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How to Enjoy New Foods and Keep a Healthy Mindset on Vacation

How to Enjoy New Foods and Keep a Healthy Mindset on Vacation


Whether traveling to a different region of the U.S. or an exotic international location, one of the best things about going on vacation is the food. Traveling gives you the opportunity to try authentic regional-specific dishes, literally giving you the flavor of whatever destination you’re visiting.


That can pose a problem for those health-conscious travelers, however. With the abundance of edible temptations, how do you try new things while also maintaining your relatively healthy lifestyle?

Here are five tips that will help you ease the guilt when it comes to indulging while on vacation.

wine1.  Splurge Responsibly

This guideline is one you likely implement at home, so why not take it on the road as well? It’s not the end of the world to treat yourself to an unhealthy meal or snack every once in a while, but the key is moderation. That doesn’t change on vacation.

That means planning ahead. Instead of throwing all of the rules out the window for the entirety of your trip, choose one meal or one day to splurge, when you can enjoy all of the delicacies your destination is known for.

Other rules of moderation apply here as well. Keep portion sizes sensible and limit unhealthy options such as deep fried food.

portions2.  Scale Back on Drinking

If you’re on vacation, chances are you’ll want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail from time to time. But if you’re looking to stay trim while on vacation, remember that many alcoholic beverages are high in calories.

You can approach this in a couple different ways. If you do plan to indulge in some guilty pleasures during a meal or two, limit your alcohol intake so as not to overdo it where calories concerned.

If you are determined to have some drinks, however, plan on going with lower-calorie options such as light beer, red or white wine or a liquor on the rocks. Avoid ultra-sugary drinks such as frozen margaritas and daiquiris.

fruit-23.  Maintain You Sleep Schedule

It can be hard to do when you’re packing each day full of activities, but try to maintain a steady and healthy sleep schedule while on vacation.

It’s often an overlooked factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but a lack of sleep can interfere with your normal metabolism because it makes your body want and need more energy. That can result in feelings of extreme hunger, which can then lead to some questionable and unhealthy snacking choices.

It may seem impossible for night owls, but try to get as close to eight hours of sleep per night when possible.

sleeping4.  Keep Yourself Hydrated

When on vacation and trying to enjoy food options without overdoing it, water is the traveler’s best friend. Make sure to maintain your daily water intake requirement, which will help alleviate cravings or feelings of hunger.

Remember that you may need a bit more water than you normally would. Vacations, particularly active ones, can dehydrate you more quickly than you’re used to, as can being in the sun more than you are normally.

Keep water on hand everywhere you go, including in your hotel room, your rental car or your backpack.

cucumberappledrink5.  Try the Vacation Workout Game

Staying healthy while on vacation is a common challenge, so some enterprising minds created a game that can help.

The game consists of five rules. First, for every adult beverage you drink, do 10 push-ups (either before you drink or the next morning).

Second, for each unhealthy meal you eat, do 50 bodyweight squats. Third, whenever you see a low-hanging structure (and aren’t in an area where you’ll make a fool of yourself), do five quick pull-ups.


Rules four and five are about walking: Pretend that elevators don’t exist and always take the stairs. And if an attraction is within a mile, make the walk.

These rules can be altered, of course, but it’s all about staying active and keeping the body moving when you might be indulging a bit more than normal.

Heading out on vacation is supposed to be fun–that is the point, after all. So it can seem burdensome and counterintuitive to remain compulsive about being healthy.

Yet with some simple planning, discipline and self-control, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a guilt-free vacation while also trying plenty of new and unique foods.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Paula
    September 23, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Very good topic and I love the pictures! It is so easy to forget these things when travelling and jet lagged, but following them really makes you feel so much better.

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Hi Paula!

      Thank you so much for the compliments! I am glad you enjoy everything. You’re right – traveling can sometimes push us further apart from our mental awareness, but once we take a minute to slow down and focus on these things the trip can be so much more enjoyable! Xx
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  2. Christina
    September 24, 2016 at 6:22 am

    You offer some solid advice that isn’t always easy to implement, especially when you’re travelling to a luxury destination. I’d find it way too difficult to turn down the cocktails!
    Christina recently posted…Experience the Northern Lights in CanadaMy Profile

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Hi Christina!

      Thank you! I am glad you think that! As far as the cocktails go — I know exactly what you are saying! 🙂 I always try and conserve them for the really special evenings, or make sure the cocktails use fresh/local ingredients! Xx
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  3. NinaO
    September 24, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I’ve become hungry looking at your beautiful pictures! 😀 You are right, trying local food is exciting. But it depends where, I guess. Nothing exciting in spending your vacation in the bathroom, LOL.

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Hi Nina! Haha, that you so much! And yes, you are totally right. Sometimes trying the wrong things can lead to the entire trip going down hill. I think it is important when you learn what you are capable of eating and also be aware of the things that usually lead to negative side effects. I find I am always safer when I taste various foods, refraining from totally scarfing down on them. 🙂
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  4. Kallsy P
    September 24, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    All very great tips! We tend to do most of these things but typically aren’t doing any exercise routines because we’re so tired from walking. Love the idea of a workout game because it’s something that would be easy to fit in.

