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How to Stay Healthy While You're on Vacation
Healthy Travel

Useful Tips for Eating Healthy While on Vacation

When you’re on vacation, you don’t have to leave healthy eating habits at home. With these tips for eating healthy on vacation, you’ll always Getaway Well. 

You Can’t Getaway Well if You Leave Good Eating Habits at Home

We all tend to conveniently ‘forget’ many of our healthy habits when we go away on vacation.

Yet, there are many great ways that we can continue eating delicious food while we’re away, without throwing all of our hard work and dietary concerns out the window.

You deserve to treat yourself, but we need to break the stigma that eating healthy while on vacation requires us to eat bland or unenjoyable meals.

To help you Getaway Well with a healthy diet on your next trip, we’ve put together some useful tips for eating healthy while on vacation.

Before we jump into that, let’s talk about some other important elements of this discussion, like why eating healthy on vacation is important and tips for putting yourself in the right headspace to make smart food choices.

Is It Even Possible to Eat Healthy While on Vacation?

Believe it or not, yes, it is possible to eat healthy while on vacation.

The first step to eating healthy while on vacation is to learn to fight the urge to eat on a whim while you’re traveling.

Best foods to eat on vacation

It’s really easy to be walking down the street of a new city, see a restaurant that looks or smells heavenly and scrap all of your previously determined meal plan to grab a quick bite.

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself sometimes, but there needs to be a limit to how often we’re allowing ourselves to indulge and forget our normally healthy eating habits.

It takes a little bit of self-control to get past these urges, but it also requires some pre-planning. If you’re excited about the food that you were planning to eat later, it’s a lot easier to fight the impulse to throw away plans and eat spontaneously.

Follow our tips later on this page, and you’ll have a lot more power over that little voice in the back of your head. You know the one, who tells you to throw caution to the wind and eat like it’s your last meal.

Why is Eating Healthy While on Vacation Important?

Our bodies need lots of healthy things to keep us running at peak efficiency, and help us avoid things like illnesses while we’re away from home.

Planning on spending the day on foot, exploring the area, and taking in some of the beautiful local scenery and architecture? Your body is going to need lots of energy for that.

Do you have an excursion planned, like snorkeling or scuba diving? You’ll need the power to keep you motivated and energized throughout your adventure, so you can make the most of the short time you’ve got to enjoy these experiences.

A Guide to Travel Nutrition

Eating healthy while on vacation sets your body up for all of these things. It not only provides you with all the energy you’ll need for whatever your days may entail, but it gives your body natural protection against illness.

This way, your body can continue doing all the things it needs to do to keep you happy and healthy throughout your travel journeys.

Mentally Preparing Yourself for Eating Healthy While on Vacation

Part of the challenge of eating healthy while on vacation involves our fluctuating levels of self-control.

It’s easy to get caught up in a moment and tell yourself that a little overindulgence is no big deal. And sometimes it’s not, but that is what cheat days are for.

The rest of the time, it’s up to you to keep yourself in check. A feat like that requires some mental preparation, as well as some mental fortitude.

Take time ahead of your trip to focus on more than just the activities that you’re going to take part in. Spend time thinking about when, where, and what you want to eat.

Plan your cheat day or cheat days before you leave. It will give you something to look forward to, especially in the moments where you have to abstain from eating something that you know you’d enjoy.

Remember: You’re your own best friend and worst enemy when it comes to eating healthy while on vacation. Only you can control the dietary choices you make.

11 Tips for Eating Healthy While on Vacation

Now that you’re prepared to start your vacation off on the right foot, let’s talk about some tips that you can use to make eating healthy while on vacation a little easier on yourself.

1.) Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

This is the first, and arguably, the most important tip we can give you for eating healthy while on vacation.

Planning meals ahead of time

Sit down and create a basic plan of action for how you’re planning to eat throughout your entire trip. Think about things like:

  • Are there specific restaurants you want to try in the area where you’ll be staying?
  • What kind of groceries are you going to have access to purchasing?
  • Does your hotel room have accommodations for cooking in your room, or will you be eating a lot of pre-prepared or takeout meals?
  • What are you going to eat when you’re out being active all day?
  • Can you plan to bring non-refrigerated healthy snacks with you on excursions?

Once you’ve created a plan, and you know what kind of cooking facilities you’ll have access to on vacation, you can build a meal plan that’s enjoyable and healthy.

Make sure you leave yourself at least one cheat day on your trip, and a few opportunities to eat out (with healthy meal choices). Just because you’re trying to eat healthy while on vacation, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself a few times.

To be extra safe, consider picking up a food diary to help plan and track your meals, so you can monitor your healthy choices.

2.) Start Every Day with a Healthy Breakfast

There’s a reason the old expression ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day has stuck around for so long – because it’s true!

How to eat healthy when out of town

Your breakfast should fit the course of your day. If you’re having a lazy day by the pool, some fruit, granola, and yogurt might be enough for you until lunch.

On the flip side, if you’ve got a big adventure planned for the day, you may want something heavier, like protein-heavy breakfast choices.

3.) Prepare Meals Yourself

If you’re traveling to an area where you can drive, it gives you additional options for healthy eating while on vacation.

So, after you pack your road trip emergency kit, and some meal prep containers to pack some healthy meals for your trip.

This means that you can convert healthy road trip meals into meals for your whole trip.

Whether you prefer salads, healthy pasta dishes, or reheatable treats that you can make at home, pre-preparing meals ahead of time gives you all the freedom to take home cooking with you on your trip.

