Friday, July 18, 2014

How I Pack for a Healthy & Green Vacation

Hey there greenies! Tomorrow *(see note below) I leave to go on a trip to Florida with my husband's family for 9 days. Now although I am excited to relax by the beach, take Avery to Disney World, and just make some great memories with our family, I am a little freaked out about how I am going to stay healthy and green on this vacation.

Here at home, I've got this "Ashley's Green Life" thing down to a science. Vitamix is here. Plenty of lemons for my daily lemon water in the fridge. Favorite bulk items stored in the pantry over there. Treadmill downstairs. Comfy bed with grounding mat up there. Shower filter over there. Boom, done. Living the healthy, green life is a piece of cake here at home.

Then put me on vacation, where I won't have all these things and you've the recipe for a "green panic attack"! Call me high maintenance, call me a "green nerd," I don't care, it's true I like my green healthy things here at my house. And most of all I like my routine. But since I also like the beach and I'd like my girls to get some travel memories that consist of more than just going to the Trader Joe's in a neighboring state, I'm putting my big girl panties on and gearing up for this trip.

Now I don't know if there's anyone out there as extreme as I am with my green ways and restrictive diet, but if you are, or maybe you're just curious, follow along as I share what I'm packing to help me stay green and healthy while I'm on vacation...without packing my entire house.

Before I get started let me tell you a little bit about the trip we're going on.

  • We are going to stay for 9 days at a beach house in Melbourne Beach, Florida. 
  • We will be flying there and back, a first time for both girls.
  • While there, our beach house is equipped with two full kitchens to accommodate our large group, and washer/dryer so it's basically like a home away from home.

Melbourne Beach, Florida
Read more about our trip here from 3 years ago. 

Now that you know this, let me share a little bit about what I'm packing.

No time for the video? Here's a picture breakdown of what I'm packing.

First up is FOOD...
I'm a gluten-free vegan and I follow a no-GMO diet, meaning I pretty much only eat organic. My main food plan consists of us eating almost all of our meals at the beach house, with a few exceptions. So I made a menu for the week of what we will eat and when, and then I made a grocery list of all the things we will need to stock up for when we arrive there.

The menu I made for the trip.

After making this list, I almost had a heart attack at the thought of cost of this bill, because not only was I having to buy fresh produce, noodles, bread, cereal, etc. I was also having to buy the staples that are always in my pantry like organic condiments, spices, and a plethora of gluten-free flours.

My grocery list for the week we are on the trip.

Luckily I talked to my mother-in-law who loves to cook too, and she said she was putting all the spices, bulk ingredients in little baggies and labeling them for the meal she needs them for. So I followed suit and measured out all my spices for dinners and labeling them in Ziploc bags.

All my spices/flour blends for meals while on vacation.
 I'm sure Ziploc bags probably don't seem like the greenest option when it comes to packing for a "green vacation" but any other food storage container would have been too big (plastic) or too heavy (glass). So I went with the Ziploc, perhaps I could save and use them for future vacations? I don't know. Would they still be good since there were only dry ingredients in them?

Then I took it to the next level by also filling up bags with my main smoothie ingredients like chocolate protein powder (I use Sun Warrior), hemp seeds, chia seeds, as well as ingredients to make some gluten-free recipes like pancakes and rolls.

I'll blog more about it in an upcoming post, but I will also be taking these Aloha "The Daily Good" green juice powder packets as well. As you'll see below, I packed one LARGE appliance in my luggage, so taking my juicer was definently not an option. This powdered green juice will allow me to still enjoy some green juice goodness, even though I won't have access to a juicer.

Then, since my sister-in-law was driving to the beach trip in Florida, we loaded all the spices and flours into a shoe box and gave it to her to take down there that way we wouldn't have to pack it in our luggage for the plane. 

All boxed up and ready to go. 

So when it comes to food all I have to do is shop when we get down there to get the rest of the stuff off my list and then we are all set for our homemade meals. Cross it off the list.

