10 Best Wellness Tips & Strategies For Summer Vacation

Summer is here, and with it comes the joy of vacation.  As exciting as that can be, traveling can throw off your real food plans and healthy lifestyle choices. It’s a delicate balance between wanting to indulge a little bit (after all, you’re on vacation!) and wanting to maintain a routine and good habits.

Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, maintaining your healthy lifestyle while on the road or enjoying your holiday plans is essential. Emphasizing fresh, whole foods, free from processed ingredients, demands extra planning. However, with some preparation and savvy strategies, you can stay on track and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

10 Best Wellness Tips & Strategies For Summer Vacation

Plan Ahead

Before you go, research your destination to find restaurants, grocery stores, and markets that cater to your dietary needs. Apps like Yelp, HappyCow, and Find Me Gluten Free can be invaluable for locating real food options and foods that are compliant with possible dietary restrictions. Research eating establishments that serve fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and have a variety of nutritious choices on their menu. You could even make reservations in advance to ensure availability.

Pack a small cooler or insulated bag with your favorite snacks and meals. Items like nuts, seeds, jerky, and pre-cooked meats can be lifesavers. Also, consider bringing along some fresh fruits and vegetables that travel well, such as apples, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and more prone to cravings. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up regularly. If you’re flying, remember to empty it before security and refill it afterward.

When you’re active and busy, especially in the heat, maintaining electrolyte balance is crucial. Bring along electrolyte supplements or powders to add to your water, especially if you’ll be sweating more or know you’ll be particularly active.

Learn more about how to hydrate in this blog.

Be Snack Smart

For your trip, bring a selection of healthy snacks to curb your hunger and prevent you from reaching for unhealthy alternatives. Airport food options can be limited and often unhealthy. Eat a nutritious meal before you leave for the airport, and rely on your packed snacks to tide you over.

Some portable options include

  • Dried fruit, coconut chips, nut butter packets.
  • Cheese (if tolerated), olives, pork rinds.
  • Plantain chips, homemade energy balls, sugar-free jerky.

Check out our selection of both sweet and savory small bites and order your new favorites (under the “extras” tab) here >>>>>>

These snacks will keep you energized and satisfied between meals or on longer trips where you may be unsure of what’s available.

Rethink Vacation Food

Simplify your meals and expectations. Sometimes you may need to eat your meals cool or room temperature, off a paper plate or paper towel, or you might have to eat more pre-cooked options than you would if you were home. When travelling, it helps to remove the idea of what a meal is supposed to look like. There is no need for glamour or social media worthy fare, it simply has to work for YOU.

Grocery store protein ideas to pack before you go or buy once there:

  • Tuna (in a pouch or canned) or smoked salmon
  • Additive-free sausages or hot dogs, deli meat or cured meats
  • Plainly grilled chicken breast strips
  • Bacon – order yours here before you go
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Peeled shrimp
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Meat bars

A majority of these are all available in major grocery store chains or online.

Simple ideas to make eating real food easier on vacation:

  • Taco meat for taco salads
  • Meatballs made and frozen ahead of time
  • Breakfast sausages made ahead of time for breakfast or portable protein
  • Tuna or chicken salads
  • “Throw-it-over-greens” meals using deli meat, sausages, chicken, hot dogs
  • Use individual packs of guacamole and salsa as dressings
  • Pick up pre-prepped vegetables including baby carrots, broccoli, baby cucumbers, celery sticks for dipping/snacks/easy sides to meals
  • Individual packets of olive or avocado oil-based dressings and sauces
  • Add almonds or cashews to meals, or pack in individual bags for on-the-go
  • Easy-prep fruit, like apples, bananas, grapes, berries and oranges

Pro Tip: If you’re choosing a self-catering option, consider bringing your air-fryer (if you have one), so that making delicious meals from local produce is easy and effortless.

Looking for a gourmet meal at your destination? Order some Pete’s Paleo and have it delivered right to you – ready to heat and serve when you are. Order before you go here >>>>>>>

Dine Out Wisely

When dining out, make wise choices by choosing dishes that are grilled, steamed, or baked instead of fried. Choose proteins such as grilled chicken or fish, and ask for salad or vegetable sides. Avoid sauces and dressings unless you’re sure they’re compliant with your diet (bring your own dressing or ask for lemon/vinegar and olive oil on the side). Request extra vegetables as they are packed with essential nutrients. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about menu items and how they’re prepared. Explain your dietary needs clearly and kindly. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate special requests.

Check out our Restaurant Survival Guide here

Eat Mindfully

Pay attention to portion sizes, as it's easy to overeat while traveling. In many restaurants, portion sizes tend to be larger than what you may normally consume. Consider sharing a meal or ask for a to-go box and save the leftovers for another meal. Listen to your body's signals of fullness and avoid the temptation to finish everything on your plate.

Read on here to learn more about mindful eating.

Limit Alcohol Intake

While it's tempting to indulge in cocktails or alcoholic beverages while on vacation, excessive alcohol consumption can have adverse effects on your health and disrupt your healthy eating habits. Limit your alcohol intake and opt for healthier alternatives like mocktails, fresh fruit juices, or infused water.

Learn more about smartly choosing your beverage in this post

Stay Active

Do your best to move regularly. Long periods of sitting, whether on a plane or in a car, can leave you feeling stiff and sluggish. Take breaks to move around, stretch, and stay active. A quick walk or some light stretching can do wonders.

Walking is one of the best ways to explore a new place. Plan activities that involve physical movement, such as hiking, biking, or strolling through local markets.

Sleep Well

Travel can disrupt your sleep schedule, but rest is crucial for overall health and prioritizing your sleep will ensure your can enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Try to maintain a regular sleep routine, even when crossing time zones. Bring items that help you sleep better, such as earplugs, an eye mask, or a travel pillow.

Manage Stress

Travel can be stressful, so incorporate mindfulness practices like deep breathing, mindfulness, or meditation to help calm your mind. While it's exciting to explore new destinations, don't overextend yourself. Allow time for rest and relaxation to avoid burnout. Take breaks during your sightseeing, and don't 

Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided sessions that are perfect for on-the-go relaxation or you can download our short meditation practice here

Conclusion

You want to enjoy your travels and focusing on the minutiae of your diet and lifestyle can take away from that experience. Be okay with doing the best you can in the moment. If you find yourself starving and feel shaky and agitated because you have not eaten, and there is no 100% compliant food available, make the best choice with what is available rather than feeling miserable until you can find the ‘perfect’ option. Most places now have options that may not be ideal, but will make do. Similarly, while you may not have time for your full exercise routine, even doing 15–20 minutes of activity in the gym or going for a walk will often make a huge difference in how you feel that day. 

Traveling this summer doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your health goals. With a little planning and these practical tips, you can stay committed to your wellness goals and enjoy a vibrant, healthy vacation. Bon voyage!

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