8 Ways to Stay Healthy on Vacation

I gained 2 pounds while I was in Reno. But let’s face it, gaining two pounds on vacation isn’t that bad compared to the damage I’m capable of. I know there are people that can vacation without weight gain, but I am not one of them. I’m not going to say no to sweets and alcohol because that is crazy talk. I want to be able to enjoy myself. That’s why there was some of this.

And this.

And a lot of this.

So, I’m not going to tell you an amazing story of willpower here. But I will tell you the things I do to minimize the damage when I’m out of my comfort zone.

1. Pack snacks.

I bring snacks for the plane and for the hotel. I don’t want to go to a store or restaurant every time I’m a little hungry. So I bring protein bars, packets of oatmeal, beef jerky, almonds, and Hershey kisses or M&Ms. That way, I have a few healthy snacks and I’m prepared in case a chocolate craving hits. Although, the chocolate thing didn’t work out so well this time around.

Their french vanilla truffles are ridiculous.

2. Bring sneakers and workout clothes.

I may not work out on vacation, but if I don’t have those shoes and clothes with me, I definitely won’t work out.

3.  Book a hotel that includes breakfast.

On vacation, I eat out for most of my meals. If the hotel has breakfast included, I can at least cut that down by one meal a day. Not only do I save money, but I will have one of the hotel’s healthy options like oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, or yogurt. Then, I confiscate some fruit for a snack later in the day.

If there’s no free breakfast, I use the hot water in the coffee maker to make instant oatmeal.

4. Book a hotel that has a gym.

If I have 30 minutes or so when nothing is planned or I wake up early before the day’s activities begin, I’ll go to the gym. I didn’t work out for more than 40 minutes at a time, but I did work out twice while I was in Reno. And I made both of them speed workouts (like this one) so I got the most out of a short workout.

5. Bring a bathing suit.

Sometimes I don’t use my bathing suit depending on the weather, but our hotel had an indoor pool which was nice since it was cold. Swimming is exercise too, so if I have time, I do it. I didn’t use my suit this time around but I brought it, so at least I was prepared.

6. Walk somewhere.

I like walking because I get to enjoy where I am more. Hubs and I walked to the grocery store twice, walked to lunch, and walked to get frozen yogurt. None of it was very close, but we got to see some pretty views that made it worth it.

We also took the stairs instead of the elevator. But that may have been more so we didn’t punch the girl’s softball team that was taking over the hotel.

7. Limit snacking.

When I’m on vacation, my meals are bigger. At home, my meals are smaller but I snack. So when I’m on vacation, I limit my snacking so I’m not eating even more than I should be.

8. Control what you can.

Hubs and I had lunch on our own the day of the wedding. We walked to a restaurant that was about a mile away and ordered salads (instead of the burgers we wanted) because we knew we’d be eating more that night.

So now you have my tips, what are your tips for staying healthy on vacation?


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20 responses to “8 Ways to Stay Healthy on Vacation

  1. I think your tips about sum up my thoughts on being healthy on vacation. It’s really about moderation, plan to be super healthy and active (like bringing gym clohtes) so at least it’s an OPTION instead of “oh well I’d like to go workout but I only have mini dresses and hooker shoes… oops”

    • Paula

      Oh, maybe we should add that to the list? Walking in a mini dress and hooker shoes could be considered a workout.

  2. Great tips! We also like to walk a lot on vacation, if permitable. When we were in DC, we rented bikes and saw all the monuments by bike, which resulted in sore tushies, but it counter-balanced some of the eating we did!

  3. Carly Thurman

    Great tips! I’ll have to keep these in mind next time I am on vacation. I also like to pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and cut cost on buying multiple water bottles. They can get pricey!

  4. I agree with all of those things. And I always try to work out while I’m on vacation. Yes, everyone thinks I’m ridiculous and crazy and “why would you do that, it’s vacation!!” but I always feel 100% better when I fit in exercise.

  5. Good tips. I really like running outside on vacation and getting my bearings if I can. Running is a great way to see a city and seeing a city is a great distraction from running. Win-win.

