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Why You Need A Vacation (+ 5 Tips To Stay Healthy While Traveling)

stay healthy traveling

Every time I come back from vacation or a restful trip, I realize once again how important it is to take breaks in life! Whether it’s a week-long extravagant vacay, a quaint weekend getaway, or even just taking time for yourself on a daily & weekly basis. 😌

Taking breaks are critical for your health — physically, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually. Proper rest & relaxation allows you to decrease stress, increase happiness, & come back recharged & focused to tackle your day-to-day activities. ☺

Bottom line: If you want to create a healthier & happier life

  1. Take time each day to do something relaxing & enjoyable.
  2. Schedule vacation time throughout the year.
  3. Make it a priority in this busy life to simply REST.

With that being said, I want to talk about staying physically healthy while on vacation or traveling.

Unfortunately, a lot of times when we travel (myself included!), it can be way too easy to let our healthy habits slip — which can counteract some of the amazing health benefits of taking a vacation in the first place!

I used to think that trying to stay healthy on vacation & doing all these things would prevent me from having as fun or relaxing of a trip, but I’ve realized that the opposite is actually true:

The more you take care of your health on vacation, the better, more fun, & more relaxing your trip can be!  You’ll feel better AND you know you’re not destroying your health in the process. 🤗

So, here are 5 quick tips to help you stay healthy while traveling & maximize your vacay time:

1. Get Some Nutrients & Be Conscious of Your Nutrition

This is by far the most involved of these 5 tips because there are a lot of components to it.  Your nutrition is something that can have one of the highest levels of impact on your health — including when you’re on vacation.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still definitely have vacation meals when I’m traveling – I’m a huge foodie and take so much delight in trying new restaurants and foods!  I’m not saying I eat super healthy on vacation – because honestly, I don’t for the most part 🤷🏽‍ (at least compared to my typical nutrition plan).  

BUT, while my eating is one of the things that I give myself the most leeway with on vacation, I AM still conscious & aware of the foods I’m eating.

Since going out to eat, trying new foods, & indulging in delicious dinners are often a huge part of vacations 🙋🏽, here are some guidelines I’ve set for myself:

  • Try to have at least some greens and/or veggies with as many meals as possible.
  • If possible, bring an organic greens powder along & have that every morning.
  • Try not to overdo it on carbs every single meal.
  • Try to limit the amount of desserts – not eating it at every meal, or only having small amounts most of the time.
  • Try not to have TOO much alcohol – and limit drinks that are super sugary (which I don’t normally really like much anyways).
  • I still intermittent fast for the most part (skipping breakfast), or eat a very small breakfast, rather than gorging on a huge feast for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.
  • Pay attention to how my body responds to certain foods, & limit anything if I notice a negative reaction.

These guidelines don’t make me feel limited or restricted, because I know I feel much better than when I have no discipline whatsoever.

And if there are some days or some meals where I want to go all out and have a ton of carbs or a ton of dessert or don’t really feel like veggies – then I do it, and I don’t beat myself up over it.  I acknowledge that it’s a vacation meal and a vacation, and I’m okay with that. 😌

All those suggestions might seem like a lot to keep track of or think about at first — but even starting with baby steps can make a huge difference!


Looking for 1 quick & easy nutrition tip to start with for your next trip??

➡ Do your best to eat some veggies, greens, or a salad with as many meals as possible.

➡ I’d also recommend packing some healthy snacks to bring along for the drive or flight (here are some awesome ideas for you!)

A Note About Vacation Meals:

Vacation Meals (or as some people call them, “Cheat Meals”) are meals where you eat whatever you want without sticking to your typical nutrition plan.

I’m a firm believer that there’s nothing wrong with an occasional vacation meal (not just on vacation, but as a part of a healthy lifestyle). 🙃

In fact, some studies have shown that having a “Cheat Day” each week or “Cheat Meals” every now & then can actually be beneficial to your health & even weight loss efforts. (They can boost your metabolism, & they can help you stick to your long-term health & nutrition goals!) 🙌 #sweet!

I love going out to eat & trying new restaurants (especially on vacation!), and when I do, I don’t set super strict nutrition guidelines for myself.

(As long as occasional vacation meals don’t become every day vacation meals, it’s all good!) 😉

I used to struggle with feelings of guilt or uneasiness or regret when I ate vacation meals. Not to mention, I would focus on how unhealthy the meal was & how it was probably negatively affecting my body & health. 😕

But here’s the thing: When you have negative feelings & thoughts surrounding the foods you’re eating, that STRESS can actually cause just as much harm to your body as the actual food. In other words, what you THINK about the food you’re eating is potentially as important as the food itself.  

