Staying healthy while on vacation

I love traveling. I especially love an extended weekend getaway. I find shorter trips more manageable and typically more enjoyable. My biggest pet peeve about traveling is deviating from my routine. That seems to be one of the easiest ways for me to derail any progress and I feel out of sorts for days after returning. So I have a few tricks which help make trips less stressful. For starters I load up on water before getting to security. Another helpful idea is to bring a refillable water bottle and get water after passing through security. I always bring healthy snacks- even if it is a short trip. Being caught empty handed could result in buying snacks on the run which are rarely healthy. My normal snacks are high fiber, high protein granola bars, a piece of fruit, and some homemade trail mix. If it is a longer trip, say 4+ hours on the plane, I pack a complete meal plus 2 snacks. For Thursday’s flight, I packed a fiber plus bar, a turkey wrap, 1 orange, 1 package (small) of goldfish, 1banana and 1 chocolate. Having the variety keeps me from inhaling each snack the attendants offer. Some other options are mints and hard candies – but don’t crunch on the first bite! By keeping a few on hand you can keep your mouth occupied while consuming minimal calories.

Once you get to your destination the temptations are endless. I always try to stay somewhere with a free continental breakfast, a refrigerator and a microwave in the room. Making a quick stop at the grocery store will serve you well. I like to pick up some waters, 2 pieces of fruit for each day I am away from home and some granola bars and a couple single serving soups. Not only will you save money but calories as well – by getting healthy balance you will be less likely to overeat. Take as many opportunities as possible to keep active on vacation – even if it isn’t your normal exercise routine. This is a good time to try something different. Yoga classes maybe, or hiking. Plan this part of your trip ahead of time so you can be prepared. Get in lots of walking too.

But let’s be realistic. It is almost guaranteed that you will eat out on vacation. So the easiest way to decide what to have is treat each meal for what it is. If you are eating out simply because someone doesn’t want to cook , or because you are meeting up with a friend, eat as you would if you were cooking. If it is a special occasion (a wedding, a birthday, etc) and you feel like celebrating with food then have what you will but use your hunger signals to avoid going overboard. Remember that health is the goal, not depravation or perfection. Keep your portion sizes reasonable and  take the time to enjoy each bite and your company.

Some planning and careful attention to your body’s needs is all you need to keep vacations fun and healthy.

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