How to Travel Light, Travel Right
So, where are you vacationing this summer – and are you planning to take your healthy living lifestyle with you?
It’s really not that tough to stay in shape and eat right when on vacation. If you’re on track the vast majority of the time, you can indulge at the cruise ship buffet or at the Polynesian luau at Disneyworld!
5 Things to Do Before You Go
- Get your mind grounded before you take off!
Envision your goal. Write a description of all the ways your life will be better once you lose the weight or improve your health.
- Make a list of the top strategies you’ve been using.
Think of all the things you’ve been doing successfully at home to help you stay on your healthy eating regimen. Determine which of these strategies are portable – which ones you can take with you easily. Also, see how you can adapt some of the others to be good travelers as well.
- Don’t try to be perfect.
Think about having at least two meals where you don’t concern yourself with sticking to your diet. Allowing for a couple of non-restrictive meals will help you not feel deprived. The key is to decide how many free meals you will have, and then count them as you go so you don’t exceed the number you’ve prescribed for yourself.
- Keep exercising!
If you have been exercising regularly as part of your healthy living plan, see if you can keep it up to some degree while on vacation. Find a place to run or to walk. You probably won’t be bringing free weights with you, but you can certainly do things like pushups, sit-ups, squats, leg raises, and calf-raises. You’ll find that keeping up at least a minimum level of exercise will help you have an even better time.
- Keep connected to Meal Plan Map!
The internet and free WiFi are everywhere. That means we are too. So take a vacation … but please take us along!
What to Pack
Packing light requires a special mindset. First, you may want to start with a goal in mind. For example, you may want to fit everything required for a trip in a small piece of checked luggage or go one step further and aim for carry-on sized luggage only.
Also, you really ought to save some space in that luggage for any souvenirs that you want to bring home.
After you have selected your desired luggage size, start planning and laying out all the clothes, toiletries and personal items that you think you’ll need. You may want to check the weather report for your destination so you’ll know the types of clothes you’ll need.
Once you have everything spread out on your bed, go through each item and determine if it is essential. If an item is not absolutely essential, leave it behind.
Determine the precise number of outfits that you’ll need and don’t pack a single piece of clothing more. Try to coordinate your clothing so that you can reuse items, such as pants, jeans or skirts, multiple times.
Your goal is to be comfortable, not necessarily to look great.
Don’t be oppressed by large and heavy luggage that restricts your movement like a ball and chain clamped to your ankle.
Vacation Without Leaving Home
Everyone dreams of a fabulous vacation on a gorgeous beach, in the majestic mountains or an all-inclusive cruise. Unfortunately, those are dreams that not everyone can afford.
What is a family to do when they want to have a great vacation, but have very little money? With the price of gas, it just makes more sense to spend your money on something fun.
You don’t have to go far from your local area to have a great time. Take a look around your hometown or the biggest city nearby and you are sure to find something that will make your vacation time special.
Plus, you will only have to deal with local traffic, be able to sleep in your own bed (if you want) and won’t have to pack or unpack.
First, think about your families interests. What types of things do they enjoy?
You can plan activities that you know will interest your family, or you can stretch their boundaries a little. With children, it is nice to give them small doses of various things to which they would not normally be exposed.
There are many different options. You can spend the day at the local swimming pool. Some communities are putting in small water parks without the cost of the larger ones. Most communities have play houses or operas. There are many musical options. If there is a college in the area you can usually find several concerts of different types that generally are not very expensive.
They also have ball games that you might enjoy. If you are fortunate enough to have a professional baseball team, you can see a pro baseball game. Minor league games are also very good.
Several communities have theater groups that perform in parks. Admission is usually free or a small donation is requested and you can bring a picnic dinner to enjoy. An evening at the opera, play or fancy restaurant is sure to make things special.
Do something different and expand your horizons. If you normally eat at fancy restaurants or go to the opera, try a burger joint and bowling or mini golf. Enjoy yourself and do things wholeheartedly. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Even though you may not want to leave town, that doesn’t mean you have to stay at your house. For those who enjoy camping, many state parks have shelters or cabins very inexpensive. You can book a weekend, or a couple of weekdays, at the nicest hotel you can afford. Enjoy all the amenities they have to offer, whether it is a pool, spa, room service, complimentary breakfast or in-room coffee.
Act like a tourist in your own town. Drive around and see the amazing things your city has to offer. Whether it is sculptures downtown, a river or your local museums, enjoy what is available to you every day. During our vacation, we should be able to slow down and enjoy these things.
If you live in a large city, you can check out a travel guide from your local library for your own hometown. You will be amazed at some of the things of which you have no knowledge. These guides are a wealth of information.
Finally, remember to give yourself a break. You don’t want to keep going every minute. One of the advantages to vacationing at home is not having to get it all in. You don’t have to see everything, do everything or eat at every great restaurant.
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.