Next up, green things...this is when I had to weigh the pros and cons of the green item. If I had my way and my own private plane, I'd pack every item that I've ever done a blog post on, because clearly I like it and value it's greenness, but since I needed to pack "lightly" (and keep my bag under 50 lbs...otherwise I would have to pay extra to check it) here's the must-haves I put in my suitcase.

To keep it simple, I will show you my suitcase as I filled it up, starting with just a few things, and working up to it being full.  Let the tour begin...

While the obvious thing you see is the Vitamix base, I will talk more about that in the next section. 
1. Yoga Mat. I plan to workout daily while on vacation, some inside with DVDs and some outside (probably just walking on the beach) so a yoga mat is something I use for nearly every workout DVD I have, so it was a must. 

Here are some of the workout DVDs I packed as well. The Suzanne Bowen BarreAmped DVDs are my favorite right now!

2. Spoonk Accupressure Mat. You can read more about Spoonking in this post, but this mat will help me relax and release any tension I may get in my neck or back while on vacation. 

3. Cloth napkins. To try and avoid using paper towels, I'm packing a bunch of cloth napkins in this drawstring bag then as we use them I will just toss them into the laundry. 

My bag of cloth napkins.

4. Purse. I'm using a backpack as my carry-on bag since it will have more room than my purse, so I'm storing my purse in here until we arrive in Florida. I figure one less bag to carry while traveling with my two little girls is a good idea.

5. Earthing Mat. Well, I can't leave home without this one. I've been sleeping on mine for almost 2 years now and I swear that it helps me sleep better, reduce pain, and speed up my recovery time after hard workouts. Read more about it in this post

Okay, next round...

1. Personal Care Products. Here's a peek inside bag one of two of my personal care products. You can see I've got my neti pot, Dr. Bronner's castile soap, Earthpaste toothpaste, and tongue scraper

2. Clothes. Going to the beach made my clothes packing very simple, I packed a variety of tanks, tees, and shorts to get me through the week. My clothes actually came in handy in my luggage because they served as padding for my Vitamix Blender.

3. Vitamix Blender. I'm sure all of the internet will laugh at me for years for doing this but I don't care. I love my Vitamix, I use it twice a day for smoothies and often for dinner recipes. I'm super sensitive to the texture of my smoothies and no other blender can take it's place. I was willing to not take a few things to make room for this one.

4. Defender Pad for Laptop. This is a cool board I stick under my laptop that helps reduce radiation and heat. I don't use my laptop without it. Here's a link to learn more about it.

Next round...

1. Vitamins & Supplements. As you can see in this post I take a slew of vitamins and supplements and do not go a day without them, so this AM/PM dispenser was a must. Before the trip I placed all my supplements for each day in their little section (I needed two pill cases for the 9 day trip) that way I didn't have to take tons of bottles. Also, you can see Avery's Vitamin Code Kid's Multivitamin and Hyland's Teething Tablets for Mila. 

My vitamins and supplements.
2. Bag of Essential Oils. I packed all my favorite and most used essential oils. This takes the place of traditional medications, like Advil, Pepto Bismol, Neosporin, etc. Usually this handy bag (find it here) is tucked away in my purse, as I don't like to leave home without it!

3. More Personal Care Products. In this one I packed some of my shower things, like lotion, my dry skin brush, Badger sunscreen for the beach, and my homemade deodorant and hair gel. You can learn more about all my personal care products in this post

Last round...

1. Eco-Friendly Make Up. I like to keep it separate from the rest of my personal care products so the little pieces don't get lost and in case I need to put it on while "on the go" I can just grab this little bag. See which make up products I use in this post

2. Vitamix Accessories. Here's the lid, probably a good thing to pack!

3. Microphone for videos, if needed. I use this one

4. Cloth diapers. Both of my girls use cloth diapers. Mila is obviously full time, and Avery just uses one at night. I didn't want to change any of that routine, but that meant I had to be the one do wash them, not the service we currently use. So I got the special detergent that I was to use to wash them, and then packed enough diapers to last us about 2-3 days with both girls. Then I planned to wash them at the beach house. They also served as extra padding for the Vitamix.

