Traveling is a great way to gain life experience, have fun, and relax. But what about keeping in shape and eating healthfully? Just because you're out of your comfort zone doesn't mean all of your healthy habits should go out the window!
One of the most important aspects of not backsliding while you're traveling is to fit in exercise wherever possible. Walking is a easy way to do this‚- save money by skipping cabs, driving, or public transportation wherever possible and hit the streets! If you're traveling in a city, this is a great way to see the sights and get in your workout all in one shot. It is also helpful to investigate whether or not the hotel you'll be staying at has fitness facilities and if there is an extra charge involved with using them. And if all else fails, plan to do outdoor workouts or participate in some type of active sport.
Eating healthfully is a whole separate challenge for travelers. Enjoying local specialties is one of the highlights of any trip, so the key to healthy eating while traveling is to eat well whenever possible in order to save up and splurge on a local favorite.
Breakfast can be a traveler's biggest hurdle. Many people chose to skip breakfast (a huge no-no! You need your energy when you'll be on the go all day!), some splurge at the breakfast spreads offered by many hotels, and others grab starchy muffins and bagels on the go. The best bet for breakfast is oatmeal, cereal with skim milk, or peanut butter on whole-wheat toast. If you plan ahead, bringing healthy breakfast bars is also a good plan.
Planning ahead is an important aspect of snacking away from home. Be sure to pack some of your favorite healthy on-the-go snacks (check out our Food Finds for some ideas). Another great option is open-air farmer's markets or vegetable stands. Here, you can pick up perishable snacks like apples, grapes, or whatever is in season and local.
For main meals, allow yourself to have an occasional splurge on the local foods. Eating in moderation is key here‚- ask the server to bring you half the plate and put the other half in a to-go bag. This way, you will eat less and have lunch for the next day. On other meals, chose grilled foods with lots of veggies. Avoid heavy sauces, fried foods, and huge servings of starches. Additionally, ask for dishes to be prepared with little or no oil and butter.
Last but not least, remember to have fun!