Stay healthy while traveling with the 80/20 rule

July 11, 2015



We all know that travelling can wreak havoc on your body, with jetlag, fatigue and unhealthy eating leaving you feeling unwell and unhappy by the end of the trip. Most people break their usual healthy routine when they go on holiday as they feel they need to relax and have a break from the routine of their daily fitness schedule. Although this is definitely true, you should only let go of your routine a certain amount, otherwise you will return from your holiday feeling unhealthy and unmotivated.

One of the ways you can stick to a healthy lifestyle but still enjoy your holiday is to use the 80:20 rule during your vacation. This principle can be applied to all aspects of your life, but can come in particularly useful when talking about your health and wellbeing.


Eating is a large part of travelling and something you should definitely not sacrifice! While away, we all succumb to the temptations of local food and delights. How can you not feast on pasta and pizza when in Italy, or cheese and pastries in France? However, this can leave your body in a state of shock, especially if you are used to leading a healthy lifestyle while at home. So for example if  you are eating pizza, add vegetables. If you’re drinking a cola, eat a salad and protein with it.

This way you can go out socialize and explore the local food, without feeling like you’re missing out. A good way to practice this for example is to pick one small thing every day to indulge in, such as a croissant, a gelato or maybe a creamy hot chocolate.


Just like eating, drinking can be applied to the 80:20 rule. As long as you drink water or clean, cold pressed juices 80% of the time, 20% of the time you can indulge in fizzy drinks or sugary cocktails. The 80% will outbalance the 20%, meaning the healthy side of your body will outweigh the unhealthy.


While on holiday, the last thing most people want to do is go the hotel gym first thing in the morning! Exercising doesn’t have to be going to the gym, if the city you are visiting has parks you can go for a run or a power walk, if you are next to a beach then you can go for a swim or try some water sports. Remember moving can be fun! On holiday we walk more as we are exploring the city around us. By choosing to walk instead of catching a taxi, or by having a swim in the pool or sea everyday, we will be able to keep our fitness level up. Be conscious about incorporating movement into your travels without making it a harsh routine, and you will be able to enjoy your holiday without feeling like you have sacrificed your fitness in the process.


Our sleeping patterns are really disturbed when we travel, due to jetlag and changing time zones. Although there are many things you will want to do in the evenings while you are on holiday sticking to the 80:20 rule again here will keep you energized for the duration of your trip. So 80% of the nights try and sleep before midnight, and 20% of the time you can explore and stay out later.

Be prepared

If you are committed to staying healthy while you are travelling, why not research some cool, healthy places to visit in your destination, such as cafes that sell cold pressed juices or delicious smoothies. This can help you stick to your health regime. You can also bring healthy snacks with you whenever you go out, so you opt for your snack when you feel hungry instead of buying chocolate or sweets on impulse.

Overall, don’t beat yourself up if you slip from your usual healthy routine while you are away – you are on holiday and it’s allowed! Just try and stick to the 80:20 rule and you will be able to relax and do everything you want without the negative health impact.


Asma Hilal Lootah,
Owner & Founder of The Hundred Wellness Center.
Winner of Mohammed Bin Rashid Award 2010
Emirates Woman of The Year 2012