What to Pack for a Healthy Vacation

As I write this post, I’m thinking about what to pack for my upcoming vacation. My husband and I are taking a cruise to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras. I am beyond psyched for seven days of fun and sun at sea!

In the past, I used to see vacation as an excuse to overindulge and pretty much ditch my healthy habits all together. But not surprisingly, I’d return from vacation feeling sluggish, unhappy with myself, and sometimes even a few pounds heavier. Obviously I don’t want to stress out about maintaining my weight on vacation—I mean, what better time to splurge? But I also don’t want to overdo it either, so here’s what I’m going to pack so I’ll enjoy an overall healthier (but just as fun) trip!

Reusable water bottle. One of my healthiest habits is drinking water throughout the day, which keeps me hydrated and helps to control cravings between meals. On vacations in the past, I found myself purchasing bottled water on multiple occasions, which was neither budget- nor environmentally-friendly. Instead of wasting money and natural resources, I’m packing a reusable water bottle that I can refill as many times as I want. Plus, having a fresh bottle of water on me at all times encourages me to drink up!

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Healthy snacks. I never used to take the time to pack snacks for my vacations, but I’ve learned that with a little advance planning, having healthy foods on hand is totally worth it. I used to get myself into trouble by waiting all day to eat because I was busy exploring my new surroundings, and then I’d wind up making unhealthy decisions or overeating because I was so hungry. Now, I make sure to pack nutritious snacks to control my hunger (and my spending). My favorite snacks include fresh fruit, KIND bars, Greek yogurt, and nuts.

Exercise apparel. Even when I think I won’t have time to work out, I always pack my sneakers and clothes just in case I can squeeze in a quick session. Sometimes, a twenty minute workout is all I need to boost my energy and get those endorphins going. Plus, having my sneakers encourages me to walk more, so I can burn off some of those extra vacation calories!

Travel workouts. On vacation, I like to workout first thing in the morning so I don’t miss out on any of the activities planned for the day, but I also like to sleep in a little, which doesn’t leave much time for exercise. Instead of blowing off my sweat session all together, I take advantage of what I call “quick and dirty” workouts that get your heart pumping, make you sweat, and burn some serious calories in no time at all. Here are four workouts that you can take with you on your vacation. All you need is a little bit of space and some motivation—no equipment required!

MP3 player. I used to pack all sorts of workout equipment for my vacation, like resistance bands and workout DVDs, but I never actually used them because they didn’t excite me. My iPod has proven to be a great motivational tool for when I am on vacation because I’ll download a new workout (I love MotionTraxx.com) or create a rockin’ playlist before I depart. Being in an exciting, new place with a brand new workout or playlist always psychs me up!

Health and fitness magazines. On a vacation, when I am inevitably going to take a relaxed approach to my healthy living habits, these types of magazines are constant reminders to practice moderation. And I get tons of a great ideas (and motivation) for workouts while I’m away.

Multivitamin. The delicious food on vacation is often one of the highlights, so I don’t pay all that much attention to the nutrients in my meals. An easy way to make sure that I’m covering all of my nutritional bases is taking a multivitamin each day. Vacation is a time to relax and unwind, but I don’t want my healthy living habits to take a backseat all together.

More: Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.


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