Summer is here and many Americans will take advantage of the nice weather and travel this season. Vacations provide a healthy and much-needed break from every day stresses, but vacations can also wreak havoc on your waistline. Traveling can easily disrupt one’s exercise routine and eating out usually means you consume more calories and less nutrients than when you’re at home. But there are ways to avoid these common pitfalls of traveling. Plan ahead with these tips and you and your family can have a healthier vacation this summer:
On the road
When taking long car rides, pack a cooler. Fill it with items that are easy to eat on the road like:
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Snow snap peas
Also stick to water, rather than sugary and caloric drinks like sodas and juices. Pack sandwiches or wraps as well, so you don’t stop for a fast food meal. You can stop at a rest area to stretch and eat your healthy homemade meal at a picnic table.
On a plane
When traveling by plane you are more limited as to what you can pack. Drinks are not allowed through security checkpoints, but once you have gone through security you can purchase drinks from the airport vendors. Although pricey, buying a bottle of water is a good habit to get into. Hydration when flying is important and you are more likely to drink consistently throughout a flight if you have a bottle of water at hand.
Other items you can pack to snack on are:
- Celery sticks
- Trail mix
Long flights often result in boredom which can cause a person to eat or snack more. Pack gum or hard candies to help curb these desires. And remember to pack any food you want on a flight in an easily accessible area of your carry on or purse.
At a hotel
The best possible scenario is to get a hotel room with a full kitchen, as offered in business hotels and extended stay hotels. When this is not possible call ahead and request a mini-fridge and microwave for your room. Most hotels have both appliances and will provide them free of charge, however, hotels with limited quantities may charge a fee for their use. Also be sure to know before you arrive, the location of the closest grocery store.
Choose a hotel that has a fitness center located in it or provides access to a fitness center close by so you can continue your regular workouts.
Pack a small cooking/preparing kit that includes:
- A bowl
- A plate
- A small paring knife
- A small cutting board
Before you check in or shortly after, visit the local grocery store and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables and sandwich makings. Most grocery stores sell pre-made individual salads, hummus cups, and cheese and cracker packs that are also convenient.
If your hotel does not serve complimentary breakfast, or if there are no healthy choices, buy instant oatmeal packs. You can make this in your room with either a microwave or using the coffee maker.
There are plenty of ways to travel and still maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. If you have any tips, share them with our readers in the comments section.