I love traveling — who doesn’t? It’s an excuse to escape from the daily grind, relax and perhaps even explore a new country or culture. There shouldn’t be anything stressful about that, right?
Unfortunately for myself and other fit-minded individuals, it’s not always that easy. Often times, vacations give us a beautiful excuse to indulge. By the end of a week-long jaunt, I personally find myself feeling pretty guilty about it all.
Luckily, I’ve found a happy medium, and that’s healthy travel: trips that take me to far-flung places but keep me in line with my at-home lifestyle. Let’s look into the trend a bit further.
The first thing to consider is how active a trip will allow you to be. Now, I appreciate the benefits of lazing on a beach for a week (more on that later) but that doesn’t quite lend itself to physical activity.
If you’re looking to maintain your same level of activity, plan a trip that puts you smack-dab in the middle of the great outdoors. You might want to go skiing, or biking, or climbing, or hiking, and you can do that — in fact, you can probably find a spot that lets you do more than one of those on the same trip.
No Need to Indulge on Junk
I love a good dessert or feast-sized dinner every once in a while, but sometimes vacations serve them up every. single. night. That’s another reason why I love healthy travel: it often finds me eating meals that align with my at-home healthy philosophies.
If you want to eat healthily while you’re on vacation, you might have to plan it around a resort where this is a priority. Considering the golden age of healthy travel that we’re in, it’s not that difficult to find a location that serves up a palatable menu and a full slate of activities that’ll keep you entertained when you’re not at the table.
At the very least, you can try your best to stay on track when you’re on a health-unrelated vacation. Of course, in either instance, you are on vacation so it really is okay to splurge once or twice. But don’t make a habit of it if it’s going to leave you feeling less-than-happy at the end of your trip.
Some vacations require you to go, go, go — if you’re traveling abroad to explore Europe, for example, you probably won’t have much downtime. I like to balance out those hustle-and-bustle trips with a health-minded vaca so that I have time to decompress. To me, that’s just as important as exploring a new culture.
Now, there are plenty of hotels with spas inside, and plenty of vacation destinations with spas within the city limits. Those will certainly suffice, but you can also find some more focused relaxation centers where every day you’re in the sauna, laying down for a massage, swimming in a salted pool or closing your eyes for a steamy facial. Next stop: healthy vibes from the inside, out.
Detox is on the Menu, Too
Finally, I love healthy travel because I sometimes use it as… an excuse to go on vacation. The first time I tried it, I had been feeling pretty down. I had broken up with my boyfriend and let myself indulge as a coping mechanism. I gave up my workouts in favor of nights in watching Orange is the New Black. Even though I was cozily wrapped up in my blanket in front of the TV, I knew deep down that wasn’t me.
The next thing I knew I was hopping on a plane for a solo vacation to a resort where detox is the main focus. It sounds rigorous, but it was the most relaxing week of my life. I had customized meals made with detoxifying ingredients, underwent spa treatments, learned some yoga, drank plenty of green juice and otherwise relaxed and recharged. In detoxing my body, I detoxed my mind, too. I did, however, pick up a new addiction to fill the ice-cream-pint-and-Netflix void: healthy travel.
There are so many destinations now with the same ideals as my own. Plan accordingly and you’ll find one that suits you, too. If you do it right, you just might find yourself a healthy-travel junkie, too. I’ll see you in a few months in the salted pools, floating to our hearts’ content.