  5. Charles McCool
    September 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I typically LOSE weight when I travel because I do not have constant snack temptation, like I do at home. One things to keep in mind (pun) is that the body is satisfied by less amounts of new foods than old foods. So trying new food is definitely healthier because we eat less of it.
    Charles McCool recently posted…11 Useful Travel Tips You Have Never SeenMy Profile

  6. Kerri
    September 25, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Good tips that I should try to follow 🙂 Seriously most of them are things I usually do…although heaps of walking and activity is usually my exercise. The wine and beers when I travel are too good for me to resist. Too many great locations to have drinks in !
    Kerri recently posted…A special dining experience at Le Train Bleu : ParisMy Profile

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Hi Kerri! If you are constantly on the go and are doing a good bit of walking and taking part in activities, I think enjoying the cocktails is perfectly fine! 🙂 I usually try to find a balance between the two! After all, travel is all about having fun and seeking enjoyment in everything you do! Xx
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  7. Fiona Maclean
    September 25, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Gosh, I am noting the vacation workout game for later! What a good idea – though somehow I suspect I won’t actually do it!

  8. Chrysoula
    September 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Very good tips thanks for sharing. I tend to eat more while traveling and especially desserts.

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hi Chrysoula! Absolutely! I think a lot of people have the tendency to eat more when they travel. Mainly because there are so many new options and things to try! It has been somewhat of a trial and error to figure out how to balance this, but once I came up with a method I was able to stick with it! 🙂
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  9. Ritika
    September 25, 2016 at 10:34 am

    This is such a great post. I constantly struggle with eating healthily on vacation, but this past summer I think I did well on vacation by allowing myself a few unique food experiences but staying modest for the rest of the days!

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Hi Ritika! Thank you so very much for the kind words! Great job — I love being able to taste a variety of dishes and treats while I am away, staying mindful of my activity level and focusing on staying active when I can! 🙂
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  10. Sia
    September 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Great tips! My favourite thing about travelling is exploring new food choices and traditional cuisine. I usually try to cut the wine and cocktails and get more desserts for example which is not a healthy choice but what can I say the chocoholic in me is happy!
    Sia recently posted…Pancharevo lake in Sofia, BulgariaMy Profile

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Thank you Sia! 🙂 I have to agree with you! I think my temptation comes from the fact that I never want to miss out on a tasty treat or entree I cannot get anywhere else! The wine and beer are always available, but that yummy chocolate treat in the corner market may not be… 😉
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  11. Anita Hendrieka
    September 25, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Great post. I really struggle with keeping healthy on vacation. I really agree with you that sleeping and cutting back on alcohol is important!
    Anita Hendrieka recently posted…10 Things That Only Happen To You When Visiting IndiaMy Profile

  12. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
    September 25, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Oh, what a challenge this can be! I focus on getting the right amount of sleep and limiting alcohol (aka staying hydrated). No matter how hard I try, I just can’t find time (read: motivation) to workout while traveling.
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…Everything You Need to Know for Your First Visit to New York CityMy Profile

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Hi Jackie! Yes – it most certainly can be! I think the easiest way for me to workout while traveling is to wake up at a decent time and go on a run or walk around the area. This way it doesn’t take too much time out of my day and I get to experience the location around me!
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  13. Veronika Tomanova
    September 25, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I always feel like eating more when I am home during the weekend or vacation. There is the full fridge and all…but as you say – workout is the way to go!

  14. Megan
    September 26, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Some great tips. Definitely, something I struggle with, especially when most of my trips have been heading into the south lately.

    • Kacey Bradley
      September 26, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Hi Megan! I am glad you like them! I think it will always be something a lot of people have to stay mindful of. Personally, I don’t think there is any reason to stress over it, but learning how to incorporate these tips into your trip is something that can help. Even if it is in the smallest way 🙂
      Kacey Bradley recently posted…6 Ways to Get Motivated and Really Enjoy the New SeasonMy Profile

  15. Lisa Frederick
    July 25, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I love this! Such great ideas!

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for reading, Lisa 🙂

  16. Eva Kisgyorgy
    January 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I started a more healthy lifestyle (like everyone on Jan 1:-)) and came across your post – very interesting!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 22, 2019 at 5:36 am

      Aw, I’m so glad to hear it! Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year 🙂

  17. Rifat
    June 8, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Keep up the good work! I’m glad to hear it!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 10, 2020 at 5:15 pm

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. John Gatesby
    July 8, 2021 at 3:52 am

    Great tips! I have burned my fingers quite a few times, ate something I did not know anything about and caught flu or severe stomach ache. Now I am a very cautious eater while on vacation.
    John Gatesby recently posted…Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous SystemsMy Profile

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