If I’ve learned anything over the past few months is that it’s incredibly important to maintain a routine while you travel. Initially the struggle on my end is entirely mental. The mental adjustment to living a lifestyle that doesn’t reflect how you generally live the carefully curated lifestyle you’ve set for yourself.

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In preparation for my trip to the United States, I endeavored to be prepared with pre-written blog posts for you guys. I really did. In reality, I really only had a handful completed. If I’m being honest, this is the first actual holiday I’ve taken in years. If you’ve read my blog for longer than the last year or so, and if you have, you’re one of the best people ever, you’ll say “Ally, you’ve been overseas” and it’s true. I have. However… my overseas trips have always been work-related and whilst I’m grateful for all of the places work has taken me I actually find it difficult to put my laptop away and truly, honestly switch off.

As you’re reading this, we’re heading north on our road trip to San Francisco in an RV. We’re roughly an hour in, but we’ve just been held up near Malibu with minimal internet coverage so we can’t really gauge how long we’ll be here for. The sun is seating over the ocean – which is super strange if you’re from the east coast of Australia – and the view is absolutely breathtaking, so excuse me while I get distracted. Update – it was actually a four car accident (after two hours of hold up). I don’t know if I will get the chance to post this while I am in the USA _ I may just hang on to it for my return at the end of Nov. I have had a little bit of a so-called digital detox due to the fact I have wanted to just be absorbed in this trip! So, if I publish this after I return, let me take you back in time…

If I’ve learned anything over the past few months is that it’s incredibly important to maintain a routine while you travel. Initially the struggle on my end is entirely mental. The mental adjustment to living a lifestyle that doesn’t reflect how you generally live the carefully curated lifestyle you’ve set for yourself. The way I’ve attempted to combat / rectify the situation is to attempt to maintain the basic structure of your regular lifestyle.

I should stress: you don’t need to obsess. Leave your routine where it was. You normally wake at 7:30 on the dot? If you’re moving around, you’ll wake anywhere from 12:30am for three hours or 12:30pm (again for three hours before falling asleep in a Dennys). You just need to – try at least – prioritise and give precedence to those elements of your life that to some extent define and outline the spooky Halloween skeleton of your life. In saying that, you can’t expect these things to fall into place – they’re things you need to plan for.

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PLANNING IS STUPID, DO IT FOR ME

The biggest thing when traveling is time restraint. You don’t want to be restrictive to yourself or whoever you’re traveling with. If you make it a priority to get some good food in your body and move your body just 15-20-minutes all the time constraints won’t beat up your routine so badly.

It’s a very different way of existing when you’re on the go without a routine to fall back on. In your day-to-day life, your lifestyle can be comforting and provide structure when work or lifestyle challenges present themselves. Whilst traveling, it’s all about not veering too close to those defining elements of your regular life without trying to control everything to the nth degree and making your holiday stressful and not fun. For me, travel isn’t an escape from your everyday life or a departure from reality; they’re an expansion of it. Here are some ways to maintain a routine when traveling.

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1. Choose a place with a kitchen

I love immersing myself within a culture. Like everyone, I love trying new restaurants and, more importantly, new cuisines when traveling. Stay tuned for my America tips for LA, San Francisco, NY and Mexico. When we stayed at the Meriton Serviced Apartments we were able to cook and prepare breakfast the last morning we were there. Sometimes eating out gets to be too much and also expensive, so having a fully-equipped kitchen really helps with this.

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2. Choose healthy options

If you are traveling, there are so many healthy options these days. Make sure you look on Pinterest and your favour blogs ahead of traveling! I will update you on some of my USA tips asap. Did you see Sydney’s last week?

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3. Move your body

I wrote a blog post a few years ago about how to stay fit when traveling – this is one I am super passionate about. It is so easy to maintain a fitness routine when traveling – all you have to do it mix it up and do the best you can. Some things Jonathan and I like to do are: walk everywhere or cycle. Most hotels have a gym, so just pop in, I loved being able to use the Meriton Serviced Apartments gym – they had treadmills, free weights and a rowing machine, all of which I use at my normal gym so we tailored my workout to that gym and made it shorter as we were limited with time.

If you’re traveling internationally, or are hard at work, you might find you’re low on energy, or are weaker than usual. For us, a big part of our travel workouts are maintaining the habit. You won’t get yourself ripped in a single workout. Similarly, you won’t get ripped at all if you stop working out after a long vacation and never get back to it.

I really loved being able to begin my day with something I usually do as it made me feel situated even though I wasn’t in my usual surroundings. Another suggestion is fill your backpack with water bottles and walk. If you’re not staying at a hotel with a gym then my suggestion would be to do some body weight movements like: push-ups, air squats and burpees. You could even do the workout I suggested earlier this month as no equipment is needed.

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4. Eat the way you usually do even if you aren’t eating the foods you usually do.

I know this may be tough, especially on a long holidays, but try to eat how you normally would. For me, I would never eat a huge breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would always choose one meal and make that the main. For breakfast while traveling I would either begin the day with a cereal, fruit or eggs and then a larger lunch, If I had a big breakfast though — face it, I had to try American hotcakes, I would then have a small lunch et cetera, et cetera. The key is enjoying yourself but not destroying yourself.

Again, it’s about maintaining your eating habits.

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5. Get on local time as soon as I arrive

This is absolutely imperative – so if you’re traveling to Sydney, get on local time asap. If you’re traveling to the USA, you’ll have a layover, so begin to set your clock on your second flight.

It’s currently 12 noon Wednesday back in Sydney and 6:17pm Tuesday local time LA, and I am feeling reasonably great all things considered. I figured that by this stage, I’d be pinching myself to stay awake until bedtime, especially with typing while traveling in the back of the RV. Did I even mention that I’m in an RV? Because I am. It sounds like this. VROOOOOOM. Oh man, I am glad I am not feeling nauseous right now. VROOOOOOOOOMasdghlkjahsdgkfljh.

Last night we went to bed around 10 local time so that gave us all enough time to toss and turn, wake up in the night while still getting 6-8 hours of sleep. My other suggestion is to book somewhere super comfortable with cloud like beds for the first night or two so that readjusting your sleep is super easy. I know that doesn’t sound like it would make much difference, but after spending 15+ hours getting from one place to the next, you can’t underestimate the importance of being in a bed that’s not a super-cheap seat on a third rate airline that only reclines about half of a single degree. Oh, to be back in the Meriton on their cloud like beds, after spending the past four nights on a mattress thinner than a Denny’s pancake.

If you have any routine or travel tips, let me know via the comment section, Instagram or snail mail. Though, that may take a while to reach me.

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A big thank you to the Meriton and Amex for allowing JD and I stay with you!

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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