Am I doing a “summer travel” series? I guess I am. I didn’t mean to!
So I love adventure and diversion, but deep down, I’m a creature of habit. I can adapt, but if I’m gone for a while, it starts to wear on me. I miss the hubs. I miss the dog. I miss my vitamix. Not necessarily in that order.
If you’re George Clooney in up in the air, you probably have this down to a science, but me? I’m not much of a business traveller. Vacation is different— you have built-in time just for doing what you feel. A week at a conference takes some work. I didn’t go a great job this time, but I did find some things that helped:
1. Pack what you need. This sounds obvious, but bring the stuff you use for exercise. I packed my new lightweight trail runners, so I could seize any opportunity (I use these). Bonus: if you pack them on the way there, and wear them on the way home, you made space in your suitcase for souvenirs! I also brought my ipod shuffle, because that’s my comfort zone for running. And this one’s a space-splurge, but actually surprisingly doable and endlessly worth it: I packed my travel yoga mat.
My mom gave it to me for my birthday this year, and it’s a lifesaver. It folds and lies in the top of my suitcase, even after I’d swear it’s full. Yes, some hotels will rent you one, and most yoga studios will lend you one when you’re there. But what if you’re a friend’s, or not at a fancy hotel, or don’t want to use a communal mat at hot yoga? You can practice without a yoga mat, but if you want a good, solid practice and you usually use a sticky mat, this will be the best thing ever.
2. Walk places. If you’re in a city, or on a college campus, walk! There’s often a default option to take a cab or a shuttle, but if it’s a mile or two, hoof it! I’ve been known to do the working-girl commuter shoe thing here, and so what? It helps!
3. Seek out nourishing food. I already fessed up to carrying around a crazy amount of food. But a woman can’t live on energy bars and nuts alone. The real jackpot is a supermarket (fruit! carrots! peanut butter!). You don’t need a kitchen— usually hotel ice is good enough for this kind of thing! Also look at yelp or even just google maps for options in your area. It’s easy to fall into the fast food trap, but it’s also pretty easy not to.
4. Ask. Staying with a friend? Ask for running trails. Ask the hotel clerk where to get a good smoothie. Ask at the gym you pass on the street if you can get a day pass, and by the way, are there any good vegetarian places?
5. Be ok with things not being perfect. Your routine will be disrupted. You will go back to it when you get home, and it will feel great!