‘Tis the season for summer vacation! Whether you are planning on taking weekend trips to the visit family or weeklong vacations to a tropical location, vacations are so fun and they are also overwhelming. I personally LOVE to travel. I am so fortunate that I have had the opportunity to visit so many new places this past year (Nashville, The Galapagos, San Diego), and have a few exciting trips planned for the end of the year, including Cuba and Belize.
Even though I enjoy seeing new places, eating new foods and spending time with the people I am traveling with, I get stressed the few days before a trip. The idea of packing and tying up loose ends before heading out for a week isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. But, the stress of leaving is 100% worth it because I have so many memories and laughs from these trips.
I find for many of my clients, vacation can be very difficult. Many are worried about getting off a regular eating schedule, as well as feeling bloated and “gross” when returning from the trip. I can empathize with those fears as traveling does upset a “normal” routine.
1. Reset your Mindset
First off, you just had a vacation! That’s awesome. You should totally appreciate that. Many people have this notion they must diet before or after vacation. I think this takes away the enjoyment of going somewhere new. Instead, try to focus on how much fun you are going to have on vacation or how much fun you did have.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
I find that many people, including myself, find it difficult to drink enough water on vacation. Making a concerted effort after a trip to drink enough water, maybe even an extra glass or two, can really support you in feeling refreshed. Not to mention that hydration can help with getting back to a normal bowel movement schedule. Many of my clients have mentioned to me they feel constipated, gasey and bloated while traveling and a few days after. That being said, increasing water intake can support moving fiber through your body and having more regular bowel movements post-trip.
3. Gets Lots of Sleep
Give yourself permission to take an evening to relax after you get back from your trip. For most people, sleep is thrown off during traveling. Maybe it’s because there is a time change, or maybe the hotel room just isn’t as comfortable as your own bed. If your schedule allows, try to come home on a weekend so you have a day to recuperate before heading back to work or school. This isn’t always possible! So, I would recommend figuring out your schedule so you can spend some time in the morning or evenings to take it slow. Can you say no to a social event? What about leaving work early or come in late? Can you wind down at night time 20-30 minutes earlier so you can get to bed?
4. Incorporate Movement
Getting in those extra steps may help boost your mood and feel energized throughout the day. You do not have to go above and beyond and push yourself too hard. You’ll just end up tired, frustrated and grumpy. So, it’s totally ok to just get back into your regular exercise routine.
5. Incorporate More Veggies
If I’m being honest, I struggle with getting in my veggies while on vacation. But, that’s okay! I plan them in over the next week so I can make sure to get fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. This helps me to feel like I’m getting back into a regular routine. But remember, include protein and carbs with the veggies so you can feel full and satisfied.
6. Relive the Memories
Go through photos, talk about it with friends and family, share your story, write a blog! That is what vacation is all about–making memories and having fun and spending time with people you love. Is it really worth it to feel badly about that?
For more tips on how to stay healthy during your vacation, check out this blog here.
Do you need help getting back on track after vacation? Make an appointment with your dietitian by calling 301-474-2499 or clicking here.
Blog reviewed and updated December 2019.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.