Travel Tips – The Key to Making Healthy Choices
Kendra Thornton emailed me a while back with a great idea. She wanted to collaborate to put together a few tips for those of you who travel. These tips can be used when going on a family vacation or just for a little weekend road trip.
There have been plenty of times when I was travelling and decided to SPLURGE. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always worth it and the indulging episodes have never helped me to meet my fitness goals. In the past I have found myself, more times than not, feeling guilty about making numerous bad decisions on the road so I learned how to keep it healthy on the go. If I plan ahead, I’m more likely to stay on track with my nutrition, which in turn keeps my head and my belly happy! J
I hope some of these tips are helpful for you. We’d love to hear what tips you have to keep your family active and healthy when traveling.
Going on Healthy Vacations: My Tips For Travelers by @KendraThornton (Kendra’s tips are BOLD)
Whenever I go on trips with my family, there are a lot of moments where I think it’s completely okay to splurge on cheeseburgers, pasta and ice cream. It hasn’t done me a lot of favors in the past, and I finally got to thinking about what my top tips would be for myself when planning a vacation to avoid those indulgences and try to stick to a healthier vacation if that’s possible. It’s actually quite easy when you plan out activities and meals. These are some of my favorite tips, and I think they really work for anyone trying to stay fit and keep their families on healthy diets while vacationing as well.
Just Pack Water
One of the things that I started doing to really help my family and myself was packing water beforehand. It’s understandable not to bring a case of water with you on the plane, but if you are going on a road trip, there’s no reason not to buy a case of water in advance. This saves money and time while also keeping you hydrated. You also have an excuse to avoid those sugary soft drinks and keep kids hydrated when you’re on the road. Whenever we reach our destination, I try to also buy water at the grocery store to avoid those fees at hotels and high-priced tourist markets.
When you’re flying, be sure to take a bottle of water (or two) with you for as long as you can. I can’t stand the thought of throwing away a bottle of water, so I usually am sure to get it guzzled down before I go through security. This helps me to stay hydrated too. (Kara’s tips in pink!)
How to Eat at Buffets
Whenever we go on vacation, there’s always a buffet that we have to try, and even though I try to avoid it, I end up indulging in a few things at buffets. I’ve managed to limit myself to one plate with a few treats but mostly vegetable dishes that I can feel good about. This way, my family gets to enjoy the buffet, but we also get to eat a few healthy items. I always follow up heavy buffet food with a lighter meal the next day and try to stick to veggies as much as possible.
Pick the Right Snacks at Hotels
Hotels can serve up some incredible room service and have tons of gourmet restaurants with delicious entrees and desserts. However, many hotels are going in another direction and trying to stick to organic, healthier items for guests who want to watch what they eat even while on vacation. This has really helped me avoid some unnecessary fats.
Exercise When You Can
I like to plan silly adventures and games with my kids while we’re on the road or vacationing somewhere. I find that going to a park, setting up a scavenger hunt or just having a dance competition in the hotel room is a great way to burn off calories anywhere at any time.
It can be difficult to maintain your healthy lifestyle away from home. I also always try to book a hotel with a quality gym and actually managed to for our upcoming trip to Orlando. The process proved to be a bit overwhelming as there are just so many hotels in Orlando, however sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you can feel even more comfortable about what you’re getting into.
Family Friendly Events
I LOVE to run short fun runs like 5ks or 10ks and kids usually really enjoy the ones with mud, color or foam! Look for a local event on your route that is family friendly. These runs usually start in the morning so they’re a great way to get you going for the day. What a way to burn some calories right off the bat!
Keep the Snack Stash Stocked
When I hit the road for a quick weekend of travel I must have my snacks stashed just about everywhere. They’re in my truck, in my purse, in my cooler, in my boyfriend’s bag – healthy snacks are everywhere. Having them on hand ensures that I won’t go too long without eating and helps me to avoid unnecessary snacks from the convenience stores, fast food stops or from Grandma’s house! Easy to pack snacks of choice: all natural nut butter, kale chips, unsalted nuts, travel friendly fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, pears, etc., Quest or About Time bars and hummus, carrots, celery and hard boiled eggs travel well in my cooler.
Preferably colored notes – because I like things that are pretty. I use colored index cards to write myself positive and powerful notes. I don’t want to put myself down, but I want to encourage myself to stay on track – mostly because there’s probably a goal I’ve set and splurging may set me back more than it’s worth. For example my note might say “that pizza and the post-indulge belly ache are a packaged deal – you can’t have one without the other!” or “cupcakes = one piece swimsuit on the boat!” Other note cards may simply have my goal written on them. For example, I may keep an index card in my wallet that says “half-marathon in 36 days” or “160”, which is my goal weight. I also write on my mirrors with dry erase markers…
Reminders and Alarms
When I travel I lose track of time, don’t you? I know it’s because I’m not going through my typical daily routine where meal timing comes naturally about every three hours. In order to make sure I don’t skip a snack or meal, I set alarms on my phone. If I do skip a meal (accidentally of course) I find myself raging with HANGER before it’s actually time to eat another meal; and if I’m travelling with family or friends, this doesn’t go over well. When I’m hangry I’ll make every wrong choice in the book. When I hear that alarm sound, I know that it’s time to give my metabolism a little boost. Keeping my metabolism fueled keeps me from overeating at a later meal.
Of course you’re going to have some treats on vacation – not sure it would be vacation without some splurge? You more than likely deserve it, so go on – enjoy it! I have found that waiting to have a cheat meal at the end of the day works best for me. Strange? Not so fast…If I cheat early on, then I often lose total control for the rest of the day. Even worse, it often leads into the next day with a food hangover. I find myself saying something like “well now that I had cinnamon rolls for breakfast my entire day is shot”, which usually will lead me to binge eating (or eating uncontrollably) for the day – NOT GOOD! So if I can plan ahead and know that I will be enjoying a decadent dinner, then I will typically have much better luck at making healthier selections throughout the day. Plus, it’s satisfying because I feel like I’ve earned that delicious indulgence just for staying on track during vacation – not an easy task!
Next time you plan a family vacation or just a quick weekend road trip, be sure to plan ahead! These tips are the key to a nutritionally successful outing for myself and I hope they help you too.
Please share in the comments what your best “keep it healthy” advice for someone on the go!