We know that planning a vacation for the whole family to enjoy can be difficult. And when you’re busy planning travel logistics, your family’s health habits may not be top of mind. But your summer getaway doesn’t have to be filled with junk food and non-stop lounging to be fun. That’s why we’ve compiled our best tips for an enjoyable — and healthy — family getaway.
Whether you’re looking to travel far from home this summer or just around the corner, there are easy ways to incorporate healthy habits and activities into your trip. Try mixing up your summer plans with our top five tips for a healthy and safe summer holiday.
- Head to the water.
Lying on the beach isn’t the only thing to do on a tropical vacation. Some of our favorite vacation spots are around the water — whether it’s a pool, lake, river or ocean — because there are plenty of activities your family can enjoy that keep you moving. From swimming to kayaking to paddleboarding and more, there’s sure to be an activity that your family will enjoy. Plus, you don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the water in California. Check out this article for information on keeping your family safe around the water.
- Plan your activities ahead of time.
Beach vacations aren’t the only getaways with plenty of healthy activities. Depending where you choose to go, consider bringing along a frisbee or a soccer ball for some free (and active!) family fun. Many vacation destinations also have bikes that are available to rent so you can get out and explore your new surroundings. By planning fun and active outings ahead of time, you can avoid resorting to turning on the TV and killing time at the hotel.
- Choose healthy meals and snacks.
Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you need to throw healthy eating out the window. Treat yourself to some yummy summer favorites without going overboard. If you take your family on a road trip, try packing healthy snacks instead of stopping for fast food along the way. If you need to eat out for most of your vacation, you can still make healthy choices at the restaurant. Try substituting alcohol or sugary sodas with water and remember to limit your portion sizes — you can always save the leftovers!
- Consider a resort with a kid’s program.
Many resorts and cruises offer programs filled with kid-friendly activities like sports, arts and crafts, and more. Take some time for your own self-care by signing your kids up for a day or two at the kid’s program. You can take some much-needed time to relax while the kids meet new friends and enjoy some fun summer activities.
- Make a packing list.
Creating a packing list ahead of time can help you remember the essentials that you might otherwise overlook. Remember to pack any medications that your family needs, and bring enough for a few extra days in case you have any travel complications. Make sure you also bring sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher — you may consider bringing sun hats and protective eyewear as well if you plan on spending a lot of time outside.
Remember to stay active and healthy during your vacation this summer—it’s sure to be a getaway your family will remember for years to come.
This article first appeared in the May 2019 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.