13 Tips to Stay Healthy (And Sane) on Vacation

When we schedule a vacation-regardless if we travel to a white sandy beach or just travel a few hours away by car--we're carving out some time to relax and recharge. We go into that break hoping to decompress and get away from stress. A vacation is a well-deserved break and a form of self-care.

So, why on a vacation would you stop your healthy routines? So often, vacations are associated with gluttony--imbibing in one too many drinks or chowing down on baskets of greasy foods. And, when you come back from your restful time away, many feel bloated, uncomfortable and that their mind is in a fog. A souvenir some people get while on vacation is regret. 

Just like any balanced lifestyle, there is room for a drink, a sweet treat or a new-to-you food. Vacation is a way to treat your body with rest and respect, so continue respecting your body with healthy and nourishing food choices. By eating well and moving your body daily, you can fully reap the rewards of your vacation and return home feeling cleansed--not regretful. 

  1. Find a hotel with a kitchenette, microwave or fridge. Or, if you're able to, rent out a small apartment or room. This will give you access to a way to store and cook your own food in the comfort of your own space. 
  2. Bring your own foods. Snacks for the plane or car trip are always a necessity, but bring some extra foods to eat throughout the trip. Pack pre-made packets of oatmeal that only need water for simple cooking. Protein bars are great in times of a bout of hunger. (You can also bring your favorite tea packets, spices, or even a small blender!)
  3. Seek out a grocery store. Around your accommodations, find the nearest grocery store and shop there soon after your arrival. Dedicate one daily meal to eat in your room and buy appropriate groceries for it. (This is also a great way to save money!)
  4. Don't forget to eat vegetables. Whether it be snacking on carrot sticks or eating salads at restaurants, vegetables are full of fiber and nutrients (but you knew that already). For salads, hold off on creamy dressings or croutons, but stick to simply-prepared salads.
  5. Enjoy regional treats and eats. Many cities and cultures are known for their culinary creations, so do enjoy some of the local offerings. (But be mindful. Maybe you don't need to eat the regional dessert every night, and maybe you don't need the fish and chips basket every afternoon.)
  6. Drink lots of water. Dehydration can occur while you're en route to your destination and it can be easy to forgo water in place of fruity drinks. Pack a waterbottle with you and keep it with you throughout the trip. 
  7. Eat until your 80 percent full. It takes your stomach and brain about 20 minutes to communicate with each other to realize they're full. While you're eating, listen to your body and how full it is becoming. Stop eating just as you start to feel full. Leaving this extra 20 percent stops you from overeating and from getting uncomfortably full. If you turn how to be hungry an hour or so after mealtime, get a little snack. 
  8. Keep eating real food. New countries and cultures have their own candies, snacks, drinks, etc. But, just like the ones you find in your local grocery store, they are often riddled with processed ingredients. Stay away from them and stick to eating whole, natural and real foods. 
  9. Find a local farmers' market. Many foreign cities have notable markets full of fresh fruits, veggies, local foods and other mouth-watering options. They are often great places to grab a healthy snack or a full meal. If a market is available, check it out! Even if you don't eat, markets are a fun way of soaking up culture. 
  10. Skip the alcohol. Alcohol affects everyone a little differently, but it warps how we think and act. Mixed drinks contain extra sugars and calories. If you really want a drink, have one and savor it.
  11. Don't skip breakfast. That first meal of the day sets the tone. Have a filly and nutrient-rich breakfast complete with carbs, proteins and fats to keep you fueled for your day of exploring. 
  12. Do something active everyday. Find a local hiking trail, plan a walking/running tour, or bring your workout clothes for a daily sweat session--moving while on vacation can go a long way to keep you sane, healthy and happy. If your hotel doesn't have a gym, find a local park and do a high-intensity workout using only your bodyweight. (Many bodyweight exercises can also be done in the comfort of your own room/home!)
  13. Keep technology to a minimum. It's tempting to capture every image of vacation and then post it to our favorite social media spots. But, take this vacation as a time away from tech and enjoy the people and sites around you.
Apply some or all of these tips to your next getaway and see how you feel upon your return. If you return feeling inspired, nourished and energetic, then your vacation truly did what it was intended to do. 

Prepare for your next trip with these great snack ideas