How to enjoy a stress detox vacation is something many of us think about. Or maybe we don’t but we probably should if we’re trying to stay healthy on vacation. We shouldn’t have to worry about spending too much money on eating out while on vacation, we shouldn’t have to worry about where to find healthy locations, where to workout and how we’ll keep from gaining a pant size.
In this post I’m going to talk about how to enjoy a stress detox vacation so we don’t have to worry about, well, all the thing we worry about. We can enjoy ourselves and be healthy on vacation. We don’t have to gain weight, be stressed out about food or wonder what our next meal will be.
Preparation is everything when it comes to health. Many of these tips will be based around prep because without being prepared we grab whatever is convenient which is usually unhealthy. From planning a room with a kitchen to knowing where the closest farmers market is, everything is based around preparation.
Many people worry about food when it comes to vacationing. They worry about how much it will cost, where will they get it, how will it be prepared and more. Others don’t think about it at all. They enjoy an all inclusive package where there are all types of different food, many of which are unhealthy.
And if it’s not an all inclusive place we actually plan to eat out all the time, which could prove to be costly for both our pocket books and our health.
Eating highly processes, packaged food is detrimental to our health, fills our body with toxins and puts stress on our bodies when we’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves. It is so very important to plan ahead while you’re away because if you don’t plan yourself, you’ll be a part of some else’s.
Book a Room with a Kitchen
The first thing you’re going to do regarding how to enjoy a stress detox vacation is book a room with a kitchen. I know these usually cost more money, and when we’re looking to save money or for the best deal, rooms with kitchens isn’t a priority, but it should be.
At first glace, a room with a kitchen looks like it will cost more money, but this will actually save you money. It’s expensive to eat out every night, so why not cook at home (or wherever you’re staying).
This doesn’t always have to be time consuming. You can buy sandwich supplies and jam pack it with your favorite veggies from the farmers market, you can also buy fruit and veggies, even granola bars to keep with you and snack on when you’re hungry so you don’t have to always make a meal.
But preparing food can be fun and it doesn’t always have to be a chore. Involve the kids, have them help out. They’re not ‘always in the way’ and they actually want to help. You can take turns with your spouse preparing meals or you can switch days for who is preparing the food with those family members or friends you are traveling with.
Farmers markets are a great way to enjoy the culture of where you’re at. I love to visit farmers markets so I can actually talk to the farmers, see where they came from, how they treat and harvest their foods and how their animals are raised. You’d be surprised at how open farmersare in sharing information about their food. Most of them love what they do, and are more than happy to talk about their products.
Going back to preparation, it’s important to find out where farmers markets are before you leave or before you book your vacation. Some times farmers markets are a little more challenging to find, some times you need to arrange transportation to get there, and other times they are easy to find and get to.
Regardless, if you can stay close, or know how to get there and in what form you’ll travel to get there (i.e walk, bus, bike, etc), it’ll be that much easier for you to eat healthy and understand how to enjoy a stress detox vacation.
Many times there are a whole lot of healthy restaurants to eat at while you’re on vacation. I certainly depends where you’re at, and I understand the unhealthy fast food type of joints are on every corner but if you look, if you put just a little effort in, you can find healthy places to eat.
Just like farmers markets, well, just like all the tips above preparation is key. It’s important to know and even plan which places you’re going to try when you arrive. If you don’t plan, if you have no idea where you’ll go at what time of day there’s a good chance when you’re hungry you’ll grab whatever’s most convenient. And as we talked about earlier, with fast food type of places on every corner, or grabbing whatever is ‘convenient’ when you’re hungry, it’s rarely a healthy choice.
And when I’m talking about planning where you’ll eat, I don’t mean schedule your day so you know where you’ll be on the hour. Many times our lives are run by our calendar so this is a good time to relax stress free. All I’m saying is, have in mind where you’d like to visit, where you’ll stay, and where you can find better choices. At least that way you can be conscious of the decisions you’re making and what other choices are around.
Quality over quantity
And lastly when it comes to food regarding how to enjoy a stress free vacation, remember quality over quality. I love this quote, ‘don’t ask why healthy food is so expensive, ask why junk food is so cheap’. It takes more money to create quality food, grow quality crops; support the smaller businesses that care about you and are doing everything they can to provide quality, not quality (or mass production).
If you need to pay a little extra for a farmer to feed his family with food he crew himself, I’d say it’s worth it every time. The alternative, to support corporations and consume foods that actually put more stress on our bodies, really isn’t enjoying a stress free vacation. Spend a little more, your body will appreciate it and so will you stress levels.
The truth is (which may sound contradicting), many times we find food cheaper at those little farmers markets than what we’re used to at home. And if nothing else, buying food from the grocery store or at the local market is healthier and will save you money, instead of eating out every night.
The last topic we’re going to go over regarding how to enjoy a stress detox vacation is exercise. Many times we work so hard to get that ‘beach body’, then while on vacation we gain an extra 10lbs because we don’t workout, overindulge and let all our hard work go to waste.
Exercise is the #1 way reduce stress and detox your body. So instead of filling your body with toxic substances and stressing yourself out (on many levels) by not exercising and eating out or enjoying every appetizer offered by the pool, stick to your workout routine, find a new one while you’re away or find other ways to be active.
Don’t rent a car
The very first thing we do after we book our flights and hotel (or place to stay) is book a car rental. We just went over a number of other things we should look for before our actual flights and hotel so let’s skip this step too. Of course it depends where you’re vacationing but you can always change your plans or vacation to a place where you don’t actually need a car.
There are many other forms of transportation. Uber is a great new way to get around which is much cheaper than a cab. How many times do we think of taking the local transit? There’s nothing wrong with taking the bus, even if you have a family (I know, sounds crazy but people actually do it).
This goes under that ‘crazy’ category. Many people think of a vacation as kicking back on the beach and not putting in any strenuous exercise. But lots of people walk more on vacation than at home. You walk through forests, the zoo, walking paths, amusement parks, hikes and more. There’s nothing wrong with walking to dinner or from where you’re staying to where you want to go.
Most places that have frequent vacationers have bike rental locations as well. The prices are much more reasonable than a rental car and it can even be enjoyable. Think about renting bikes for your vacation stay instead of a rental next time you travel. Instead of the stress of parking, and traffic how about an enjoyable bike ride?
Gyms/Yoga Studios and more
Some times there is a gym at the place you are staying and sometimes there’s a gym that is close. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit the gym. And if you’re not a person that enjoys the gym, there is usually yoga studios, Pilates and more that will give you different options to stay fit, healthy and help you stress detox while you’re away.
And lastly regarding exercise while on vacation, there’s nothing wrong with combining all of these suggestions above. If you’re at a nice location where you’re close to everything, try to walk most places, rent a bike to enjoy activity or a different location. And then you can think about local transit if it’s a safe area and you’re comfortable with it (personally I think it’s a great way to see the area you’re staying in, even if it’s just to the hotel) and finally if you’re walking to most places or riding a bike, why not rent a car for a day or two instead of a week (or your entire vacation) to see or go somewhere you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
There are so many places to go, see, do and experience especially while you’re away and in a different environment. Do yourself a favor and instead of planning to lay on the beach the entire time (or by the pool), plan exciting adventures. Find things you otherwise would never experience, walk, run if you can, enjoy the ocean air while riding a bike down the boardwalk of the beach.
Life has so many experiences to offer. We spend so much of our lives stressed out worrying about everything else. Take this time for yourself, plan ahead regarding food and health and when you come back you’ll feel rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on whatever life has to offer.