Today’s post is a guest post from Cole Millen, an avid travel blogger. Below, he shares his tips on eating healthy while traveling. Thanks Cole for you insights! ~Susan
Cole Milllen’s travel blog: http://colemill.blogspot.com/
Eating Healthy on Vacation
Vacations are meant to be fun, but coming home from a fantastic summer getaway unable to fit into those warm-weather clothes is not enjoyable. People work so hard to lose those holiday pounds in order to look good in their bathing suits and swim trunks, only to blow their diets while on vacation. Packing up the suitcases does not have to mean packing on the pounds, especially if people do a bit of pre-trip preparation and show a bit of vacation restraint.
Have Good Food on Hand
One large area of temptation for vacationers is often the sheer availability of unhealthy food. Whether a person is flying or driving, he or she will be bombarded with unhealthy food options in airports, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, etc. One way to work around this temptation is to bring healthy snacks on the trip. Most airplanes will let passengers bring healthy food aboard, and traveling in the car with nutritious fruits (apples and oranges), vegetables (carrots and celery), grain (fiber bars or whole wheat bread) etc. will reduce the likelihood of feasting on fast food and overpriced gas station fare. Once a person gets to the hotel, he or she can also go out and buy healthy food from a health food store or grocery store in order to avoid those late-night chips-and-soda binges.
This is the Information Age; so many restaurants have menus online. People should research their upcoming vacation spots so that they evaluate which restaurants have the healthiest options. Depending on the nature of the vacation destination, the place might also have health food stores, healthy restaurants, and other such places that cater to the health-conscious tourist. Many restaurants even have special low-calorie or healthy sections in their menus, so eating healthy may be as simple as perusing a menu. Speaking of simplicity, many hotels also offer healthy options via room service, continental breakfast, or in-house restaurant. I recently stayed in a RIU which tends to cater towards healthy guests and was able to order a salmon dinner with broccoli and asparagus delivered right to my room. This information is often available on the hotel’s website, so people should know what healthy amenities hotels offer before traveling so they can, if necessary, select another healthier hotel. Sometimes hotels and restaurants can be misleading to draw in your business. I have found reviews from other travelers to be the most honest and unbiased form of information. I recently took a trip out west and found a great site called Gogobot that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding not only the amenities and services, but also the restaurants in the nearby area. This made it easier than ever to plan out my trip both in and out of the hotel to ensure I was maintain my healthy lifestyle even in the buffet ridden city.
Make the Best of the Situation
Vacations are often about spontaneity, letting go, and compromising with others. Eating at a restaurant that serves unhealthy food does not necessarily spell nutrition doom, however. For starters, eating a healthy snack before the meal can lessen the appetite and eliminate the desire for unhealthy appetizers. The health-conscious diner can still choose relatively healthier options, such as meals that are baked, grilled, steamed, broiled, etc. Brightly colored vegetables are usually a healthy option, as are various fish and salad dishes. Diners should avoid fried foods or dishes doused in creamy sauces. All you can eat dishes or bars are also no-nos, as is eating the skins on various meats.
Vacationers should acknowledge that they will likely slip up at some point and will want to indulge. If they plan for this desire ahead of time, they will be able to make wiser decisions without going high-calorie crazy. Eating healthy otherwise can leave room for occasional indulgences.
Following these simple tips can help you to ensure that you come back from your vacation feeling as great as the day you left!