Ask most people what one of their favorite childhood memories are and invariably family vacations are on that list.
Vacations are when families take time away from the usual to relax and enjoy one another’s company. Getting away from it all is also a perfect time to try out new adventures by way of staying physically active.
Here are some ideas to get you up and moving while on vacation:
1. Make Plans for Adventure
Parents of children or teenagers understand there will be times, even on vacation, when they need to be kept busy.
Lounging by the pool is great at first, but after a while, a change of scenery is welcomed. Do your research on what activities your destination offers, saving you a ton of time when you arrive. Booking activities ahead of time can also avoid disappointment if all spots are already taken.
Planned activities you can do together as a family such as snorkeling, horseback riding, renting bicycles, kayaking, beach volleyball, nature trails or white water rafting can be fun physical outings everyone can enjoy.
Depending on the age of your children, if the kids are participating in a kid’s only class, take advantage of that time to take a tennis lesson or a yoga class keeping yourself fit while away from home.
2. Eat Healthily
Yes, it’s your vacation and you may want to splurge as much as you can on rich meals and decadent desserts but try to resist some of the temptations. You’ll regret coming back home with a few more pounds and it won’t be all in your luggage.
Healthy eating on the road is possible but you have to plan ahead to make it happen. If traveling by car, keep a cooler filled with nutritious foods – fruits, nuts, beef jerky, high-protein and high-fiber bars, carrot sticks, cheese sticks – all can be sure to please even the pickiest eater.
Most chain restaurants have nutrition information for menu items on their websites. By doing your research ahead of time, stick with the healthiest options keeping you on track and focused on making smart dietary decisions.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan in a couple of times for a large breakfast or that ice cream cone for dessert. Just make up for the dietary indulgences by squeezing in some fun family time of exploring the beach or going on a guided city tour on foot burning off those extra calories.
3. Invite Friends
Sometimes the saying “the more the merrier” is never more true than when on a vacation. Consider allowing your child to invite a friend or ask another family to vacation with you.
Sometimes, too much togetherness while away from home can create tension so having other people along, permits each family member to take a bit of a break from one another.
Kids who have a friend to play around with are often more active looking for activities to do other than wanting to stay back in the hotel room watching TV or browsing the internet. Parents can appreciate having their adult friends along to plan ideas for keeping the kids busy and being involved with them.
4. Go Exploring
Vacations usually are in an area or culture different from your own and are perfect opportunities to explore on foot or by bicycle, the local terrain, customs, and cuisine.
Search out healthy foods at a farmers market, a restaurant featuring locally grown foods or if possible, visit an orchard, farm, or facility where you can try out and learn about a portion of food grown in that area.
5. Do something different
Some of the best and most memorable experiences are when you do something out of the ordinary – like parasailing or participating in a cattle drive.
When we step out of our comfort zone, the possibilities of fun are endless. Having your kids see you having a blast being physically active will teach them no matter what age you are, you’re never too old for staying young at heart with pleasurable recreation.
Once you get back from a fun-filled, physically active vacation, you will be so glad you stuck with the healthy lifestyle habits that you’ll be eagerly anticipating and planning ahead for your next scheduled leisure time away.