Healthy Habits: Traveling with Family

My family usually sticks to healthy habits. All my kids are active and enjoy sports. At home, I pack healthy snacks for them to enjoy at school, and we regularly share healthy meals together. When we go on vacation, it isn’t as easy to stick to a healthy routine, but I’ve found some tricks that help us stay healthy no matter where our journeys take us.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Never limit the amount of water your family drinks when on vacation. A few extra bathroom breaks aren’t nearly as inconvenient as the discomfort and dangers of dehydration. This is especially true when traveling on hot days or spending time outdoors in the sunlight. My family always takes along personal water bottles. On especially warm days, I often freeze the full bottles before we head out.

2. If you’re traveling with a small child or a baby, try to keep their surroundings familiar. Any favorites should come along for the trip. Make sure you have any comforting items packed such as a blanket that is often used or toys that are always in the crib. Keep everything as close to normal to promote smooth sailing while traveling. If necessary, pack everything but the kitchen sink! Even try keeping their sleep routines very close to what they do on their home schedule. (Many hotels in Walt Disney World, a top traveling destination for families, offer quiet hours to ensure a proper night’s rest!)

3. Play for Fun and Exercise

Play together as a family. This is important all the time, and on vacation it can help your family get necessary exercise. Have races and competitions to help everyone stay active. My family likes to play together at the hotel pool. We’ll compete to see who can swim underwater the longest or who can swim across the pool the fastest. We even have splashing contests with one another.

4. Stay Safe

When traveling it will help keep you and your family germ free to pack a hygiene travel kit/first-aid kit. Make sure you have things like hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes for furniture, and baby wipes for when you’re not close to soap and water. Also pack band aids, antibiotic cream, and a pain-free cut and scrape wash in case of accidents.

5. Eat Right When Eating Out

Eating a healthy breakfast before going to theme parks will give you more control over the food your family consumes that day. A nutritional breakfast will give you a good start to the day as well as give you lasting energy instead of the quick burst received from sugar-filled foods. Many hotels have a healthy continental breakfast with foods to choose from such as fresh fruits, milk and juices that’s included in the room rates.

Eating out is a necessity on vacation. I like to use the same guidelines when on vacation that I use when eating out near home. I research to find restaurants that serve locally produced ingredients. I also try to find places that offer healthy menu options. Places that serve Mediterranean cuisine or offer vegetarian options are great places to eat.

6. Use Hotel Amenities

Many hotels offer fitness amenities. I like to learn about these amenities before booking my stay. As a family, we try to always stay at hotels with nice fitness facilities.

You have to be intentional about keeping your family fit and healthy. When you make a point of keeping to a healthy routine on vacation, everyone will have a better time. I hope you find my special tricks helpful the next time you take a family trip.