Planning for Healthy Travels
Thursday, March 14, 2013
This time of year begins the busy travel season for families. My husband and I love to travel and many of our fondest married memories are in far off places packed with lots of rest & relaxation. We are actually preparing for a 4 day trip this weekend and I thought I’d share some of my preparation tips with you!
When it comes to maintaining our healthy lifestyle, travel can also be kind of scary, BUT it doesn’t have to be! Armed with a solid plan any vacation can be a healthy success without compromising the fun along the way. As I prepare for this trip, here is what has been on my mind.
Food & Water– 90% of our meals with be out at local restaurants. When going to restaurants normally we employ the strategy of looking at their website to plan ahead of time. This trip the restaurants are pre-chosen and out of our control so there will be no way to check the menu in advance. Here are my tips:
- Discuss sharing a meal in advance with your spouse or travel companion and agree on something you will both be satisfied with.
- Look for markings on the menu that indicate healthier options
- Keep snacks on hand so that you don’t go into the restaurant completely starving and with less self control. Pre-portion and throw in a bag or purse for easy access on the go. For some great snack ideas that that travel well check out Re-thinking Healthy Snacks: Crunchy & Salty!
- Enjoy local and seasonal items, request modifications when needed, and load up on veggies as you normally would at home. =D
- We will be going to an area that is near the ocean and I plan to enjoy some great fish that I don’t get often in Texas. Fish is a lower calorie protein when, grilled or broiled and not fried, that is a perfect travel choice.
- When staying in a hotel call ahead to find out if they offer continental breakfast and what healthy options are available. Starting the day making healthy choices always keeps me on track!
- Don’t forget to keep drinking your water! Save money on your trip by drinking water at meals, keep a case of water in the hotel, and take a bottle when on the go.
Activity – Traveling affords terrific opportunities to seek out different activities not available where we live. This trip for us has a specific focus and won’t allow much adventuring. So to fit in activity we have planned ahead, here’s my tips:
- Call the hotel ahead to find out what exercise facilities they have available. Our hotel this weekend offers an exercise room, as most do these days. It also offers an indoor heated swimming pool.
- Plan ahead by packing a couple workout outfits, tennis shoes, socks, swim suits, and any of your other favorite gear. Having it with you keeps you motivated and dispels any excuses.
- Look for a terrific parks, bike rentals & paths, tennis or basketball courts, places to go swimming where ever you travel this summer. Explore museums and other outings that will keep you moving.
- Plan activity into your travel. No matter what type of trip, no matter how tight the schedule or budget may be. It is so important to fuel your body with what it needs and be consistent with your active lifestyle. Our plan for this trip is to squeeze in time at the gym and pool during before breakfast and at the end of each day. Even 20 minutes makes such a huge difference and is totally worth it!
Stay accountable – Travels don’t have to be the purpose to be derailed from a healthy lifestyle. Keeping accountable with whatever plan you chose could be just the step that keeps you on track. Here are my tips.
- With our Weight Watchers plan we track everything that goes into our mouths on their really terrific website. Just in case we don’t have internet I’m packing a handy paper tracker! This is a fantastic accountability step to keep you aware of food choices and staying on track. There are tons of ways to track your food or caloric intake these days, tons of free apps for the phone and websites. When in doubt pack some paper & pen J
- Do you have friends that you stay accountable via phone, email, or Facebook? Why not check in while traveling? We are blessed to have many layers of accountability, here is a pic of us traveling at Christmas and attending a Weight Watchers meeting while in Ohio. It was the perfect boost to get us through the holiday.
- Ask friends and others on the journey to help you make a plan ahead of time that works for you! I talked to some terrific friends who understood the details of our travel and they gave me great insights I hadn’t thought of. What a blessing to have great healthy minded friends!
We are committed to our healthy lifestyle and continuing to honor God with the choices we make NO MATTER what life throws at us. With a plan in place, tools packed and ready, we are equipped to enjoy a wonderful trip. I hope you have found some of these tips helpful and will enjoy fun & healthy travels this season!