Living Healthy and staying on track with your routine and goals can be difficult, even more so when you are on vacation! Maintaining a level of healthy living on vacation will help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
Depending on how long your vacation and where you are going, there are some healthy habits you will want to maintain at all costs, and others you may want to temporarily place on hold.
Vacations can throw you off schedule with your nutrition, exercise, and mental health, so take a few minutes before you leave set your priorities and expectations and be sure to be reasonable with yourself. Yes, you want to enjoy your vacation, but you also don’t want to throw away ALL of your hard work either.
Here are some tips to healthy living on the go, because healthy living is possible anywhere.
A big part of traveling is enjoying the cultural food and drinks of whatever location you are visiting. So while you will inevitably loosen up on your nutrition guidelines while traveling, you can keep from going too crazy by following these guidelines:
- Pack healthy snacks. Whether you are traveling by car or plane, pack some healthy snacks to take along with you or you’ll end up stopping to buy snack along the way. Some of our favorites are Nature Valley Granola Bars, trail mix, beef sticks, cheese, and crackers. Check airline guidelines before packing snacks as some may not be approved to carry through airport security. You can also pack an ice pack as long as it is frozen when you pass through security. Unless traveling by car and can take a cooler, general rule of thumb is to stick to snacks that don’t require refrigeration.
- Drink plenty of water. When we travel by car we pack plenty of bottled waters in the trunk. When we travel by plane, one of our first stops is to a gas station or grocery store for a pack or two of bottled waters. Buying in bulk is less expensive than buying individual bottles and ensures you have plenty of water to drink to stay properly hydrated and combat hunger.
- Split entrees at restaraunts between two or more people. Most restaraunts have HUGE portions, bigger than one person should be eating on their own. If you are following the portion fix nutrition plan, you will be used to eating smaller, more frequent meals. To avoid the feeling that you are “rolling” out the door when you are done eating, split a meal with another person. Doggie bags and vacations don’t work out very well, especially if you aren’t near your hotel room to drop off food. So save money & food waste & split it!
- If you are insistent on staying close to your nutrition plan, look for healthier food options at food places, ask for sauces and salad dressings on the side, and drink water instead of soda or other beverages.
Basically, stay properly hydrated, be prepared with healthy snack options to keep you happy until meal time, and don’t eat the restaraunt’s’s portion- eat your usual portion size.
Fitness can be tricky on vacation. Do you try to stick to your regular workout routine? do you forget about working out because you’re on vacation? or do you do like me and stick somewhere in between, depending on the activities for the day?
- If you have an On Demand workout program like my Beachbody On Demand, you can take it on the road with you and do your workouts from anywhere with a WiFi connection.
- Yoga is the perfect workout while on vacation. You don’t need any equipment, very little space, and it can be done anywhere- even a hotel room, in a tent, or on the side of the road. It is especially useful to give your body a break from sitting in a car or airplane for long periods of time, or walking around your destination for hours on end at Disney or a big city. Click here for some basic Yoga poses you can do in your hotel room, most from your bed! If the hotel floor grosses you out and you didn’t pack a yoga matt, throw the comforter or a towel on the floor first.
- Enjoy your hotel amenities. A lot of hotels offer a small gym with equipment and a swimming pool. Take a couple of laps in the pool, lift a few weights or enjoy the sauna.
- Skip the run or walk- chances are that your vacation, wherever it took you, involves walking more than you usually would once you reach your destination. So when you arrive, don’t try to fit in a walk or run. Just wear your step counter as you enjoy your day.
Vacation is the perfect time to recharge, enjoy, relax, and come back refocused and ready to get back to work. Just make sure that you take care of your mental health while on vacation.
- Enjoy the sunsets! One of the things that I love about vacations is enjoying the sunset in someplace new! I have so many sunset pictures at the beach! The sunset is so relaxing and recharging. Be aware of your surroundings and be sure to look up when you are outside!
- Pack an inspirational book. I always have a book that I am working on reading, usually from the self-help section of my library. Traveling is the perfect time to read a book, especially if traveling by plane. If you are driving- download some podcasts or books and listen while you drive. Just make sure that you don’t lose a library book while traveling!
- DON’T overbook your schedule. When traveling to someplace new and exciting, you are going to want to do and see as much as you possibly can during your time there. However, if you plan too much into your schedule you will be too stressed to enjoy it. We learned that lesson the hard way in San Diego with two small children- we jammed in Lego Land, Sea World, the Zoo, museums, Coronado Island, a Navy Ship tour, and a bus tour… in three days. It was NOT enjoyable and we swore never to do that again. Now we pick a couple things to highlight on a trip and enjoy just being there and the experience.
Tips with Children
If you are traveling with young children you will have an extra struggle to try to keep a healthy balance and enjoy your vacation. Keep in mind that traveling throws your kids off schedule, even if you try to keep them on their usual sleep and eat schedules by planning around those times. You will need extra patience and a little more preparing beforehand.
- Healthy snacks your kids enjoy. One of the worst things is having your kids hungry and crankie and you CAN’T feed them and make them happy so they will leave you in peace. Avoid sugary snacks- that can just add to the crankiness. Aim for something with protein and carbs to help keep them full until you can get them a good meal. The same snacks I recommended above work great for kids.
- Frequent stops, especially when traveling by car. Sitting still for long periods of time makes you stiff and sore, especially when you fall asleep in a sitting position. Plan frequent stops to let your kids out to stretch. Take advantage of rest stops and let your kids run free for 10-15 minutes before you get back on the road. Take them swimming at the hotel pool so they will sleep good at night, especially if they napped in the car during the day.
- Pack a nightlight. My kids are both teenagers now but we still pack a nightlight so we can see around the hotel room without turning on the light and waking everyone up. It usually helps kids sleep better when they don’t wake up in pitch black in a room they don’t know.
- Try to maintain some parts of normal routine. For example, if you read to your children every night before bed- pack books to read to them before bed. If you use an essential oil diffuser to help them sleep at night, make sure you pack a travel one to take with you. Vacations are exciting and adventures, but they can also be stressful.
One Word- Balance!
While you are on vacation, it is so important to remember balance. You don’t want to stick to super strict guidelines and rules that keeps you from enjoying your vacation. Loosen up a little and allow yourself to indulge, jut a little!
Remember that you also don’t want to throw all your healthy habits out the window and completely splurge just because you’re on vacation- that can lead to unneeded stress on your digestive tract, your body, and your mental health!
Find a way to fuel your body with some much-needed nutrition, enjoy some cultural foods you wouldn’t normally eat, and make sure you move your body! Do some things you normally wouldn’t do, see things you normally wouldn’t see, and take lots of pictures! Focus on living!
Do you have any other helpful tips on keeping your healthy lifestyle in check while enjoying vacation time?