So here’s the take-home point: Indulge in some vacation meals here & there, without guilt-tripping yourself!  But also focus on sticking to a healthy eating plan for the majority of the time. 👌

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2. Drink Enough Water

As always, it’s so important to stay well-hydrated with plenty of water! This might seem super basic, but it’s easy to forget about or slack on when you’re out of your normal routine.

Neglecting your water intake can affect your energy levels, digestion, mood, & even cause headaches — none of which allow you to fully enjoy your trip. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Shoot for getting at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day (for example: If you weigh 160 pounds, you’d want to drink at least 80 ounces of water per day).

Check out this post for 7 quick tips to stay properly-hydrated (+7 detox water recipes that’ll take your plain old water from dull to delicious!). 😋

3. Do Something Active

I used to hardly EVER exercise on vacations. I just didn’t think about it, & I had a poor mindset about it. I thought, “It’s vacation – I should be able to just completely relax and do absolutely nothing if I want to”.  

But again, I’ve realized that working out on vacation actually makes me feel so much better & enjoy my trip more.

Working out & moving your body will help you stay energized & boost your happy hormones, not to mention help offset some of the #vacationmeals you’re bound to have. 🙃

You can do a pool workout, play tennis, run around outside, or go to a workout room.  OR, my personal favorite, just do a quick high-intensity workout — you can do it anywhere (like right in the privacy of your own hotel room), you don’t need any equipment, & you’re done in under 15 minutes! #noexcuses 💪 (Here are some rockin’ workout ideas for you!)


4. Get Plenty of Rest & Relaxation

One of the main reasons you’re probably going on vacation is to relax, right?? 🙋🏽

Make sure you’re not sabotaging your relaxation efforts by trying to pack TOO much action into one trip (such as non-stop day-trips & activities planned, a few too many late nights at the local pub, working on work projects, or constantly thinking about all the things you need to do when you get back). 😩

Engage in relaxing activities every day — whether it’s reading a book just for fun, basking in the beautiful sunshine, getting a massage, or having a glass of wine at a quaint cafe.

Allow yourself to detach from all the tasks on your to-do list & responsibilities waiting for you back home. Work on being fully present in the moment!

And don’t skimp on sleep!  You’ll maximize the benefits of your vacation (for your health AND your life) if you’re able to come home well-rested & recharged! 😌

healthy-while-traveling healthy-while-traveling

5. Take Supplements to Boost Your Health

Taking supplements shouldn’t stop just because your regular day-to-day routine is different. Any supplements that you’re currently taking regularly should be brought along on your trip!

I would say that it’s even more important to be taking them on vacation, because your routines are different, you’re in a new environment, traveling can be stressful on your body, AND especially since your nutrition probably isn’t as clean as it normally is.

My top 2 supplements that I can’t go without on vacation (& that I’d recommend to pretty much everyone, whether traveling or not) are:

Detox System – keep your body’s detoxification mechanisms working at the highest level, especially when being exposed to new environments, new foods, new toxins, different stressors, etc.

Vitamin D3 – keep your immune system strong, especially when being exposed to the same things I mentioned above.

We also take a few other supplements on a daily basis, but these are my 2 most important for traveling.


Your Action Step

Alright my friend, your action step for today is this: Plan your next vacation! 🙌

It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive or a week-long trip, and you don’t have to figure out all the details.  It could even be something as simple as taking a day-trip to a nearby beach or peaceful park, or a relaxing STAY-cation.

Just decide where you’re going & when, put it on your calendar, get excited for it, and stick to it! ☺

Cheers to a healthy, happy life with plenty of R&R! 💜

I’d LOVE to hear your ideas for your next vacation or restful break!  Leave a comment below & let me know about ‘em!

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Author: Dr. Christi Shuppe

Dr. Christi is a wellness doctor & online educator who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weight loss, & creating peace, joy, & a healthy mindset.  Through her online courses, programs, workshops, & blog, she leads & inspires people to achieve the HEALTH of their dreams, so that they can live the LIFE of their dreams.

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One thought on “Why You Need A Vacation (+ 5 Tips To Stay Healthy While Traveling)”

  • I like the tips except for taking supplements. You can get the nutrients you need by taking in all natural fresh whole foods, without worrying about side effects and all those kinda stuff

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