01 Feb 10 Essential Apps For Healthy Travelers
As a super savvy traveler, you’ll probably have all the obvious travel apps littering your smartphone screen. But you might not be so well acquainted with a few of the healthier options out there. What I refer to as my essential apps for healthy travelers. Want to book a yoga class in a foreign city? There’s an app for that. Looking for vegan, GF noms nearby? Yep, there’s an app for that too. Or want to know the best strategies for avoiding jet lag once you arrive at your holiday destination? Yep, there’s even an app for that.
So without further ado, here’s a list of my most used and completely essential smartphone apps for healthy travelers. If you have any others, please let me know what they are in the comments and I’ll road-test them on my next trip.
Apps for Healthy Eating
An app created by the CDC to help you prevent traveler’s diarrhea and other illnesses you might get from contaminated food and water. All you have to do is select the country you’re visiting and answer a few questions about what you’re planning to eat or drink. The app will then suggest whether it is safe to eat or drink. Or not.
Can I Eat This? isn’t country specific but instead relies on general guidelines and advice on things like tap water and raw or cooked meats.
BEST FOR: First time travelers to a developing country.
Looking for vegan, vegetarian and just generally healthy noms in a new town? Happy Cow has you covered. Beyond vegan and vegetarian restaurants, you can set your filters to include veg-friendly places as well as health food stores. I love this feature as a screener to find healthy places to eat wherever we go.
Happy Cow also has reviews, contact info and an interactive map that shows places nearby. And if you don’t want to fork out (pun intended) cash for the mobile app, you can always use the desktop version for free.
BEST FOR: Everyone who wants to eat healthy when traveling.
One for the gluten free folk. A bit like vegetarian-friendly places, looking for restaurants with a gluten-free menu can also double as a screener for healthy options. This simple app allows you to search places near you that have a gluten-free menu.
Once you login, you can view ratings and reviews, view menus, get directions, and call places right from the app.
BEST FOR: Anyone following a gluten free diet or who prefers to eat gluten free food.
If you are into tracking macros then MyFitnessPal is a must. Different cuisines can have totally different macro counts to what you’re used to eating at home. So plugging them quickly into this app can save you over-indulging on carbs from that tantalizing French souffle.
Use MyFitnessPal to track your daily food and macro intake as well as your exercise and water consumption.
BEST FOR: Body builders, figure girls, IIFYM fans and anyone who is tracking macros, or even calories, on the road.
5. Allergy Food Translator
Traveling in foreign countries with food allergies can be difficult and even dangerous. Allergy Food Translator is a simple app for iPhone that allows you to list your food allergies and translate those, with a warning message, into a local language. If you have ever tried to ask a waiter for no milk or gluten then you’ll know how frustrating it can be when your language skills aren’t up to scratch. ‘Sin leche’ anyone? All you need to do is show your phone to the waiter and they’ll know which foods you need to stay away from – assuming they speak French, German or Spanish that is.
And if you like the idea more than the price tag, you can create your own cards before you leave, or use Google Translate instead.
BEST FOR: Anyone with food allergies or sensitivities traveling to a French, German or Spanish speaking country.
While you probably like to switch off your phone on vacation, this little meditation app might just be the secret to achieving travel zen. Unless you’re spending a week relaxing in the Bahamas, travel can often cause a bit of stress. Being able to meditate on the road can ease the little (or big) frustrations that come with delays, missed transfers, travel companions and the many unexpected challenges of being in a foreign country.
Insight Timer has nearly 4,000 guided meditations to choose from, listed in categories such as movement, mantras and nature. All you have to do is select the amount of time you want to meditate for. Easy.
BEST FOR: Anyone wanting to relax and meditate on the road.
Exercise Apps for Staying Fit on the Road
If you’re looking to namast’ay in shape with group classes on your travels, the MindBody app is for you. Basically, it lets you find and book fitness classes run locally, wherever you are in the world. With the MindBody app’s Explore page, you can find anything from yoga and pilates to CrossFit and spin classes right around the corner. It’s super simple to use and you can even book and pay for classes within the app.
BEST FOR: Anyone wanting to do local fitness classes when traveling. Just remember the language barrier…
A really simple app that offers a variety of basic yoga routines that are great for beginners. Think of it as having your own personal yoga instructor as a travel buddy. The 20 minute routine is a nice short way to start or end a full day of exploring.
BEST FOR: Anyone new to yoga or wanting to keep up with their practice when traveling.
If it’s maximum sweat in minimum time that you’re after, you need the 7 Minute Workout app. Even busy travelers with a packed schedule can find 7 minutes to bust a few exercise moves. And with over 70 exercises to choose from, you can create your own full-body workouts to stay in shape while you’re away from home.
BEST FOR: Quick workouts between sightseeing. You can get most done in your hotel room. Or glamping tent.
Stay in touch with your running club while pounding the pavement in foreign cities. RunKeeper allows you to track your workouts in real time and get audio updates along the way. Then when you’re done, share with your running buddies back home. If you’re a runner and love stats and/or staying connected then you pretty much need RunKeeper or something similar like MapMyRun.
BEST FOR: Runners. But you probably already have this app….
Plus a Few Bonus Apps for Healthy Travelers
Free for iPhone.
If you’re looking for more of a holiday tan and less of a lobster look, this sunscreen reminder app has your back. All you have to do is input your skin type and the SPF of the product you’re using and the app will detect the UVI rating of your current location and give you a countdown timer. It’ll then let you know when it’s time for your next slathering of sunscreen. Until then, kick back, relax and soak up the vitamin D.
BEST FOR: Sun-seekers who use sunscreen but usually forget to reapply.
This is a must have app for all travelers, not just healthy ones. But, it can come in particularly handy when you’re trying to avoid food sensitivities or find the word for ‘paleo’. It might not be perfect, but you can’t go past the number of languages (+100) or the price (free)… fantástico! And the new conversation and scanning modes make it an even better multilingual travel companion.
BEST FOR: Everyone traveling to a location where you don’t speak the local language.
Hopping time zones can have it’s downsides. None more so than jetlag. But, thanks to this nifty little app, you’ll be one step ahead before you even leave home. All you have to do is input your trip details and you’ll get back a simple sleep / wake schedule for the days leading up to and after you arrive to help ease the joys of jet lag. There are a few other options like Entrain and Jetlag Genie for those looking for alternatives.
BEST FOR: Anyone travelling across 3+ time zones.
What are your essential apps for healthy travel? Let us know in the comments!