Vacation Tips: Maintaining Healthy Habits Away From Home

by: Terry Ternyila

I recently traveled to Key West for a 10 day trip to visit friends. It may have only taken 49 years, but I have finally found the balance for a perfect vacation that doesn’t completely derail my healthy lifestyle. I had so much energy through the whole vacation this spring, I didn’t feel bloated, and I didn’t pack on the pounds like I normally would.

Usually a trip like that would have knocked me off my healthy lifestyle for the whole trip, but over the years I have learned the tricks so that I can still enjoy my vacation and all it has to offer without feeling crappy when I get home. I just wanted to share some of our vacation tips we have learned along the way.

Book a Stay With a Kitchen

First, we always try to rent houses or condos for our vacation. There are so many options online now to find different accommodations other than the traditional hotel, with apps like AirBnB or websites like VRBO. This gives us the kitchen option so we can have healthier snacks on hand and we do not have to eat all our meals out.

I know cooking on vacation is not what everyone wants to do, but it doesn’t have to be big elaborate meals. We keep the meals we cook at home simple and easy. We also have the options of left overs with the full fridge. We will plan 1 meal out for the day and try to keep the rest of the food as close to our normal diet as possible. This will keep the calories down and keep your body on its routine.

If renting a house or condo isn’t in your budget, we have made this work with the hotel mini fridge options. There are so many health options to have on hand, just stop at the food store and stock up on those choices. Getting some local fresh fruit and healthy snacks to have on-hand will save you money too. I find on vacation we usually eat 2 meals, then small bites here or there, like a protein bar or snack packs of nuts in my bag.

Stay Active

Second, we keep active. I am not saying you have to work out and exercise on your vacation but working activity into your daily routine is a benefit. We try to walk places when we can, even after dinner to explore or go see a park or beach locally on a trip. Renting bikes or kayaks for a day to explore the area more is an awesome way to get in your activity and enjoy your vacation. 

I always wear my Fitbit to see how active I am, and you would be surprised just walking around exploring and shopping how many steps you are getting in. We are always so rushed in our lives, in a hurry to get somewhere, and vacation is no exception. Take the time to walk down to the pool instead of driving, spend the time talking and walking; it’s the greatest connection we can do on vacation.

Hydration Is Key

Third is to keep hydrated throughout. This is one of my biggest struggles when I am traveling for sure, but it is so important while you travel to keep drinking water. We usually are indulging in some of the adult beverages during vacations which will dehydrate us even more. I try to keep a water bottle by my night stand. Having a bottle ready when I get up in the morning and again before bed is a good habit, especially on vacation.

Keeping hydrated also helps with flushing out all the added salt that you have been eating in your meals out. Usually my fingers would get so swollen from all the sodium you find in prepared meals. Drinking enough water to get that out of our body helps so much.

Throughout the day check in with yourself and make sure you have gotten in your water.

In the past I would use the vacation as an opportunity to just splurge on food and drinks. I would throw all my healthy habits out the window for the whole trip. Half way through the trip I would feel more sluggish and bloated. Once I got home, I would feel awful about how much weight I put on and how I felt. It would take me a few weeks to get back on my routine. Now I realize that I can still have that ice cream or yummy meal as long as I make better choices the rest of the day. I didn’t come home feeling deprived of my vacation, and I actually felt better and had more energy to enjoy the trip.

Get Back to Your Routine

Once you return from vacation do a little 3 day cleanse…. I am doing no sugars, no oils, no dairy, and no carbs for 3 days to reset my body and get myself off the bad habits I may have picked up on vacation.   You don’t have to go so extreme but try clean eating for a few days to get back to your normal eating patterns.

What are some of your vacation tips?

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