The Ultimate Travel Workout and Diet Plans by The Bucket List Family
INTRODUCING THE BUCKET LIST FAMILY
Hi, we are The Bucket List Family! We’re a full-time traveling family on an adventure around the world. We have 2 young children, Dorothy (5) and Manilla (3) with baby #3 on the way! For over 2 years we have lived on the road working as Family Travel Journalists. Together we have visited 49 countries and been on 186 flights. We document our travels on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Health is a top priority for our family but travel can make it very difficult. This blog post gives full detail into our travel workout plans and travel diet plans. Each section below has been divided into 2 different parts, HIS (written by Garrett) and HERS (written by Jessica). We have also made a video sharing a little more of our health and fitness around the world: https://youtu.be/Aa9gK2E4BBg
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART : THE WHY
HIS : I finished playing collegiate soccer about 3 years ago. It seemed to me I was at a crucial age when most young men either give up on health and fitness OR forever make it part of their lives. So I called up two of my close friends and said, “NOW is the time! Let’s get in the best shape of our lives! If we don’t do it now then it’s only going to get harder as we get older. AND if we do it now, then we can enjoy our fit healthy bodies the rest of our lives!”.
Surprisingly, a strong healthy body has made traveling much easier and definitely more enjoyable. I can shoulder press a 30kg dumbbell which makes lifting a 20kg luggage into the overhead bin easy ;) Really tho, our travels around the world are filled with hiking, scuba diving, and beach time with the kids and that’s all possible and enjoyable thanks to a fit healthy lifestyle.
HERS: Health and fitness has become a huge part of who I am. I love trying new workouts, learning new healthy recipes and seeing how my body reacts to different challenges. Working out and eating healthy isn’t a burden anymore, it’s something I need and crave. Eating poorly can wreck my day but a good workout can cure all and make any day feel productive and complete. Working out is one of the few things I do for myself each day. It’s my “me” time and has proven critical to my physical and mental well-being.
It doesn’t matter where we are, we make sure to workout EVERY day. It’s been especially fun to see how different countries and cultures around the world approach health and fitness.
OUR THOUGHTS ON TRAVEL DIET
HIS : Vacation is when most people let go of any healthy diet. Here’s some of what motivates me to keep a disciplined healthy diet on the road..
I love the feeling of health more than I love the taste of junk food. Really, I’m addicted to the feeling of a clear mind and strong body that only comes from eating clean and healthy. That’s especially true during vacation and travels. When I land on a remote tropical island, I don’t want to feel jetlagged and gross, I want to swim and play! When I land in a new city in a unique culture, I don’t want to feel tired and achy, I want to explore!
So it’s best to make healthy eating a priority. Know what foods hurt your body and what foods help. Avoid the bad and seek out the good. Below in SECTION 4 : OUR TRAVEL DIETS I include what foods exactly I recommend, especially during travels.
On travel days especially, make sure you grocery shop before the trip and pack some healthy snacks. The morning of, eat a good BIG breakfast so you’ll be less tempted by airplane food and junky snacks. Then, after a day of heavy travel and light eating, fuel your body with an extra nutritious meal like a green smoothie or salad.
HERS : Each country has different diets. Some countries are naturally very healthy and others are not. We’ve found countries like Japan, Korea, Greece, New Zealand and Australia very healthy cuisines. We’ve found countries like Philippines, Italy, Tonga, and Nepal to have less healthy options.
Even if a country has healthy cuisines and meal options, I’ve found the most difficult thing is finding healthy snack options and health supplements on the road. It can be difficult to find protein bars, pre/post workout, superfoods, dried fruit, etc. in some places. So when we do find them, we stock up! We found a great nutrition store in Seoul, Korea and purchased a 48 pack of protein bars that saved us for our 2 weeks in Nepal.
Snacks are often the hardest but here are some good snacks I’ve found you can obtain in most countries : rice cakes, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, carrot sticks, celery and yogurt.
Vacations make it easy for you to want to binge. After a few weeks of travel, when we realized that this was our lifestyle and not a vacation, we learned we need to stick to a diet. At hotels, there’s always healthy options at breakfast buffets, I’ve learned to skip the croissants and pancakes and stick to the omelet and fruit.
BUT there are 2 exceptions we always allow ourselves. 1. We are sure to try local treats unique to different cultures like the tredelnik in Czech Republic, waffles in Belgium and chocolates in Switzerland. 2. If we are guests and someone has thoughtfully prepared us a treat or meal then we always gratefully enjoy :)
OUR TRAVEL DIETS
HIS : My current goal is to gain muscle weight (currently at 165 lbs and wanting to achieve 180) while maintaining a low body fat percentage (7% or lower). I work hard in the gym every day so for me, diet makes all the difference. It can fully boost or fully block all my hard work and development. Eating healthy on the road means seeking out the best stuff available wherever you are. Here is a list of good foods I seek out while we travel. Also, here is a rough idea of what I’m eating on a daily basis : Meal Plan /// 4–5000 calories (based on my goal of clean healthy weight gain).
