Staying Healthy on Vacation

Vacation season is here.  Don’t let the summer and this break from your routine, wreck havoc on your healthy lifestyle.  Before you throw your cares into the wind, check out these tips and tricks for staying healthy while on vacation and come home without the extra baggage.

Don’t let traveling steer you in the wrong direction

Whether you’re traveling in a car or an airplane to your vacation destination, always prepare.

How long will you spend traveling? 

Your planning effort varies depending on your travel time to your vacation destination.  For travel times under 4 hours, a few snacks should be sufficient to keep you content until you reach your destination.

Here are a few travel-friendly snacks that pack up well and won’t cause any headache going through airport security.

Baba Ghanoush
Baba Ghanoush Dip with Snap Peas

For travel times over 4 hours, where snacks may not be sufficient, you may also plan for a meal, or multiple meals depending on how long you’ll be traveling.

Where will you be during meal time? 

Most restaurants, fast-food chains and airport vendors serve very basic, plain salads.  Packing nuts, boiled eggs, and avocados to add extra calories to the salad will help keep you full and satisfied for a meal.  Fresh lemons and limes make a great, healthy salad dressing in lieu of the highly-processed, sugar-loaded pre-packaged dressing.

If you’re able to stop at a restaurant, check out my post on Eating Healthy while Dining Out for tips on how to order, what questions to ask and where non-Paleo ingredients could be hiding.

Find a hotel that supports a healthy lifestyle

Once you reach your vacation destination, find a hotel that supports health so you have the opportunity to participate.

Vacation Homes or Condos

Vacation homes or condos are a great option when going on long vacations.  It is your home-away-from-home…literally.  Vacation homes and condos not only work better for families with young kids, but they also allow your traditional at-home routine to continue while you’re on vacation.  Being able to cook your own meals, refrigerate food as needed and shop at local grocery stores, gives you the freedom to eat what you want, when you want, and most importantly, within your Paleo-approved lifestyle.

A few years back, we took a family trip to Jost Van Dyke for my cousin’s wedding.  As part of the wedding, all the attendees got to stay in local vacation homes on the island.  I was easily able to follow my Paleo lifestyle and incorporate some exercise into my trip.  It was probably the best trip we’ve had in a long time.


If you must book a hotel, the following upgrades are well worth the extra money.

  • Hotel offers a room with a microwave
  • hotel offers a room with a refrigerator
  • Hotel offers breakfast coupons, which is different than free breakfast, see below
  • Hotel equipped with a gym
  • Hotel offers free exercise classes

Breakfast coupons are good for a meal at the on-site restaurant, usually located on the first floor of the hotel.  Not all hotels have an on-site restaurant, but if they do this is a great option.  If you call the hotel directly and book with the front desk, you can sometimes get them to include these breakfast coupons for free.  It never hurts to ask.

Find ways to eat healthy

Paleo Dining Out

See my post on Eating Healthy while Dining Out for tips on how to order, what questions to ask and where non-Paleo ingredients could be hiding.

Incorporate exercise

You’re on vacation, so have fun with your workouts.  Here are a few different things you can do depending on the type of vacation.

  • Walk, walk and walk some more – don’t take a taxi or bus if the location is walkable
  • Take the stairs up and down from the hotel room.  Remember this when you book so you’re not on the 12th floor…or maybe you are.
  • Swim laps in the pool, ocean or lake
  • Play Marco-Polo with your kids and have fun without noticing you’re burning calories
  • Attend an exercise class offered by the hotel.  Book ahead of time; the classes fill up quickly.
  • Fit in a 30-min workout while your kids are playing.  See my Park Bench Workout as an example.
  • Using the gym at the hotel is always an option – a quick 30-minute workout is better than nothing.

What are other tips and tricks helped you stay healthy while on vacation?

Please comment below to join the conversation.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Janice Skarzenski says:

    I agree with everything that Tanya said. But I would add that if you walk around the city touring all day, don’t forget to stretch when you get back to the hotel. Stretching out those tired muscles will help, and you won’t be stiff the next morning. Also, a nice hot shower or tub bath always helps.

    1. Tanya says:

      Thank you very much for the additional comments. I love active vacations. While we might get caught up on seeing the sights and hurrying from place to place, we often forget to nurture ourselves too. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. NBA2K16 says:

    Many thanks really helpful. Will certainly share site with my good friends

    1. tanyahobson says:

      Thank you very much! Are you going on a vacation this summer? I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

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