Heading out on a vacation can be a great way to give yourself that much-needed (and well-deserved!) break. However, this is also the time when many of us struggle to keep up with our healthy travel plans. This is especially true when it comes to habits such as healthy eating and exercising, both of which tend to fall to the wayside once we land at our destination.
While finding a balance between pleasure and wellness can seem challenging, all it really takes is some planning and organizing. Below, are five tips on how to stay healthy while traveling on vacation and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Pack Your Own Food When Heading Out
This is a great tip for those who want to travel on a budget while also being health-conscious. Gas stations and other places that offer food-on-the-go aren’t exactly something to rely on for nutritious foods. They’re there to offer convenience, and they also tend to cost more.
Rather than spending money on foods that aren’t good for you anyway, consider packing your own food when heading out. Bring a bag of healthy snacks such as a homemade trail mix. For longer trips, pack a healthy portable lunch or dinner – try a whole grain salad or a wrap sandwich. This is a great way to help kids eat healthy foods if you’re vacationing with family. It’s also much safer to bring your own food if you have certain food allergies.
Scan Restaurant Menus for Health-Minded Options
While bringing healthy foods on the go is a great way to stay healthy while traveling, it’s not always possible or practical. And sometimes, it just feels so much better to have your meals prepared by a pro. Even then, it’s important that you look for health-minded options.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the best vegan burger Miami has to offer or looking to indulge in some vegetarian Mediterranean delicacies while traveling through Europe, be smart about what you’re ordering and always look for healthy alternatives when scanning restaurant menus. Also, modify your meals when (and if) necessary. Order extra veggies instead of potatoes, or choose mustard over a sugar-packed ketchup to cut down on calories.
Keep Moving and Stay Active
Other than sticking with healthy eating options, another way to prioritize health while traveling is by staying active. This is easier said than done, mostly because we assume that vacationing means taking a break from our regular lifestyle. That said, physical activity is essential for keeping your energy levels up, so do your best to keep moving.
Start your day off with a morning run to leave more room in your schedule for other activities. Squeeze in a quick 10-minute workout between meals, preferably a high-intensity one. Even though they’re short, they’ll help you burn a lot of calories since you’ll be working really hard. You also don’t need equipment for these exercises, and many of them can be done practically anywhere.
Combine Sightseeing with Physical Activity
If you’re not a fan of working out, you may find it difficult to find the motivation to exercise while vacationing. The good news is, you don’t always have to rely on at-home workouts or even a gym to stay active. Even something as simple as combining sightseeing with physical activity can go a long way in keeping you active.
Sneak in some physical activity by ditching the elevator and taking the stairs. While touring the city you’re visiting, consider walking instead of relying on a bus or a cab to get around. Alternatively, look for bike-share programs in the area, and take advantage of the multiple benefits offered by these two-wheelers. Not only is this a great way to stay fit, but you’ll also save money on transport.
Make Sure to Get Enough Z’s
Last but not least, do your best to stick to your regular sleep schedule. Skimping on sleep makes your immune system more susceptible to diseases, not to mention how it makes it impossible to feel your best while vacationing.
Even before you head off to your destination, make sure you get enough sleep. You don’t want to start your vacation exhausted because you’ve spent nights working and getting everything done before the trip. Nap when you’re tired, and let your body adjust to a different time zone. By getting enough rest, you’ll be in top condition, which is vital if your travel plans include some extensive sightseeing.
Prioritizing your health while on a vacation starts before you even hit the road. By planning in advance and knowing how to avoid falling into the trap of a just-let-it-go mentality, you’ll be more likely to follow through on your healthy travel plans and manage to feel your best during your stay.