Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts for a Fun and Healthy Vacation

July 20, 2011

Hey everyone! My name is Courtney and I blog over at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

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If you’ve ever stopped by my little corner of blog land, then you know that I absolutely love blogging about food, fitness, fashion, and baking sweet treats, but I also really enjoy just sharing my life and all the other daily shenanigans that come with living with my hubby, Jay, and little fur ball, Cody.

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And if you haven’t stopped by before…well then, now you do.

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When Chelsey asked me if I’d be willing to write a guest post for her while she’s soaking up the sun in Punta Cana, I umm, got outrageously a little excited. I’ve been reading Chelsey’s blog for a while now and I absolutely adore her. Is she not the sweetest? Thanks again, Chelsey, for letting me invade your space!

So…what are we going to talk about today you ask? Wellllll, it just so happens that I recently returned from a week-long vacation myself in Virginia Beach and Wildwood, NJ. Ohhhh, it was glorious!

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So after much thought, I have decided to share with you all…

My Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts for a Fun and Healthy Vacation

Here we go!

1.  Doremember, it’s vacation. This is your time to unwind, kick your heels up, relax, and just enjoy life. If that means leaving behind your cell phone, Blackberry, pager (if anyone still even has those) or laptop, then do it. Live the life that’s right in front of you.

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2.  Don’t…fret about the small stuff. Sometimes we have to face the fact that there are just going to be things that we can’t control. Crying babies behind you at the beach/restaurant/pool? Hey, just remember that you were probably one of those at one time. Things could be worse.

3.  Do…indulge a little. While a vacation shouldn’t be viewed as an automatic invitation to go balls-to-the-walls every single day, it does mean that you can (and should) enjoy the occasional treats. An extra beer with dinner one night? An ice cream sundae the size of my head for dinner another night? Yes, please!

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Just make sure to balance it out with some healthy treats, too.

4.  Don’t…obsess about the inevitable lack of exercise. If you have the opportunity, then by all means, go for it. While we were away last week, our first of two hotels had a “fitness center,” so Jay and I made sure to take advantage.

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I ended up exercising a couple more times, but it was only because I wanted to. I never forced it, just for the sake of trying to maintain my regular routine. That’s not what vacation is all about. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather leave vacay thinking, “Wow, I really had a great time laying in the sand” rather than “Wow, I’m really glad I exercised my face off.”

That being said…

5.  Do…count smaller activities as exercise. Sure, it may not be your typical weight routine or spin class, but so what. All of those little things add up!

Going for a walk on the boardwalk? Trekking an enormous distance down the longest beach you’ve ever seen? Going for a family tandem bike ride?

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You’re moving…so it counts!

6.  Don’t…worry about the weather. For as long as I can remember, I was always one to obsessively check the forecast for weeks leading up to our departure. (Like the weather people really even know what they’re talking about anyway…). I finally realized that no matter how many times I check, the weather is going to be what it will be.

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Stuck with bad weather? Be prepared! Bring some fun games to play or map out some other indoor activities that are nearby.

7.  Do…pack some of your own food/snacks. For some people who follow a restricted diet, this may be inevitable. But even if you’re not, it’s still a good idea to pack some goodies of your own.

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You never know when hunger will strike, and if you’re anything like me, the thought of being stuck with a rumbling tummy and no food to cure it is tragic. Check out where you’re staying to see whether or not you’ll have access to a fridge, microwave, or toaster so you’ll be better prepared.

8.  Do…try something new. Whether it’s a new-to-you food, drink, or activity, now is as good a time as any to give it a go. I’ve always been pretty open to trying new things, but my hubby, on the other hand, is a little more difficult to convince.

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While we were away this past week, I was finally able to get him to try three new seafood dishes…all of which he loved. You’ll never know what you could be missing if you don’t try, right?

9.  Don’t…underestimate the impact of social media. Before leaving for Virginia Beach, I put a call out on Twitter asking for any places that people might be able to recommend for while I was there. Thanks to a few responses, I found an amazing seafood restaurant which made some delicious cocktails and an out-of-this-world crab dip.

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Had I not asked, there’s no way I would have ever found this place OR found out about the amazing fireworks display that we were able to watch right from our hotel balcony.

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10.  Do…go with an open mind. This is something that I’ve learned over the years, but it took a while. I’ve always been a planner, but tended to only plan for things that I wanted to do, not worrying about the other people who were with me.

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Remember, just as it is with everything else in life: it’s all about give and take. Have a restaurant you just have to visit? Go for it…then offer to let someone else in the group choose for the next night. Everyone will end up happier in the end and maybe you’ll even find something new that you never knew you’d like!

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If I’ve still got your attention up to this point, thanks so much for sticking with me and reading along. Hopefully, you’ll come stop by and say “Hi!” and we’ll all be able to chat some more. But until then…

What are some of your favorite tips for having fun and staying healthy while on vacation?