HERS : I try my hardest to be as consistent as possible with a healthy diet. When I was back at home, my strict diet is much easier. I strive for 6 small, balanced meals each day. I try to do that as much as possible on the road as well. For breakfast I try to have a veggie omelette (egg whites if possible), bacon, yogurt and some fruit. I eat a protein bar or shake after a morning workout. Salads for lunch. Nuts and fruit for an afternoon snack. And then for dinner, I try for high-protein, low carb dinner. And I typically save room for some chocolate at the end of the day. ;)
OUR THOUGHTS ON TRAVEL WORKOUT
HIS : Exercise can be tricky when you travel BUT it can also make your travels extra fun! I like to go for a morning run. It’s a great way to see a new place on your very first day. Also, if a gym is available its a cool way to see a unique side to different cultures and often meet people.
Whether you’re traveling with your family or with some friends, working out together is one of the best ways you can start your day. There’s just a fun special bond that comes from putting in the work together.
I keep a very strict workout routine. That helps me stick to a schedule and make sure each muscle group is getting balanced focus. My workout (BELOW IN SECTION 6 : OUR TRAVEL WORKOUT PLANS) is best in a gym but I’ve learned to adapt whenever a gym isn’t available. The important thing is to stick to the schedule no matter what. I NEVER miss a day. If I’m supposed to do lat pull downs in a gym I would use a machine. But if that’s not available then I do the closest equivalent like pull ups on some monkey bars or on a balcony. Finding a clever replacement is half the fun ;)
Lately, I’ve LOVED including the kids in our workouts. This has NOTHING to do with them looking good, performing well, or being strong. At this stage, this is simply about them having fun while developing healthy habits. That’s all. Just good healthy fun and I LOVE IT!
HERS : We’ve had a lot of fun trying out gyms in different countries. We even plan our hotels and housing accommodations around gyms. And we will spend the $$$ to get even a week long membership, which can be sometimes be expensive but it’s a priority for us. We try to find gyms with kids clubs so that we can all go to the gym together. If there’s not a kids club, then Garrett will usually wake up early and workout while we’re still asleep and then take the kids to a park while I take my turn at the gym. Our day doesn’t officially begin until we’ve worked out :)
We travel with a good set of resistance bands incase we can’t find a gym. We’ve also learned to get very creative with body weight workouts, and lifting our luggage overhead ;)
Garrett and I make extra certain that we work out on a travel days. Working out in the morning before a long travel day helps your overall mood and working out as soon as you arrive is a great way to stretch your muscles, clear toxins from your body, and give your mind a much needed reset.
OUR TRAVEL WORKOUTS
HIS : I have constructed a specific Monday-Saturday workout plan that evolves every month. The variables and exercises change to stimulate progress and avoid plateauing.
I specifically designed my workout sheet so that each week’s numbers would stack on top of each other. This makes it quick and easy for me to see my MAX (heaviest weight I was able to lift) and LIMIT (how many reps I was able to achieve), giving me a clear goal to beat. Having such a solid plan helps me be more efficient in the gym, pushes me to do more, and helps me appropriately space out days for rest between muscle groups.
Here is a link to view and download each month’s workout sheet : https://goo.gl/oiH7Pw
HERS : I’ve personally found a love for weight lifting. I love feeling strong and I feel like my body reacts well to heavy lifting. I rotate between a lifting and cardio every other day. Each day of lifting focuses on one or two specific muscle groups. Depending on the month, I have different focuses depending on what I am trying to achieve. Since being pregnant I have continued to lift heavy. I just slow down, lower my weights when needed and listen to my body. You can find some of the type of workouts I do here.
HIS : Here is a ever-changing list of my favorite supplements. I’m always trying new things to see what helps my body perform and feel its very best. Here is my currently list of supplements I’m using : good supplements.
HERS : We always have a few essential supplements : C4 Pre-workout, BPI BCAA, collagen, whey protein, vegan protein, flax seed, chia seeds and a green veggie supplement. We often have a Magic Bullet blender that we take with us. We make sure to get a good protein shake to nourish our bodies after a workout.
THANK YOU for reading. Please do let us know if you have any questions as we will continuously add helpful information to this post.
Happy (and healthy) travels! Sincerely,