5. Workout clothes. As you saw from the yoga mat above, I will be working out daily, so workout clothes are a must, and this is usually what I wear around the house when I want to be comfortable too, so I packed quite a few. 

 Here it is when it's all packed up (and bursting at the seams)!

On the outside I stored my extra flip flops and Vibram FiveFinger shoes
for cardio workouts. I also stuck my laptop charging cord in this pouch area too.

Next up is Avery + Mila's luggage, with a little bit of my stuff sprinkled in as well...

1. Clothes bags organized by day.  So I saw this idea on Pinterest where you take your kid's clothes for each day of the trip and pack them in labeled Ziploc bags...we're talking everything from the main outfit to PJs.  I thought this seemed like a great idea compared to going through a pile of Avery + Mila clothes on a daily basis to find something for them to wear. 

Avery and Mila's clothes for all 9 days of the trip, organized by day.
Again, the Ziploc may seem anti-green, but aside from helping to organize and declutter my luggage, I plan to keep these bags and reuse them on future vacations.

So just as I did with the meals, I planned out their outfits for each day of the trip and then packed them in Ziploc bags. This included everything from Avery's undies to their bows/headbands for the day, and even their PJs. Then I bagged them up, labeled them by day number, and  packed them up.

Typical contents of a bag: 1 main outfit for Avery, Avery undies, 1 main outfit for Mila
(bows and headbands as needed), pair of PJs for Avery, pair of PJs for Mila.

Meet my little packing helper! She had fun playing in the pile
 of clothes/bows/and bags while I worked.

2. Hand weights. These probably seem a little out of place in this luggage, but with my Vitamix in my luggage, I thought it was best to distribute the weight a bit more since I was trying to keep my bag under 50 lbs. These weights are for the BarreAmped DVDs I mentioned above, as well as some of my yoga DVDs.

3. Baby monitor. This is for if the girls are sleeping, and we are not. That way we can hear if they need us from anywhere in the beach house.

4. Sound machine. I blogged about it here in my post about "tips for better sleep," but I cannot live/sleep without this thing. And given the fact that I will be sharing a house with a large group of people, this will be helpful in drowning out some of the noise both for me and for the girls, who are somewhat light sleepers.

In the outer sections you can see I packed even more cloth diapers...

Last up are our carry-on bags...

Avery's is the pink one and mine is the black backpack.
In my bag I will have...

My laptop and camera bags that will be stored in my carry-on bag.
1. My laptop in a protective sleeve and my camera in it's case. I don't trust these to be checked in and tousled around in the airplane. Granted they will make my backpack pretty heavy, but it's worth it to me.

2. My must-haves that will be in my carry-on...

1. Moleskin Notebook for ideas, can't leave home without this one.
2. Wallet with all the important things.
3. Spry gum.
4. Digestive enzymes, I take one with breakfast and one with lunch, try to keep them handy for anytime too.
5. Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Lip Balm.
6. Similasan Eye Drops for Dry Eyes, contacts + traveling= dry eyes for me. These drops help.

Other things I also packed in my carry-on were: headphones and my phone. 

In Avery's bag, we have things to keep her and Mila busy like books, paper and crayons, as well as some teething toys, and baby snacks. 

Avery's carry-on bag.
Her carry-on bag also held all our food and snacks which consisted of some tofu bites, (right container), tortilla shells and a muffin (left container). I also packed 2 bananas, 2 apples, some Larabars, and some Veggie Straws for Avery.

Whew, that's all...I think! As you can tell I put a lot of time into planning what I'm going to pack to help me stay healthy and green on this vacation, let's hope it all works out.  If you have any other healthy or green vacation tips to share, please do so below.

*Side note: I drafted this post on the night before we left, but ran out of time to finish it. So I thought I could post it during the vacation, but then I ended up just wanting to relax with the family. So here I am...we have gone on the trip and returned, and I'm finally posting it. Better late than never right? Thanks for understanding. I hope to post some pics of the fun we had soon.  ( :

Related Posts with Thumbnails