How To Have Your Best Vacation Ever

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When we travel, we tend to indulge. And that's OK! A little bit of indulging is just plain good for the soul. Plus, vacation is about relaxing and practicing self-care—not counting calories or stressing out about restrictions.

But it can also be disappointing to return home and realize that all the healthy eating and exercise habits you practiced before vacation have suddenly vanished. We've all been there.

So the next time you're heading out of town for vacation, take note of these expert tips for maintaining your routine. Putting in a little preparation before your big trip will ensure you stay healthy, enjoy your holiday, and feel great when you return.

1. Set your intentions before you leave.

Before your journey begins, it's important to take time to consider what you intend for the trip: How often do you want to exercise while you're away, how much splurging are you OK with when it comes to food, and do you intend to maintain your sleep schedule? If you're OK with some extra dessert, then enjoy it, of course. These are your intentions and the more you stop to check in with what you really want to happen, the less likely you are to regret how you spent your vacation.

2. Plan ahead.

Once your intentions are set, it's time to plan and prep. Some questions to consider as you plan: Will you have access to healthy food options? Will you be mostly dining out or cooking in? Will you have access to a gym, a local yoga studio, or will you be working out on your own?

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3. Bring plenty of high-quality snacks.

Think about what will keep you full and satisfied when you don't have access to the best food options. You'll want to ensure that you always have a decent go-to snack on hand. Nut butters, plant protein powders, homemade granola bars, and dehydrated fruits (without sugar additives) are all great options.

4. Pack your probiotics.

Our immune systems depend on the health of our gut bacteria. When we overload on foods we wouldn't normally eat—as we tend to do when we're traveling—those foods can wreak havoc on our digestion and overall health. Take your daily probiotics to assist digestion and avoid the stomachache and bloat.

5. Don't force exercise that isn't fun.

It's more important than ever to move your body while you're out and about. And no one ever regrets a workout. Make it doable on vacation by making it fun instead of a chore. Go for walks, have a dance party, or take a local yoga class to explore your new surroundings.

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6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

When you travel, your body is thrown out of your normal routine; you might be in a higher altitude, which dehydrates you faster, or you may be consuming an excess of sangria. Either way, it's easy to get hydrated while on vacation, so make sure you're taking in some extra ounces of water. If it helps, pack a small water bottle that you can refill along the way.

7. Add in local produce.

While it's certainly OK to indulge, don't forget to add in as many whole foods as you can to obtain extra nutrients to support your body. When you dine out, ask your server what fresh, local vegetables are on hand and see if you can get a side of veggies steamed up. If you're making your own meals, stop at a local farmers market or grocery store and load up on some extra whole foods. You'll be checking out the local culture—and keeping up your wellness routine.

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