Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or exploring a new city, a pause in your normal routine can make it tough to stay fit.
- Drive past the drive-thru. If you’re driving to your getaway, plan where and when you’ll be stopping for meals before hitting the road. It’ll give you more flexibility when choosing a healthier restaurant—or figuring out the best options. And of course, pack your own healthy snacks!
- Save space for treats. On days you’ll be indulging more than usual, try to keep other meals and snacks on the healthy side.
- Beware of buffets. With so many delicious choices, how to choose anything other than, well, everything? Start by using a smaller plate; it’ll encourage smaller portions. Also aim to fill up on as many fruits and veggies as possible.
- Stay regular. No, not that kind of regular. Keeping a fairly consistent diet helps maintain weight better than being erratic. Even when you’re on vacation, aim to eat roughly the same amount and kinds of food as you usually do. Your body will thank you.
- Visit food markets. They’re a great place to soak up local culture and eat delicious—and cheap—fresh food. Local food is better for the environment; you get to pick what you’re eating; and you’ll even squeeze in some movement as you walk around the market. Talk about a win-win-win.
- Pack snacks. When you plan to be out all day, bring along your own healthy snacks to stave off hunger. It’ll keep money in your pocket and away from unhealthier options. Trail mix, granola bars, or even sandwiches can all be healthy, portable options.
- Make your own meals. If you’re staying somewhere with kitchen access, take the time to whip up your own delicious meals as much as often during your stay. You’re more likely to eat something nutritious at home—and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.
- Beware of drinks. A single cocktail can contain loads of sugar (and calories).
Exercise and Fitness
- See the sights. On foot or bike, that is. Skip the bus tours and check out your new surroundings the old-fashioned way to burn calories while taking in the views. Lots of cities even offer running tours to let you explore while getting a workout.
- Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and sneak in some extra cardio. Bonus: Lots of sightseeing attractions—churches and towers, for example—have stairs with architectural oddities, letting you kill two birds with one step.
- Embrace your surroundings. If you’re at the beach, try doing the usual stretching routine on the sand instead of indoors. A change in scenery might be the boost needed to get physical. Take a long walk through a local park when you’re in a new city.
- Be adventurous. Break out of a workout rut and use vacation as an excuse to try a new, fun activity. Whether its rock climbing, sailing, or trapeze swinging, challenge yourself to try something different while you’re away.
- Try the local specialty. Take advantage of what an area’s known for—or even plan a vacation around it! It’s a great way to learn about a different culture while getting fit.
- Make exercise your vacation. A surefire way to guarantee you keep moving while traveling is by planning a getaway around a fitness event or competition. Force yourself to vacation by registering for a race in a different city or try a weekend fitness retreat.
- Check out amenities first. Make it easy to squeeze in workout time by booking a hotel with a gym or pool. If that cozy bed and breakfast doesn’t have the facilities, find out if discounts are offered at a local gym.
- Scope out the neighborhood. Book accommodation near places where you can get your sweat on. If you need to run laps before starting your day, make sure there’s a track nearby.
- Do it anywhere. Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere and require zero equipment. Bust a move in your hotel room to keep fit.
- Stash food. Ask for a room with a mini-fridge and keep it stocked with healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and nuts to avoid room service.
Rest and Relaxation
- Keep work away. It’s a vacation, remember? Resist the urge to check work e-mails and focus on having fun. It will keep your mind clear and allow you to decompress.
- Free your mind. Meditating for just a few minutes each day can help relieve anxiety and stress. Bonus points if you can find a beautiful space to do it in.
- Get the most out of time off. Doing activities that you enjoy, keeping your cell phone off, and sharing time with friends and family (or alone time!) ensure that you’ll get the most bang for your buck out of a vacation.