    Confession: Sometimes I purposely forget my swimsuit so I don’t have to get in a bikini.

    • Paula

      I don’t blame you. There’s gotta be a Spanx bathing suit out there somewhere.

      • Oh, they make them, but they’re like, $200.00 a pop. Ouch.

        I bring water everywhere so I don’t get dehydrated and I go to breakfast in my work out clothes so I have to work out. Otherwise, I just feel dumb for changing out of them. I know because I did that this morning. Whoops.

  6. I love #8. i control what i can. the worst is when i go to visit my parents (my mom is a pastry chef and my dad is a chef) so i always have them cokoing me awesome meals and we always drink a lot. some of course pretty healthy, but others not so much (my dads rich chicken marsala pasta is to die for!) so i try to control other meals and such.

    • Paula

      Oh yeah, that’s gotta be hard. Because then you have to exercise portion control and we know that can’t happen when something is delicious. 🙂

  7. Again, we are the same. I don’t bring my bathing suit, though. I’m not a big swimmer. I also scope out the menus before I eat out so I can decide on a decently healthy meal and not give myself a chance to order something really stupid.

    PS I love the pic of you in the hotel gym. You look *SO* happy to be there. 😉

    • Paula

      haha, I said I DID the workout. I didn’t say I liked it. I have another sweaty after picture I can send you personally if you prefer that. I think I’m smiling because the workout was over.

  8. Trying to stay healthy on vacation is the worst!! I’m with you– I’m not going to not eat something amazing on VACATION! C’mon– it’s VACATION!!! So, I try to be active and limit portions a LITTLE. I also try to choose either lots of booze or lots of chocolate… not both in the same day. TRY is the key word there. 🙂

  9. Amber K

    I always gain weight on vacation, even if I don’t indulge. I think the traveling takes it out of me. Thank and I don’t think I ever drink as much water as I should. So I try to make sure I’m well hydrated. And I completely agree with bringing workout clothes. I know without them I definitely won’t exercise!

  10. Laura WL

    Great tips!
    My suggestions:
    Make being active part of your vacation: Spend time walking around the scenic areas, rent bikes, go for hikes/walks along the cool beach/river/trail.
    Rent a condo instead of staying in a hotel: A condo is usually cheaper and you’ll eat out less if you have a kitchen to make healthy meals in. VRBO & AirBnB are both great sites to find places.
    Don’t rent a car if you’ll be in a city: Most large cities have public transportation and you’ll end up walking more.

  11. I personally like to drink so much on vacation that I vomit. That way the calories don’t count! Totally healthy.

    But for reals love the tips… and that wedding looked AMAZING.

  12. My tips are much the same as yours… I do a few things that save some calories, and I try to do active things on vacations, but as far as eating and drinking goes when I’m on vacation I go ALL OUT. I have also kind of been going all out lately…but that is not the point. I like to enjoy my vacation and that includes eating and drinking a ton so if I gain weight, meh. Worth it. And 2 pounds is good!!!
    I haven’t weighed myself since Christmas, and I’m avoiding it until I’m comfortably back in my routine, because my workouts have been sporadic and my eating has been craptastic, so…I’m sure the scale will be reflecting this.

  13. Love your suggestions. I always bring snacks for the car…that are intentions for the hotel, too…but…that never lasts. Also, we brought our suits for our Otown stay, but managed to be so busy and tired to use the pool! Ugh. I also did bring my workout shoes and clothes, but I refer back to busy and tired… so I am starting to implement some of these for vacations…so I feel proud that I tried. 🙂

    • Paula

      See? Trying is what matters! If you had time, you would have done it. Plus, you walked around Epcot, right? That’s exercise!

  14. Great tips! I make sure I get my runs in as well as walk a lot if nothing else when I’m on vacation. It’s okay to treat yourself, because hey, you’re on vacation. But, staying active is also important. I still bring healthy snacks or buy healthy stuff most of the time on vacation since meals are more of a treat than normal.

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