School’s out for the summer and many of us are planning vacations over the next two months that will see us visiting beaches, amusement parks, national monuments, resorts, cottages and other family members – all with the kids in tow. And while this is a wonderful time to connect with our immediate family, it can also be a difficult time to stay connected with our health and wellness regime. After all, how many of us return from vacation a few pounds heavier? Or find it difficult to get back on our exercise program after a family getaway?
Luckily there are easy ways to enjoy healthy family getaways without sacrificing fun. Here are 10 tips to help make your vacation more active and healthy:
1. Start Rested
Try finishing all your packing and arrangements the day before your departure. This may seem difficult but it will be worth it as it lets all of you take a deep breath before the trip begins. Much of what we blame on jet lag or an airport hassles stems from the stress of having been up half the night tending to last-minute details. Make a list. Make it easy for yourself to keep track of all the things you’ll need including essentials to keep your family healthy.
2. Lead Them to the Water
Whether it’s the ocean, a lake, a river or a pool, you can’t really go wrong when there’s water around. These locales are always rife with fun, calorie-burning activities for young and old alike, such as swimming, stand up paddle boarding, body surfing, and kayaking. Instead of lying on the beach or shoreline sunning yourself, get in the water with your kids or join in a guided lesson.
3. Prepare for the Weather
Aside from the items in the above packing list, consider renting an umbrella if you’re at the beach on a hot day and be sure to bring lots of water. Remember that kids are more prone to heat-related injuries because they tend to warm up 3 to 5 times faster than adults so it’s important to watch for signs of dehydration. Also, everyone in the family should wear UPF clothing if out in the sun for a prolonged period of time, especially when surfing or snorkeling.
4. Pack Healthy Snacks & Meals
Going on a road trip usually means your choice of eateries is limited to road-side fast food joints. Instead, pack a picnic lunch and stop at a rest area. You’ll eat better and your kids will have a place to run around and let off some steam. Click here for some suggestions for our Top 5 On-The-Go Snacks.
5. Plan Activities in Advance
Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, boat, or, even if you’re having a stay-cation at home, entertaining the troops can be challenging. Plan ahead to avoid the dreaded, “I’m bored!” and to keep the family active. Games like frisbee, soccer, tag, and bocce ball are fun for everyone. Alternatively, you can take a guided walking trip, rent bicycles, or take lessons of some kind, such as golf or tennis. A scavenger hunt is always a good idea. (See the next tip.)
6. Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt
As mentioned in point #4, a lot of vacation eateries tend to fall into the unhealthy fast food category. And no doubt the kids want to go there because many of them are fun. Here’s how to make shopping for groceries just as fun for everyone: give your kids a list of three healthy items they need to find in the store. Offer whoever’s fastest a treat like a new coloring book or something fun. Another fun idea is to send them into the store and tell them to find the weirdest food item they can and bring it back to you.
7. Rely on Resort Kids Programs
Headed to a resort or on a cruise? Instead of planning your own activities, take advantage of those offered by the resort you’re staying with. Many cruise lines and resorts have activities just for kids such as sports, games, arts & crafts, and more. Just drop the kids off in the morning and then you can dedicate the day to your own personal wellness by going for a spa treatment, a walk, or just sit by the pool with your favorite book.
8. Bring Friends
When it comes to fun, the more the merrier. Have one of your child’s friends join you on your family vacation and guaranteed they’ll be able to entertain themselves, leaving you more time for yourself. Better yet, travel with another family and then encourage all the adults to play along, too.
9. Eating Out? Eat Healthy
One of the most fun things about vacation is to try different eateries. While we recommend you enjoy more home-made meals than restaurant ones (see points #4 and #6) there are things you can order at food venues that are healthier than others. Here are a few guidelines:
- Order dishes that are steamed, grilled, or broiled instead of fried or sauteéd.
- Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches. Better yet, avoid the bread basket entirely.
- Order an item from the menu instead of partaking in the all-you-can-eat buffet
- When choosing a beverage, stick to water, herbal tea or real lemonade, or unsweetened iced tea. Not only are these healthier options, but they’ll also save you money as beverages are what restaurants mark up the most.
10. Do the Unexpected
From whitewater rafting excursions to hip-hop dance classes – engage in new experiences and unleash your inner child. Your kids, your health, and your happiness will love you for it!
What is Mountain Trek?
Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out below: