The Hills‘ Whitney Port talks trusting your gut when you’re a working mom

Whitney Port juggles a lot. Between running her lifestyle blog, starring in The Hills: New Beginnings, hosting her own podcast, With Whit, and raising her two-year-old son with her husband, Timmy, Port has her hands full.

Often traveling across the country from her home in Los Angeles to New York City, the 34-year-old knows her way around an airport. Since Port is no stranger to traveling, she knows the tolls it can take on your mental and physical wellness. That’s why Port chose to partner with kombucha brand KeVita to share wellness tips and travel hacks, as well as create travel guides for visiting the two cities she knows best—N.Y.C. and L.A. I chatted with Whitney about traveling tips, raising her son, and how she balances it all.

HelloGiggles: Because you travel between New York and California so often, how do you keep yourself feeling healthy during those long travel days?

Whitney Port: For me, it’s really all about feeling nourished and staying hydrated. KeVita is available now at so many airports, so I really heavily rely on them to give me the nourishment I need when I’m traveling. I think just making healthy choices like that at an airport is really important for feeling your best when you’re traveling. I know the general lack of sleep and being in the air can be really draining, so it’s important to put good things in your body.

HG: Do you have any other travel hacks for when you’re in airports or during road trips?

WP: Yes! Having snacks [is big]. I take these little on-the-go type of snacks. There’s this brand called Iota that makes sunflower seeds that you can pour into your mouth, so it makes having snacks easy while getting in some protein.

I also just use those quiet moments to think. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ll put in my earbuds and put on some good music, and it’ll be some of my more productive time. I can write out to-do lists or lists of things I want to get done—like dreams and goals. Or I can text some people that I haven’t texted in a while.

Travel used to be something that I didn't really love, but I think once you have a kid, and you're not traveling with [them], you really take advantage of those quiet moments to be productive, or to just relax, enjoy yourself, and watch a movie. Both are totally okay, and both are very rejuvenating.

HG: So, when you are traveling with your son, how do you make sure those trips go smoothly?

WP: I have a basic travel essentials list on a notepad that I refer to each time we’re about to go so that I don’t have to stress out and think about what I need to bring. I pack in advance. For him [Sonny], I try to get things together maybe five days in advance. His carry-on bag is also really important. I make sure he has bottles for takeoff and landing, some healthy snacks, and an activity like a coloring book or sticker book. And also his iPad for those moments when you need it. I think it’s fine, obviously in moderation.

HG: When you’re traveling with family and friends, how do you stay present in the moment?

WP: I think the biggest thing, which is pretty simple, is just putting your phone away. Even if you want to take pictures, just put it on airplane mode for an hour. Really try to disconnect. I think it’s so important because if you aren’t present in those moments, you’re not going to remember those trips. Take little snapshots in your brain of those moments. I’ll sometimes have those special moments and think about it for a second like, “Gosh I’m so lucky to be here. Look how happy Sonny is.” Or, “Look how cool this moment is that I’m able to do on my own.”

Reminding yourself that you're alive and in this moment [will make] those memories last longer.

HG: You’ve mentioned that traveling for work is a great time to be productive and to take time for yourself. But do you ever have to handle difficult emotions while being away from your son?

WP: It’s really hard to do that. [But] I find that the anticipation is always worse than when I’m actually on the road. I always get a little bit anxious about knowing that I’m leaving him, and it’s really sad when I leave.

Once I'm actually gone, I try my best to stay present and be in the moment, and realize that in order to be productive, have a successful work trip, and really enjoy myself, I [shouldn't] worry about whatever is happening at home, because you're out of control at that point—there's really nothing you can do.

So, obviously before you leave, make sure that you’ve done everything you can in order for him to be taken care of, like planning out his schedule, or making sure the fridge is stocked. I’m lucky I have [my husband] Timmy who is able to do all of the things that I do, so I feel confident being able to leave.

I try not to FaceTime. Everybody does different things, but when I used to FaceTime Sonny, it would be hard because it would be a reminder that we’re not there. I think it’s important to give them the words and tell them what’s happening, like “Mommy always comes back. She’s going away for a couple of days but she always comes back.” We also made a book for him. A child development specialist told me to make a book wth pictures of me and Sonny together, and then pictures of me on a plane, and then a picture of Sonny with the person that’s going to be taking care of him. Then I narrate what’s happening so that he’s aware.

I think just constantly communicating with them and telling them what's happening will set them up for more success when it comes to separation.

HG: You talk a lot about motherhood on your podcast. What is one of the biggest things you’ve learned about parenting from hosting With Whit?

WP: There are two things. My mom has always said to me and Timmy, “You were two before you were three, and it’s so important to make sure that you guys are on the same page and that your relationship is being taken care of in order for you guys to be happy and to be the best parents that you can be for Sonny.”

The other thing is, just do what feels right to you.

Try your best to not compare yourself to what other people are doing or let other opinions override what your gut is telling you.

Only you and your partner really know your kid, and yourselves, and you know what feels best. At the end of the day, just trust your gut and heart, and don’t worry about what anybody else is going to think about it, because they don’t actually know what’s going on.

HG: Between balancing a busy career and personal life, how do you stay feeling physically and mentally healthy on a day-to-day basis?

WP: It’s never going to be a perfect balance of course. You just have to really understand what your priorities are and what makes you feel whole, and make time for those things. Make yourself a priority.

Yoga is something that I need to do to feel refreshed, happy, and motivated. So, if I need to ask for help a couple of times a week in order to get that done, then that's what I do.

I also designate days for [certain] things. On Saturdays and Sundays, we really try to not make any plans so that Timmy, Sonny, and I can have quality time together and enjoy each other and do things that we obviously wouldn’t be able to do during the work week. I really try to make the most of weekends.

Check out Whitney’s N.Y.C. and L.A. travel guides for KeVita.