Try­ing to fit in your clothes after a long trip can be mad­den­ing. It’s easy to give your­self a pass when it comes to your fit­ness the sec­ond you pass through secu­ri­ty. The ear­ly flight left you no time to have break­fast and the gold­en arch­es are call­ing you. After all, you’re on vaca­tion, what’s the harm? That first deci­sion rolls into a snow­ball of poor health choices.

We sat down with fit­ness com­peti­tor, ER nurse and fel­low trav­el enthu­si­ast, Yomi­ca Wolfe, to see what advice she has about stay­ing fit on the road. She zeroed in on six main focus points to increase or main­tain your stel­lar fit­ness while gallivanting.

Be Active

The most impor­tant thing is to stay active. Whether trav­el is your vaca­tion or your lifestyle, the best way to see and expe­ri­ence the coun­try you’re in is to be active in it. If you’re in a place long enough, sign up for a local race and train for it (for you nomads). Or if you’re not a race per­son, pick out a chal­leng­ing moun­tain to climb and work towards con­quer­ing it.

“I have run in every sin­gle coun­try I’ve vis­it­ed. From Italy and Greece to Egypt and Israel! Run­ning has shown me so many local shops and neigh­bor­hoods I would have oth­er­wise missed! There are plen­ty of times I’ve run into an art show or exhib­it or some­thing super fun I would’ve missed out on had I slept in or stayed at the hotel. No mat­ter where you’re explor­ing, look into rent­ing bikes, swim­ming, snor­kel­ing, ski­ing, run­ning, or hik­ing. Do what­ev­er you can to stay active and dig deep­er into the cul­tur­al and nat­ur­al assets a place has to offer. By the end of the day you’ve had a com­plete work­out and it did­n’t take you away from enjoy­ing the coun­try!” ~ Yomi­ca Wolfe

Plus, as you explore via bike and foot you move at a pace that allows you to absorb your sur­round­ings. Rid­ing in a car is like watch­ing a movie in fast forward—you’re going to miss a lot.

Eat Well

“I always stay close to my low-fat low carb diet no mat­ter where I am. When I splurge, It’s on alco­holic bev­er­ages, a liq­uid dessert.” ~ Yomi­ca Wolfe

Whether you’re at the air­port, on a train or road trip­ping in your trusty four-wheeled machine, think ahead about what will make you feel good and get the most out of your expe­ri­ences. Foods high in carbs and refined sug­ars are going to make you crash and give you a sug­ar hang­over. Most trav­el venues sell bananas, apples, grape and cheese cups, nuts, and var­i­ous oth­er healthy options. Also, if you can, pack a lunch with some healthy snacks. Your adven­tures will be bet­ter enjoyed and your friends and fam­i­ly will appre­ci­ate your lack of moody behav­ior that famous­ly accom­pa­nies a sug­ar crash. Many peo­ple don’t know you are per­mit­ted to bring a brown bag onto planes.

Water Break

Stay­ing hydrat­ed is every­thing. Fly­ing in planes, alti­tude and humid­i­ty changes, and increased activ­i­ty can each sin­gu­lar­ly dehy­drate you. Togeth­er, they can anni­hi­late you. Car­ry a water bot­tle with you and drink at least half your weight in ounces dai­ly. While on the plane, drink a glass of water each time they bring the drink cart out. If you have a headache, drink more. The most com­mon cause of headaches is dehy­dra­tion. If your urine isn’t faint in col­or then you’re dehy­drat­ed: drink up!

Rest/Me-Time

Rest­ing is impor­tant too. While being active is key, don’t over­do it by set­ting out to run a marathon every day, or push­ing the enve­lope with the nightlife. Sched­ule blocks of time when you can do noth­ing, or some­thing that will re-ener­gize you such as: sun­bathing, stretch­ing by the ocean, med­i­tat­ing, read­ing, jour­nal­ing, and any­thing else that sounds good to you in the moment. Let this serve as your “me” time. If you’re trav­el­ing as a cou­ple or group, let this be the time when you break apart to do your own thing so that your needs are the only ones on your mind.

Bed­time

Every­one trav­els dif­fer­ent­ly, but if you spend your entire time avoid­ing sleep because “you can sleep when you get home,” you’ll have one grog­gy and poten­tial­ly grumpy expe­ri­ence. Try to get extra rest the first few days to accom­mo­date the jet-lag you may expe­ri­ence. Then, make sure you get suf­fi­cient sleep each night. If you have trou­ble sleep­ing in a new bed, try play­ing a guid­ed med­i­ta­tion from your smart­phone off of YouTube. Pack earplugs in case your hotel ends up being too close to a dis­co-tech or you land a trav­el-mate who snores. Also, if nightlife is a big part of your desired trav­el expe­ri­ence, pack an eye mask so that you can sleep in a few extra hours to make up for the late night arrival to REM.

