Irregular schedules, crossing multiple time zones, exposure to new viruses. These will sound all-too-familiar to the avid traveler. Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle during a trip can be extremely difficult, although certainly not impossible.

Stress can completely ruin a trip. The stress of packing, the stress of being around so many people in tight spaces, and of course, the stress of getting where you are going on schedule. Travel health is as much about staying mentally fit as it is physical.

Whether you’re going on a business trip or on vacation with your family, if you don’t stay abreast on travel best practices, you can end up with some extra pounds, a terrible virus, or even a mental breakdown before, during, or upon your return.

Follow these tips for eating well on the road without suffering any adverse consequences.

  1. Plan

Start by answering the questions – where are you going, and how do you plan on getting there? Understanding these answers will provide the foundation for research on your travel health needs. You can save a lot of headaches on your trip by spending 15 minutes beforehand channeling your inner Sherlock Holmes.

If you’re planning on visiting a foreign country be sure to check out the U.S. State Department’s Alerts and Warnings page. Here you will discover helpful tips on any issues you might face visiting the country you are traveling to. Domestically be sure to search Google News for info on your destination, check the local weather, and airline website to make sure everything is in order for your trip.

  1. Pack

Fill your bags with healthy snacks that will prevent you from stuffing your face with whatever you find, which often ends up as unnecessary carbs or sugar. If you know you’ll be eating out a lot, look into which restaurants offer the healthiest selections. Bring workout gear, so you can try to fit in some exercise. A simple walk each day does wonders to your body.

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  1. One and Done

Whether your trip is part of your routine, or all about business, you may face temptations to stray from your diet, whether to reward yourself for finishing a grueling work day or because you’ve kicked into full vacation mode. If you give in, try to stick to just one sinful treat a day, enjoy it and move on. Otherwise, your not-so-healthy choices will soon catch up with you.

  1. Drink Water

Sometimes, when you think you feel hungry, you are actually just thirsty. Try to take a water bottle with you everywhere you go to stay hydrated.

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  1. Order Smart

Try to be strategic in your food choices. One option is to start off right by ordering a salad before moving on to anything else on the menu. Another is to choose what you’ll eat before you even sit down. Sticking to vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains will never steer you wrong. Order what will work for you. There is no one diet solution that fits all people. Each person is unique, and by sticking to what you know works best your body will adjust accordingly.

Alcoholic drinks are usually packed with sugary additives that are high in calories, so if you just can’t beat the urge, opt for a glass of wine or a light beer. And when it comes to desserts, it’s always better to skip the mountain of ice cream topped with a second mountain of whipped cream, and instead have a small piece of chocolate or cake.

Conversely, if you’re celebrating something, like taking in a wedding anniversary on a cruise, or a graduation of a close relative in a big city, obviously eating delicious food is part of the plan. Make sure to eat lighter fare earlier in the day if you know it’s going to be a large dinner, and plan for a decent wake-up time to do some moderate exercise. Bookending an indulgent meal with healthy initiatives will increase your body’s ability to recover.

Traveling healthy is possible; you just need to plan ahead and stick to it by making smart choices and avoiding the common pitfalls, like desserts and mixed drinks. Of course, being worry-free is another essential ingredient. To have the most relaxing trip and waste no time stressing about what happens to your luggage, there is LugLoc, a small device that works with GSM-GPRS Technology to track your baggage anytime and anywhere, and that’s surely one less thing you’ll stress about on your trip.