Being a traveling showgirl is something that most of us in the burlesque world strive to do. But, once you start hitting the road maintaining a healthy diet and keeping active can become a challenge. The more you travel the more struggles you will encounter.
Over the past 3 years I have been traveling more and more nationally and internationally. I have traveled through times of financial hardship: having my bank account wiped clean in Amsterdam, managing tremendous pain and immobility with my neck thru long flights and bad pillows, to adhering to an elimination diet in the tiny town of Hebden Bridge, UK.
While traveling to perform is an amazingly rewarding experience it can also be a draining one. But there are things you can do fit in me time, stick to a budget and somehow get in that workout.
10 Tips for Staying Fit & Focused on the Road
1.) Set your Budget – Determining and setting a budget will help to keep you from overspending and buying those few extra lattes or cocktails you really don’t need.
Be realistic. How many days will you be gone? Have you saved up for this trip? Do you want to have spending cash for merch? How much money can you afford to spend? Will you be getting paid to perform or are you doing a festival with no stipend?
Once you determine your amount be it $200 or $600 divide that by how many days you will be traveling. Now you have a daily budget. If you are using cash only keep that much on you a day, plus a card for potential emergencies. If you’re a card person keep a running tally of your purchases in a notepad on your phone to help keep track of spending.
2.) Sleep for Cheap – Before you book a hotel, consider alternate lodging.
If you’re traveling for a festival reach out to festival producers or local performers you have connections with and ask about being hosted. Use social media to find other performers who are also looking for a place to stay and save money by making new friends and splitting hotel costs. When traveling overseas look into hostels, they are a great inexpensive alternative.
3.) Bring your own snacks for the flight – Don’t waste your money on airport food.
Eating within dietary limitations and on budget is almost impossible at airports. Remember, you may not be able to bring liquids through security but you can bring food. Pack a sandwich, easy snack food like veggies or granola bars. Packing your own food ensures you will be able to eat without using money budgeted for your trip on overpriced airport snacks.
This practice saved me on my trip to Amsterdam. I requested a gluten-free meal weeks before the flight but when the time came for food to be served on the flight, there was no meal for me. If I hadn’t packed protein bars and gluten-free granola I would have had no food options for the entire 7 hour flight.
4.) Hit the Grocery Store – Hitting a local grocery store will save you so much money over eating out.
If you’re staying at a hotel call before arriving and find out if your room comes with a mini-fridge or if it’s possible to reserve one. Even if your hotel doesn’t offer the option of a fridge hitting up a local grocery store to stock up on items like fruit, nuts, rice cakes/bread, peanut butter and other non-perishables is still an effective way to offset food costs when on the road. Being hosted by a local performer adds the bonus of access to a full kitchen. Plus, what better way to say thank you than cooking up dinner for your host.
5.) Look up local gyms / sliding scale yoga – If you aren’t staying at a hotel, or the hotel you’re staying at isn’t equipped with a gym that doesn’t have to keep you from working out.
Doing a simple google is a great way to locate nearby local gyms and fitness centers. Most gyms will let out of towners workout for a small fee per day that can range from $5 to $15. Some city’s also have sliding scale Yoga or Pilates centers that will allow you to stay within budget. Another great option is utilizing a Class Pass membership to be able to workout and attend classes wherever you are.
6.) Pack a resistance band – A gym isn’t necessary for a good workout.
If you don’t have the budget to accommodate a day fee for a gym or class, don’t fear! A resistance band is a great piece of workout equipment that takes up little to no space and is a great substitute for weights. There are tons of great resources on Pinterest and Youtube for quick resistance band workouts that can be done anywhere in as little as 30 minutes.
7.) Pre-plan your workouts – workout log – Writing out your workouts will make you more likely to do them.
Setting a plan of what you’re going to do for your workout and when you’re going to do it can be that extra kick you need to commit. Before you break out your resistance band or walk into a local gym write out your workout move by move. This practice will keep you focused once you start and help keep track of your workout days versus rest days. A workout log like this one that you can download is a great tool to track and plane your workouts.
8.) Have an accountability partner – Having another person to work out with or a friend at home that will check in with you is a great tool for sticking to your fitness plan.
A great way to stay motivated to get in that workout is to link up with another performer. Nothing compares to getting sweaty with a friend. If you’re traveling solo you may not have someone nearby to keep you accountable by being your workout buddy. In this case, having a friend or partner at home that will check in with you and remind you gently to find time for a workout is a great alternative.
9.) Find 30-60 minutes a day for you – Plan you time into your schedule every day.
Life on the hustle road can be eve busier than our normal day-to-day lives. After you factor in tech-time, possible sight-seeing, shopping and socialize me time quickly disappears. It’s normal to want to attend all the events and socialize with everyone, but it’s ok not to as well. Take the time to find even 30 minutes to yourself a day: be it zoning out over a latte in a coffee shop, a hot bath at the end of the night or having a glass of wine in silence. Finding time for you while on the road will keep you from burning out.
10.) Factor in a massage – Travel is hard on your body, reward it afterwards.
Before you leave, set aside money for a welcome home massage. A post-travel massage should be on the top of your priority list. Being cooped up traveling by car or plane for hours is hard on your body and leaves muscles tight and tense. That’s before you add in the effects of jet-lag, the time spent in heels and sleeping in foreign beds. Thank your body for all it’s hard work and treat yourself. You deserve it.
* Bring a flask! – Ok so maybe this isn’t a tip on staying fit & focused but it will save you money. Drinks at shows, hotels and bars add up. Hit the local liquor store, pack your flask, be discreet and save a few more $$$ the Dottie Dynamo way. Because ladies with class don’t need a glass.
Safe Travels on the Road!