Get Cre­ative

“I know a lot of peo­ple who trav­el with resis­tance bands. My whole rou­tine is based on my out­doors runs no mat­ter the weath­er: push-ups, high knees, sprints, and hill work (if it’s an option). I have one friend who even trav­els with his road bike.” ~ Yomi­ca Wolfe

Your options to stay active and healthy on the road are as lim­it­ed as your cre­ativ­i­ty. Fig­ure out what you like to do and incor­po­rate that into your trav­el expe­ri­ence. Even in the dead of an Alaskan win­ter, you could exer­cise to a P90X video you’ve saved on your iPhone or go snow­shoe­ing if the weath­er allows. If you take care of your­self, your body will take your expe­ri­ences to a whole new level.

Fun Fact: Did you know you can burn up to 40 per­cent more calo­ries snow-shoe­ing than you do run­ning or walk­ing at the same rate?

It’s a great big world, and you want to expe­ri­ence every inch of it, from South Amer­i­ca to Africa and every­where between. Here are some con­sid­er­a­tions to bear in mind when enjoy­ing an out­door adven­ture abroad.

Con­sid­er a Tour
Tack­ling unfa­mil­iar ter­rain becomes a lit­tle eas­i­er when you have resources on your side. Sign­ing on with a good tour removes the guess­work from your itin­er­ary with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the excite­ment and spon­tane­ity you crave. In fact, a well-planned tour gives you much greater free­dom than you would have as a solo vagabond. For one thing, you get to pass on the logis­ti­cal has­sles to the experts and focus exclu­sive­ly on enjoy­ing the nat­ur­al won­ders you jour­neyed so far to see. For anoth­er, many of the best climbs and hikes can be accessed only via guid­ed tour.

Learn Some Lan­guage Basics
It’s con­sid­ered a cour­tesy to learn some stan­dard phras­es in the native lan­guage of the place you’ll be explor­ing. It’s also a smart safe­ty pre­cau­tion and, some­times, a gate­way to unique experiences.

Should you become sep­a­rat­ed from your crew, you might need to com­mu­ni­cate with locals out­side the tourism sphere. Know the basic direc­tion­al phras­es of the region’s lan­guage at a min­i­mum. Bear in mind that each cul­ture express dis­tances, direc­tions, and rela­tion­al terms in its own way. And even if you are a native speak­er of the lan­guage, each country—even each town—may have its own dialect. Brush up to avoid bafflement.

The bet­ter acquaint­ed you are with the local world­view, the bet­ter off you’ll be. In addi­tion to direc­tions, make a list of those phras­es you would need in an emer­gency. Look these up on your own before trav­el­ing, and con­firm mean­ings with the tourism offi­cials you inter­act with once you arrive at your destination.

Best of all, the more you attempt to immerse your­self in the local cul­ture, the more like­ly the locals will be to help you explore off the beat­en path.

Observe Cus­toms, Show Respect
Wher­ev­er you go, you need to treat wild spaces with care; but cul­tur­al eti­quette varies with region. Some sites, while open to the pub­lic for hik­ing and explor­ing, are sacred to indige­nous cul­tures. Treat­ing these places as recre­ation zones may be con­sid­ered offen­sive, so tread carefully.

Know the prop­er deco­rum for all sit­u­a­tions you might encounter on the trail. What is the pro­to­col for emer­gency out­door pot­ty breaks? What table man­ners should you demon­strate at meal times?

Although most peo­ple who cater to inter­na­tion­al tourists will not expect you to abide by local cus­tom, attempt­ing to do so will dis­tin­guish you as a trav­el­er, not just a tourist.

Eat Care­ful­ly
You don’t want to miss out on the climb of a life­time because you were holed up with food-relat­ed ill­ness. And it’s not just food­borne pathogens that invite tum­my trou­ble. When we’re try­ing exot­ic fare for the first time, our unini­ti­at­ed diges­tive just sys­tems might not be up to the task. Try to keep a low culi­nary pro­file before head­ing out for the wilderness.

On the oth­er hand, sam­pling local del­i­ca­cies is an impor­tant aspect of trav­el. Just don’t sched­ule your din­ing adven­ture right before your back­pack­ing expedition.

Know the Wildlife
Hav­ing good envi­ron­men­tal aware­ness will improve your trip on two levels.

First, it’s eas­i­er to appre­ci­ate the flo­ra and fau­na when you’re able to iden­ti­fy it. Imag­ine the sights you could pass by unaware if you’re not informed and attentive.