Pack some of your favorites and forget to stop for fast food along the side of the highway. Bring plenty, and you can save yourself from making unhealthy eating choices on your trip while saving yourself some money along the way too.

4.) Be Smart About Snacking

Eating healthy while on vacation has to do with more than just meals.

Sometimes, our greatest dietary downfall while traveling falls onto our snacking habits.

Sugary, salty treats may taste great, but unfortunately, most of them are terrible for you.

Skip the potato chips and try some keto-friendly alternatives instead. These snacks are free from a lot of the carbs that make many snacks so terrible for our waistlines.

Maintain a Healthy Food Balance While on Vacation

Can’t decide which snacks you’ll like best? Consider picking up a sampler of keto snacks that will give you lots of healthy options to choose from.

5.) Stay Hydrated

For your body to process all the good food that you’re giving it, as well as function at peak efficiency for you, you must be staying hydrated.

Staying hydrated is important for many reasons, including keeping your joints lubricated for your physically demanding adventures, keeping organs functioning properly, as well as delivering nutrients to our cells from the healthy foods we eat.

Staying hydrated in the summer is extra important since you’ll be more likely to sweat and use up the fluids that your body has stored.

It doesn’t take a lot to ensure you’re staying hydrated. Just make sure you plan to bring water along on excursions, and stop periodically throughout each day to drink some cool water. That’s all there is to it.

6.) Walk Whenever Possible

It may be relaxing to rent a vehicle or take a tour bus through the city that you’re visiting, but you could do a lot more positive things for your body if you go out there and get moving.

Sticking to your diet on vacation

This is especially true on cheat days, or on days where you decide to throw caution to the wind and splurge outside of your meal plan.

Walk a few miles on foot each day to burn off those extra calories, while you’re exploring. Then you won’t have to feel so bad about having that appetizer or dessert at dinner.

7.) Enjoy a Cheat Day

You can’t stick to healthy eating habits all the time.

We all need a cheat day every once in a while, and there’s no reason that you should feel bad about taking one to indulge in your vacation.

Eating healthy while on vacation is about making overall healthy choices in what you’re using to fuel your body, but it doesn’t mean completely abstaining from all the wonderful foods you love.

Save yourself from stressing about it and build cheat days into your meal plan for your trip. It will give you something to look forward to throughout your trip and should make you feel prouder about the days where you choose willpower over your desire for unhealthy food.

8.) Stick to Your Normal Eating Routines

Whatever normal eating habits you’ve fallen into that work best for your healthy lifestyle should be the same habits you try to follow when you’re on vacation.

If you don’t normally eat a large breakfast, consider skipping the breakfast buffet. Loading your body up with a heavy meal when it’s not normally prepared to digest something so dense can be a recipe for lethargy.

By the same token, if you don’t normally eat late at night, try to avoid indulging in late-night snacks that could affect your sleep cycles.

Your body is a machine, and it functions best when it’s on a routine. Once you’ve established a healthy routine that you know is working for your health goals, stick to it. Your body will thank you for it.

9.) Don’t Forget to Exercise

It’s extremely easy to conveniently ‘forget’ about our morning fitness routine because we’re so busy having a good time.

Make sure to exercise even on vacation

Yet, if doing a 10-minute workout or some tai chi is part of your normal routine, you should try to include it in your vacation plans as well.

Just like eating, your body thrives off of a healthy fitness regimen, as well. Set aside time throughout your trip to make physical fitness a priority, so that when you’re out being active, your body doesn’t feel stiff or sore.

Not to mention, you may be eating healthy while on vacation, but if you completely neglect your normal exercise routines, you’re one step closer to taking some extra weight home with you, in addition to your souvenirs.

10.) Find Healthy Options to Dine Out

Dining out doesn’t have to be an exercise in unhealthy eating.

There are plenty of healthy restaurants in cities all over the world, where you can find healthy, delicious food options to enjoy.

The real challenge here is taking the time to figure out where these healthy dining establishments are, rather than simply going to eat at the first place that catches your eye nearby.

Call around. Talk to your concierge. Do some research online. A little bit of pre-planning and menu scanning can make a huge difference in helping you continue to eat healthy while on vacation.

11.) Limit Alcohol Consumption

Possibly the greatest challenge we all face when we’re letting loose on vacation is restraining ourselves from overindulging on alcohol, while we’re having fun on our adventures.

Limit alcohol and drink more water

Not only are many forms of alcohol loaded with sugar (which your body breaks down into fats), but oftentimes, the things that we end up mixing with our alcohol are as bad as the alcohol itself.

Sodas and fruit juices are frequently loaded down with large amounts of processed sugars, which again, get broken down into fat by our bodies.

Of course, you’re going to want to let loose on your trip, and there’s nothing wrong with picking a night or two to get a little wild.

It’s when this becomes a habit throughout your entire trip that you should start to be worried about how it’s affecting your health and your diet.

Don’t Follow Your Gut

It’s Best to Plan Ahead for Eating Healthy While on Vacation

For so many things in life, we’re all told to follow our gut instinct. Sadly, this doesn’t usually apply to healthy eating while on vacation.

Self-control, pre-planning, and tasty, healthier alternatives are the keys to ensuring you’re setting yourself up for success on your trip – instead of an unpleasant visit to the scale when you get home.

Follow our tips for planning to eat healthy on vacation, and you’ll be ready to Getaway Well on any trip.