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.
Whether you’re traveling by car, train, or airplane, always prepare. Your planning effort will vary depending on your travel time, of course, but the process remains the same.
How long will you spend traveling?
What are the food options along the way?
Travel Friendly Snacks
Here are a few travel-friendly snacks that pack up well and won’t cause any headache going through airport security.
Some fruit is naturally travel-friendly and these can be great to throw into your travel bag.
If you have the time to prep and place cut fruit into portioned bags, then any fruit will do.
- Carrot Sticks
- Celery Sticks
- Grape Tomatoes
- Cucumber Slices
- Jicama Slices
- Sugar Snap Peas
Combine your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit into portioned bags for a quick snack. Get creative with all types of combinations, but here are some of my favorites:
- Cashews or Walnuts & Raisins & Raw Cacao Nibs
- Macadamia Nuts & Bananas & Shredded Coconut
- Pumpkin Seeds & Raspberries & Shredded Coconut
Most restaurants, fast-food chains, and airport vendors serve 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 your travel time is longer, you may need to plan for some mini meals, or larger snacks to keep you going. Some mini meal ideas that are still travel-friendly, try these below.
Choose Restaurants Wisely
For all your answers on eating healthy at restaurants, 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.
Once you reach your vacation destination, find a hotel that supports a healthy lifestyle.
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.
- Breakfast Coupons – different from free breakfast, see below.
- Fitness Center
- 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 these breakfast coupons included for free.
It never hurts to ask.
Stick to Routine
Do you run every morning?
Don’t stop just because you’re on vacation. Stick to your routine and your healthy lifestyle as much as you can, but remember, it can be fun too.
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 walk-able
- 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.
Additional Tips in Comments
What are other tips and tricks helped you stay healthy while on vacation? Share them in the comments below.