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles July 20, 2011 at 8:45 am

Great post over here Courtney! ….You pretty much summed up your vacations of this summer and they look just as fun the 2nd time around….. I’m getting ready for my honeymoon re-do so this post has perfect timing! :)

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Sweet and Savvy July 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

These are great tips! I love Sweet Tooth Sweet Life and CeC!!

A favorite tip of mine? Check out the menus at prospective menus ahead of time! It helps with temptation to eat entirely fatty and fried and sugary foods the entireee vacation when you realize there ARE healthy options.

Coming from a small town, I love taking advantage of healthier restaurant and snack options that are available in many larger vacation spots.

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Mac July 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

Great tips, I would agree that all of them are very important to keep in mind!

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Onion in My Hair July 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

Great post, Courtney!

I TOTALLY agree with step no. 5!

Sometimes you can walk for HOURS and HOURS on vacation…on my last trip to Vegas I actually LOST weight due to the gym, walking and swimming. It can really add up and help balance out all the extra drinks and other treats.

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naturallyyoursbeth July 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

Definitely my top tip (and something I still struggle with sometimes) is not letting food/exercise guilt ruin a good time. If you over indulge or dont workout at all, don’t let that little voice in your head get you down. Move on…its vacation…its no biggie :)

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Aine @ Something To Chew Over July 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

Great tips Courtney! I like to eat a light breakfast and lunch so that I can happily splurge at dinner :)

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amandamaggio July 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

GREAT POST Courtney!! So true!

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katshealthcorner July 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

AWWWWEEEEE!!! Cody is such a cutie. :)

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Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique July 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

Great post Courtney!

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am

Love. On vacay this week I can see myself fuhhhreaking out about lack of exercise and too much dessert BUT lezzbehonest, in the long run, it won’t matter and all that WILL is that I am having a good time.

p.s. GIRL I AM HAVING A GIVEAWAY TODAYYAYY!

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Lauren July 20, 2011 at 10:39 am

Such a cute and fun post! I love hearing vaca tips and couldn’t agree more on all of your do’s and don’ts. I think vacation is the perfect excuse to get in some exercise in ways you wouldn’t normally, not to mention that a family tandem bike ride sounds hysterical. I’ll be jumping over to your page to see that immediately!

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Alyssa @ Life of bLyss July 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

Ahh, Courtney, I love seeing my home in your vacay pictures. And loved being able to help you select the best restaurants via tweets! ;)

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Lindsey July 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Great post! Love number 6 & 10 – both I can relate to! I need to learn how not to plan every waking moment of our holidays. I am working on it ;)

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missymiller July 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Never underestimate the metabolic power of relaxation, too! That’s why many people lose weight while on vacay or maintain despite eating exorbitantly and lounging around.

Love these tips.

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Claire @ Live & Love to Eat July 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm

There are so many restaurants I want to visit in NYC this weekend but I don’t want to be too demanding on my friends…. overall, great tips!

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles July 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I love this “go with the flow” attitude! It totally reflects how I TRY to live my life in general, but sometimes my control/routine freak takes over!

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Cait @ Cait hates Cake July 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Great tips. I definitely don’t worry about fitting in exercise. If I can, great, if not, no biggie. I deserve some days off! And seriously, I always walk a ton on vacation so that has to count for something.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes July 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Great tips! I will keep them in mind :) one tip for me is always to stay flexible. Go with the flow and not be to rigid!

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beckafly July 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Great tips! I’ve long learned to leave social media and electronics at home except the cellphone. It’s too much of a distraction and it takes away from the relax aspect.

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kristinerunningonhungry July 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Great guest post Courtney!! Chelsey you are on a roll with all of my fave bloggers guest posting this week! :) I totally agree with allll of the above!

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pure2rawtwins July 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

i agree with all your tips…having fun and letting lose a little is what vacation is all about

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Great tips! I think you pretty much covered everything. I’m a big fan of counting walking as exercise on vacation. I love exploring new cities that way!

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sara @ the foodie diaries July 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I love all of these do’s and don’ts! And both of your blogs!! :)

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Rachel July 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Wow, thanks for this! If only I had read it before taking my little vacation this past week, although I think I did pretty well.

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Allison (Allison's Delicious Life) July 21, 2011 at 12:57 am

I love this!!! I am going on vacation soon so I’ll keep these tips in mind :)

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breakfasttobed July 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

I really need to pay attention to the advice of this post. I am terrible at “vacationing.”

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Jackie @ That Deep Breath July 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Those are great tips! Some people focus too much on their diet and exercise when they go on vacation and it drives me crazy. You’re only on vacation for a limited amount of time. Enjoy yourself!

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Kate Yancho July 27, 2011 at 9:19 am

These are such great reminders! Thanks for the insights. I often stress about vacation because it takes me so far off my normal routine, but it is important to keep it in perspective!

Thanks again!

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