Sec­ond, know­ing what you might encounter along your route will help you to be pre­pared for it. Whether ven­omous snakes or aller­gy-induc­ing plants, you’ll want to man­age these encoun­ters as safe­ly as possible.

Sched­ule Some Cul­tur­al Experiences
Nav­i­gat­ing the world’s wilder­ness is an amaz­ing pur­suit. All the more so with­in the con­text of a lit­tle cul­tur­al enrich­ment. Plan to spend a few days check­ing out the urban area before you hit the back­coun­try. From muse­ums to street fairs, from Thai­land to Mozam­bique, take every oppor­tu­ni­ty you can to become a cit­i­zen of the world.

Our 30s are often thought to be the slow­ing down years. The time when we leave behind our youth­ful exu­ber­ance, propen­si­ty to take risks and start focus­ing more on set­tling down and start­ing a fam­i­ly. For those who weren’t for­tu­nate enough to start explor­ing over­seas in their 20s, the mind­set that trav­el­ing just isn’t an option for them starts to take shape.

That’s a load of crap. Your 30s actu­al­ly might be the best time of your life to start trav­el­ing, and here’s why.

You’ve got your stuff together.
They say that our 30s is the decade when we final­ly start feel­ing a sense of true con­fi­dence in our­selves. We care less about what oth­ers think of us, we’ve (most­ly) got our careers fig­ured out and we’re mak­ing way more mon­ey than we did in our 20s, and they’re kind of right. For those rea­sons alone it’s a great time to start trav­el­ing since you’ll be able to real­ly afford it and appre­ci­ate what you’re expe­ri­enc­ing on a whole dif­fer­ent lev­el at this point in your life.

You can afford it.
As we men­tioned above, peo­ple tend to have a sta­ble career some­where in their 30s and more mon­ey com­ing in. That means you’ve got more you can spend on trav­el. Instead of pur­chas­ing an expen­sive house, use that mon­ey explor­ing new places.

You’ll appre­ci­ate it more.
Let’s be hon­est, when we’re in our 20s most of the things we enjoy revolve around drink­ing and we tend to take that habit with us over­seas. Your 30s are when the need to drink takes a back­seat to the need to expe­ri­ence life a lit­tle more ful­ly. Instead of rock­ing out until 3 am in Ams­ter­dam, in your 30s you’ll prob­a­bly enjoy a few more sun­sets and be more prone to go on that cycling tour in France than you were at 23.

You devel­op real relationships.
The best part of being 30 is that you’ve reached the point where you can gen­er­al­ly tell a real friend from a fake. Rather than rack­ing up bar bud­dies over­seas, you’ll spend more time hav­ing gen­uine con­ver­sa­tions about life with peo­ple and you’ll form long-last­ing friend­ships. Gone will be the one-night stands with name­less faces and in their place, you’ll find actu­al friend­ships with peo­ple who’ve lived an entire­ly dif­fer­ent life from you that’ll help you grow as a human being.

You just don’t care anymore.
Our 20s are a time of con­stant com­pe­ti­tion to stay on top of things and to impress those around us. We com­pete for dates and for jobs and always feel like we have to be putting our best foot for­ward. By the time 30 rolls around, we just gen­uine­ly don’t give a $#!t. That’s a great atti­tude to have while trav­el­ing, you’ll find, because pre­cious time won’t be spent over­com­pen­sat­ing for inse­cu­ri­ties and can be put to bet­ter use, like sleep­ing in even though you’re only in Paris for three days.

You’ve devel­oped mad skills.
Whether you’ve found skills in con­vers­ing with strangers or sim­ply pack­ing a suit­case, you’re bound to be bet­ter at every­thing you kind of sucked at in your 20s, which will make trav­el­ing so much eas­i­er. You’ll pack with effi­cien­cy, know bet­ter than to expect every­one to cater to you and you prob­a­bly speak at least a sec­ond lan­guage or more by now. This also means you won’t sweat the small stuff when things go wrong, as they inevitably will, and will be able to han­dle any sit­u­a­tion with­out call­ing home to mom­my and dad­dy to help you fix it.

You’ll take smarter risks.
Risk-tak­ing doesn’t com­plete­ly end when you hit your fourth decade, but the types of risks you’re will­ing to take actu­al­ly make sense now. You’ll play it safer as you trav­el and not put your­self in sit­u­a­tions where things could go hor­ri­bly wrong just for the sake of being a daredevil.

You’re still young.
Guess what? You’re 30, not dead. You’ve still got a ton of ener­gy, a healthy body and plen­ty of years ahead of you. Long hikes along for­eign trails are still read­i­ly doable and you can go sky­div­ing, swim with dol­phins and even race cars in strange countries.