I envision spring as a season of promise—promise of new beginnings. There is new life in the form of budding flowers, scattered sunshine, unsuspecting friendships and anticipation of adventure. Thus it seems fit to introduce a new virtual friend of my own. I am delighted to introduce, Kendra Thornton, a travel expert and dedicated health junkie in her own right as a thriving, energetic mother of three. You might recognize her as a regular presence on national stations including ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC and CW affiliates.
As Kendra is preparing for an adventure of her own to Orlando, Florida, we decided to put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks for staying healthy on vacation.
Grab Your Sneakers and Go!
Exploring your new home away from home on your own two feet is in my opinion the best way to find the closest and most scrumptious restaurants, one of a kind boutiques, picnic destinations, romantic strolls, yoga studios-you name it! Take mental notes and you will be so distracted by all there is to see, it won’t even feel like a workout. Whether you decide to jog around town or take a leisurely walk, if you have energy to spare after your arrival, simply moving around is a sure-fire way to reinvigorate yourself.
Support your local market! Well, “local” might be temporary, but what a better way to give back to your current environment. Before your trip, spend a quick moment researching farmer’s markets in the area. Choose your snacks at the market in order to save money and eat sustainably at the same time.
Ditch Airline Food
Just say no. I snapped a picture of the long paragraph of ingredients for a chex-mix type snack on the Hawaiian Airline. To summarize, Yellow #5 was listed multiple times as were various kinds of oil and not much else. Pack your own snacks or opt for a quick stop at Starbucks before your flight. While I would not recommend most of the eye-catching baked goods Starbucks has to offer, they do offer fruit cups, parfaits, energy bars, trail mix and salads for healthier options.
Redefine Indulging and Do it Often
This is a tip straight from one of my previous posts about healthy traveling. I cannot emphasize it enough. Everyone wants to splurge on vacation and it is entirely possible to do that without feeling restricted. If you are traveling somewhere warm, let fruit be your biggest friend for your natural sugar fix. I consume fruit in two ways, as dessert and as breakfast. And sometimes dessert occurs more than once a day. I am a fruit fanatic. Ditch the ice cream, get some vegan gelato or sorbet, a protein smoothie, or froyo topped with fruit and granola. You will not regret it.
Kendra’s Words of Wisdom
Staying healthy has always been a priority for my family. I make sure the kids always have healthy snacks to enjoy when they go to school. The kids also participate in sports, and we exercise together as a family also. When vacation time rolls around, I have to incorporate new tricks to help keep everyone healthy. Check out some of these ideas to use when you go on vacation:
Pack Healthy, Dry Snacks
I always take plenty of snacks along on vacation. Mealtimes aren’t going to be as structured when we’re away from home, and snacks help keep little tummies from rumbling. They also help me refrain from overindulging at restaurants. Some of my favorite snacks to pack include homemade trail mix, granola, dried fruit and fresh veggies.
Drink Plenty of Water
Everyone in my family has a refillable water bottle that comes with us on vacation. In places like airports where we can’t bring full water bottles, I buy bottled water for the family once we pass through security. If we’ve planned a day of activities in the sun, I often chill full water bottles in the freezer before we leave. Never tell your kids they can’t have a drink of water in order to avoid potty breaks. An extra bathroom stop is much better than dehydration or heat stroke.
Family Fun Runs
When planning a trip, I like to see if any 5k runs or similar events are taking place while we will be visiting. The whole family can participate. We like to run together at home, and running together on vacation is a special treat. We get to meet new people and learn more about the community where we are staying. A lot of times there are even special races for the children under 10.
Vacation with my family always means a lot of walking. We walk around the various attractions. We also will walk rather than ride to activities. If a young one gets tired on our return to the hotel, their dad or I get an added workout by carrying him or her. We also make a game out of taking the stairs whenever possible rather than riding elevators.
Healthy options are always available. Families need only pay attention in order to take advantage of them. I know my family will be incorporating these healthy and hit practices on an upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many places to stay, it can get a little overwhelming as I like to try and book hotels that have a quality gym in case of rain. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you can feel more comfortable about where you’re staying. I hope these tips help you have a healthier family vacation this year.