Traveling: The dos and donts of staying on track

Ok, Ok… I realize I have COMPLETELY dropped the ball on posting lately. Life got a little crazy and I had to do a bit of “life reorganization”. B&C completely blew up thanks to all of my wonderful clients and patients, the kids had end of school year activities and we were planning for a 1 month vacation back to the states, so I had to prioritize. But, new year means new goals and staying on top of my blog is one of them!

So, on to my soapbox. We just returned from a 3.5 week vacation back to the states over the holidays and it was absolutely fantastic. This time, we were able to stay with my amazing SIL who has a basement apartment and it was an absolute deal breaker. We had our own space, including our own kitchen, and that was priceless when it came to keeping some sort of routine. Because of the set-up, we were able to cook most of our own meals and maintain some sort of workout schedule, which to me, made the vacation a complete success. While we were there, I realized that traveling can be hard on many, especially if you are just starting down this new road of healthy living. I wanted to share some of my secrets in hopes of helping others “stay on track”.

  1. If possible, Airbnb it. Having our own kitchen and cooking our own meals was a huge part of our vacation happiness. Also, in a lot of cases, Airbnb works out to be cheaper than staying in a hotel and when you have a family with little munchkins that need to nap and go to bed early, having space for them was important too! During their nap times, we were able to get workouts in and have our own space to relax and decompress. We were able to grocery shop and basically stay on our normal eating routine, only eating out minimally. Of course, we did enjoy the plethora of American restaurants more than our normal 1x/week allowance, but knowing that for the other meals we were eating normally, it made it that much sweeter. I have to squeeze this in here… Zoe’s Kitchen, where have you been all of my life. Hummus and pitas galore 😉
  2. Be realistic with your goals. Our first day back, S and I talked about what we would ideally like to set as our workout goals. Me, being a little overzealous, said I was going to shoot for 5 workouts a week, close to my normal routine. S laughed at me and simply said “Be realistic or else you’re setting yourself up for failure”. Man were those the words I needed to hear. We decided on 3-4 times per week to allow for things to popup in our schedule and some extra relaxation time. I think it’s important to not only try to stick to some sort of schedule, but to allow yourself to relax and decompress. Had I stuck with my 5x/week goal, I would have felt guilty if I didn’t hit my goal and my vacation would have ended up ALOT more stressful. Instead, some weeks I hit 4 workouts and another only 3 and yet, because I was within my goals, I wasn’t feeling one bit stressed or guilty. We also discussed that our general goal was to maintain rather than build. I think this is an important delineation. Vacations are temporary, so if you simply say you are going to maintain your fitness level during your time, it creates a much more conducive environment for planning a balanced vacation.
  3. Pack snacks! I can remember a time a few years ago out running errands with my MIL when she joked at the fact that S and I always have snacks. Bringing healthy snacks and lunches when we are out and about is key because we aren’t tempted to “grab something quick”and waste money and calories. This allows us to eat out at better restaurants other times. Several times over this vacation, we picnicked in the car (the 3 degree weather wasn’t conducive to outside) between our errands or activities. It saved us money, hassle and calories. And it ended up being a game for the kids. They LOVED it.
  4. No gym? No worries. We have our go-to travel workout gear that we always pack in our suitcases. I am not paid to indorse any of these products, they are just what I have found work for us. We always travel with our TRX, Insanity and Jumprope. We didn’t need a gym while we were there because we could turn any space into one. With the stuff we brought, and using what was in the house, we were able to get some good WODs in. One in particular sparks my memory where we used bags of rock salt, jugs of laundry detergent and cases of water. Who says you need weights?!?! Think outside of the box and be creative. Don’t let your workout be defined only by what you have in a gym.
  5. Have fun! This is probably the most important… Allow yourself to have fun and relax. This is after all the point of traveling and vacationing, right?! Don’t get so consumed with forcing workouts in and not allowing yourself to splurge on a meal or desert every once in a while. The end game of this vacation is to have fun, relax and decompress from the daily grind. Allow yourself to do so.
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