5 Vacation Survival Strategies

  5 Strategies to SURVIVE your summer vacation WITHOUT set-backs! Being on vacation and staying on track is, let’s just say difficult.  WAIT, difficult isn’t strong enough, ridiculously hard! Most people would just say, “You’re on vacation, who cares?” To that I say, I DO!  I do not like that feeling of swollen fingers, pants too tight and just plain bluh! I am a self-proclaimed food addict and I struggle every time I go on vacation.  I do my best though. I’ll show you the strategies I use and how I have successes and small set-backs.

My first strategy is based solely around vegetables.  I order the food item that will maximize my veggie intake.  That can be a salad or a veggie breakfast burrito or just a sandwich that I ask them to double up of the vegetables.  When you’re at the mercy of fast-food restaurants it is particularly a struggle considering 90% of food on the menu doesn’t contain a green leaf.

What about quantities?  Oh man!  I eat what is in front of me. I am a see-food eater.  How do I solve this? There are two ways; I either share a meal with someone and order a side salad, or a sandwich only without the fries or chips.  Often times my eyes are bigger than my stomach but if I don’t use complete control almost all is lost for that meal.  I literally have to say to myself, “April, you don’t NEED that.  You’re not even hungry anymore.  Listen to your body.”  Usually when I apply those three sentences I manage to eat in proper quantities to healthily feed my body.  

Snacking while driving can be super tricky.  When I’m on a road trip it is for at least 8 hours and I want to do is munch on something. To help this problem, I pack veggie snacks like carrots, apples and snap peas.  They are crunchy and take the place of those processed crackers that will blow my daily food/calorie consumption up!  I do have children and more specifically a one year old and I keep those fishy crackers around.  If they are within my reach, I will manage to consume some. It’s just life.    

Last but not least, the gym is a daily habit of mine.  I LOVE it! There are several reasons why, including childcare and I’m a very social person. Because I work from home and I’m a stay at home Mom, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk to grow-ups. The club I am a member of has gyms everywhere, so if I can go to one of them, I go there.  If not I will do a workout in whatever hotel I’m in, find a gym or do whatever I can. If you struggle with this do one of our 20 minute At-Home workouts?  What about the schedule, Disneyland(for an example) and just being exhausted?  You can use that as an excuse but it doesn’t fly with me.  If possible at all I will get in 30 minutes of exercise.  I feel better, I’m ready for the day’s challenges and I feel like the food damage for the day won’t be as extreme.

I just happened to be on vacation this weekend for a wedding and so far it’s about a 50/50 win/loss here.

This is how my day went.

  1. Woke up at 4am. 
  2. At two pieces of toast.  I often eat this toast but it’s usually followed by a good physical workout. Not yesterday.
  3. Fishy crackers I only ate ½ serving. (I’m traveling with a 11  month child and I’m limited on space a.k.a. I wasn’t prepared with better options)
  4. I was starving by 8am ordered a veggie burrito from Quiznos.  That was the best option I could find in the airport.
  5. More fishy crackers(I was very tired and they were there.)
  6. We finally landed in California.  STARVING!!!!
  7. Café Rio-split a Pork salad with my sister and went light on the rice. The down-fall and something I almost never do at home is drinking my calories.  Well, they had horchata and it was delightful! Ahhh!
  8. Passed a 7-11(They don’t have these in Texas HAD to stop and get a slurpee)
  9. Got to our destination and there were m&m’s sitting on the window seal…nom, nom.
  10. Are you seeing a pattern here? Planned foods, EASY! Not planned foods, HARD!
  11. Buffet for dinner (JUST SHOOT ME!!!!) I girded up my loins and planned ahead.  I figured if I could just fill my plate with veggies and fruits I would get full and not feel so bad.  That’s what I did.  I ate a ton of fruits and veggies with a very small portion of lasagna. I also consumed as much water as I could.
  12. I have to say, I’m grateful one day of food battle is over.  Everything that surrounded it was great.  I love seeing family!!  I live so far from them that I enjoy every second of it.
  13. Swollen fingers this morning.

Day number two begins and I’m going to add one more strategy that I failed to use yesterday.  I am going to pray for help and discernment in the food choices I make.  I am going to pray for self-control because food is to be enjoyed but if it makes me feel crummy then I have reached the level of indulgence.  The most difficult part of being a food addict is, unlike alcohol and cigarettes, food is required for my survival.  I imagine that it will always be my struggle. I fall sometimes. My pants get tighter.  It’s difficult and beautiful because it gives me a great deal of empathy for others. 

To break it down, here are 4 strategies to enjoying your vacation and not having a major set-back.

  1. PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT AND STRENGTH
  2. PACK VEGGIES FOR SNACKS
  3. CHOOSE VEGGIES FIRST WHEN PICKING YOUR MEALS
  4. 30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE
  5. DRINK WATER

I hope this helps you when you get ready for summer vacations!

April Thompson is 37 years old and lives in Houston, Texas. She and her husband have four children. She loves trying new things, including sports, foods, and crafts. She is a homemaker, blogger, hair and makeup artist, and personal trainer and currently serves in the Young Women’s auxiliary. She loves teaching the youth about the Word of Wisdom, health and fitness.

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