much as possible.
Patrizia: I stretch too, which feels great after a long day of walking around.
Michelle: I like to pack small and light equipment, like resistance bands. Bodyweight movements like push-ups, burpees, squats, lunge variations, ab exercises, high knees, mountain climbers are great for hotel rooms.
Isabelle: When in the mood, it is easy to do some morning gym in the room. I just spread a bath towel on the floor and do some abdominal exercises, lift my legs from the floor and make circular arm movements around the shoulder blades. Ten minutes is enough to get it all started. Also, for those who do not like the gym, it is good to walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator. Go for a brisk walk in the morning before departure. Most hotels have gyms for the more serious exercisers.
How do you stay comfortable during a long coach journey?
Marisa: I love our coaches! I’ve always found them extremely comfy. I carry a small blow-up pillow to support my lower back, and I also stand up every so often and take a short walk around the coach to see how guests are doing. That helps me stretch. Regular stops along the journey are fantastic and I always motivate my guests to stretch with me once outside the coach (which usually produces quite a few laughs too!).
Patrizia: I recommend comfortable clothing for long drives, like stretchy pants. While I am sitting, I also do small exercises like rotating my ankles, hands and neck.
Isabelle: Our coaches have ergonomically shaped seats, which helps. Move your shoulders, arms and legs from time to time. Do not cross your legs – make circular movements with the feet around the ankles, and at every stop, walk and stretch for five minutes.
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Day 3 – my darling family enjoying #TheGoodLife in #Tuscany #JewelsofItaly #CostSaver – – – – – #Travel #TD #SimplyTrafalgar #TheGoodLife #instapassport #Instratravel #Instagood #travelphotography #travelpics #travellife #aroundtheworld #worldtravelers #passportready #postcardfromtheworld #picoftheday
What are your top tips for sustaining a healthy diet while in a foreign country?
Marisa: While travelling, it’s important to remember to boost our bodies with vitamins as travelling can sometimes tire us and weaken our immune system – especially after long haul flights. Personally, I am a vegetarian, but I always eat lots of fresh produce from the countries I am in. I always try to make an effort to visit local fruit and veggie markets and buy some lemons, oranges and kiwi fruits as Vitamin C is super important while on the road. If I work in the winter, I usually take a multivitamin complex, too. I regularly carry some nuts and seeds for healthy snacks during the day and try to avoid salty and processed foods that cause water retention.
Most of all, be relaxed, open-minded and enjoy every new experience.
Travel Director, Isabelle
Patrizia: Wherever I am around the world, I try to eat my five portions of vegetables a day. I also drink a lot of water in the second part of the day (as that’s when we check in at the hotel and I have better access to the facilities).
Michelle: Have protein bars handy with health-conscious ingredients. When eating out, select (if available) a protein of some sort and a vegetable side. Limit your carb intake! Either choose the bread to start or have the dessert – don’t do both. Sometimes I will only eat fruit as a dessert option.
Isabelle: Keeping a certain routine in our diet when away from home is most important. Try to adjust to the main meal times of the foreign country and eat a proper meal when the locals do. Refrain from easy snacks like crisps or chocolates so you can try the local treats, like homemade cakes or tapas from the area. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer with the new made friends before dinner. Most of all, be relaxed, open-minded and enjoy every new experience.
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Delicious regional Italian cheeses and cured meats around central markets of Bologna😋 #bologna #bolognafood #food #italianfood #emiliaromagna #specialities #formaggio #cheese #prosciutto #italy #italia #mangiare #deli #italianlife #travel #pecorino #parmigiano #regionalfood #eatingthroughitaly #trafalgartravel #simplytrafalgar #marisaltrafalgar #greatitaliancities #malupictures #buyfresh #mangiare #cibo #eat #volgosapori #sapori #igersitalia
To see what Michelle, Marisa, Isabelle and Patrizia are up to on the road with Trafalgar, head over to Instagram and follow their travels at @mmchellemybelle, @marisa.lukovich, @isabelletrafalgartd and @patrizia_trafalgar.