Staying Healthy on Winter Vacations

Chasing some sunshine this winter by going on a tropical vacation? You’re not alone. 35% of Americans choose to travel to a warm vacation destination during the cold months of the year, and we don’t blame them. Natural vitamin D is the best cure-all for winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder.

Before you hit the plane or road and set that out-of-office automatic reply, look into your plans for some ways to not ditch your healthy routine and still have fun in the sun. Here’s a few ideas:

Don’t skimp on sleep. Vacations are for relaxation. It’s time to unwind, and that means it’s fully appropriate to make time to simply sleep! Rest is necessary for our bodies to recover, especially when crossing time zones. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to a foreign bed try finding slow activities to wind down like reading a book, discovering a new podcast or album to listen to, or taking a hot bath.

Pace yourself. When we plan a trip to an exciting place, it’s difficult narrowing down so many things to do. Instead of trying to see and do everything at once, spread out your schedule. Put some days in-between the larger activities and diversify by going to the beach, going to the spa or simply enjoy your resort’s, Air BnB’s or hotel’s amenities. Balancing your itinerary in this way will allow you to pace yourself and thus give yourself some flexibility.

Wear sunscreen. This task is easy to forget in the winter months, but it’s important in all seasons – especially when traveling to tropical or drier locations. No one wants to tend to burned and blistered skin, especially on vacation or right when they get home. Don’t overdo the sun – find some shade and sunscreen throughout your vacation to keep your skin’s health top of mind.

Walk everywhere you can or rent a bicycle. Even if it’s just a few blocks from your resort to a grocery store, enjoy the different scenery and take notice of your surroundings by renting a bicycle or walking there. Some activities may require transportation, but other sites may be closer than you think. There’s beauty to be seen everywhere, might as well enjoy it slowly – so don’t forget your walking shoes or pick up that bike upon your arrival!

Stay adventurous. Find activities that keep you moving. Whether it’s a surfing opportunity, yoga, fitness class or hike to a summit, make time for adventures in your plans. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be boring – it’s time to have fun while you’re in the sun!

Stay hydrated. Beat the heat by filling up a bottle of water whenever you can remember to. One way is to set timers on your phone. Dehydration can put a damper on vacation and a different climate can require a lot more of your body. Stay hydrated, both when you’re away and when you’re home to avoid more serious consequences of the alternative.

Cook some of your own meals. If you’re always looking for ways to stay budget-friendly or conscious about your diet on vacation, you’re in the right mindset for more than one reason. Buying your own groceries out-of-state gives opportunity to check out the local supermarkets and different grocery stores and purchasing new things that maybe aren’t available to you back home. Plus, when you have more time on your hands, it can be a blast to create new meals! Some locations even offer cooking classes, so look into those if you want some local guidance.

You deserve to prioritize both your mind and body while on vacation. It’s not so difficult to stay healthy during your travels if you prioritize these tips. Don’t go home feeling lethargic as if you overexerted yourself – your vacation should make you feel refreshed in every way.