Smart Ways To Stay Healthy On Family Holidays

Whether you have made a special effort to get fit for your holiday or it’s a regular part of your routine staying healthy on family holidays can be tough thanks to all of the temptation that you’ll find around you. We want to enjoy ourselves and relax, but keeping a few good habits while away can help prevent problems on holiday and will stop you from feeling run down and unhappy the second you land on home soil. 

A view along a beach towards villas and lots of footprints in the sand

Here are a few smart ways you can stay healthy on family holidays...

Stay Somewhere You Can Cook Your Own Food

If you can, booking accommodation with a little kitchen will mean you can make your own food. Making your own food means you can make meals your children are familiar with, you can make healthier food, worry less about food intolerances and you can save a fortune on eating out too. 

When you eat out you won’t always be able to find something healthy on the menu and you won’t know everything that goes into the dish plus a language barrier can make it harder to ask for more information. Aim to eat out just once or twice per day if you can, making food in your apartment or villa before you leave. Buying fruit and vegetables to snack on will help you keep up with your 5 a day and if you have a kitchen it means you can keep them fresher in the fridge. 

Research Before You Eat Out

Before you eat out somewhere, do your research to make sure it is good quality. For example, you could look on Tripadvisor to get a feel of the general rating of the restaurant. You could also see if they have a Facebook page. You can even get an idea by how full the restaurant is. If it’s empty and has been pretty empty all day, this could be an indication that the food isn’t up to scratch, but it isn’t the only thing you should consider.

Buying street food is a quick, cheap and often tasty way to eat, but you should make sure you only buy this food from areas with a lot of foot traffic, as the food will more than likely be freshly cooked. You don’t want to buy street food that has been sitting around for a while!  

See The Doctor Before You Go

Before you head off on your family holiday you might want to consider going to the doctor to make sure you’re all in good health to fly and get any advice you may need for the country you’re travelling to. Your doctor might recommend tablets to prevent malaria or give you some jabs, but you must make sure you visit with plenty of time as it could take the medication some time to work. You will also need to get travel insurance for the family including good medical cover. It’s worth paying a bit more money to ensure that if anyone is injured, luggage is lost or your flights are cancelled you get adequate compensation. If travelling in Europe you will need to apply for your European Health Insurance Card too.

Take Care Of Your Skin

If you’re travelling to a hot country or in summer it is so important to take care of everyone’s skin. Children’s skin is even more delicate than adults and if you have a baby under 6 months it’s recommended to keep them out of the sun completely. Stay out of the sun at the hottest times of day when the sun is strongest. This will usually be early afternoon, but make sure you do your research for the place you’re travelling to yourself. 

Everyone should apply high factor sunscreen every day, multiple times a day. Even if it is waterproof the cream will need to be reapplied after towel drying. Wearing protective clothing, such as hats, sunglasses and long loose clothes or SPF sunsuits will prevent further damage and discomfort.

Aftersun can help to soothe dehydrated skin after a day in the sun so it’s good to have some of that too. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than sunburn when you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself on holiday! 
A grinning toddler in a long sleeve SPF sun suit

Walk As Much As You Can

Explore your destination on foot as much as you can so you get those steps in and don’t have to worry too much about indulging in dinner and desert. It’s worth packing comfortable shoes so you can walk longer distances. If you have older children, you could go exploring with walking tours, on hikes, up mountains, in parks - there’s usually no end to the amount of places you can explore on family holidays. Water sports and swimming are other great options to get the exercise in, and it will keep everyone cool too!

Drink Plenty Of Water 

Stay hydrated on holidays by making sure everybody has a bottle of water with them at all times. Drinking tap water in some countries may make people unwell or just taste unusual as the mineral content isn’t the same as back home. You can usually buy big bottles of water in supermarkets for not much money which you can then keep in your apartment and take out in smaller bottles. Everybody should aim to drink a couple of litres per day, but this can vary depending on age, how active everybody is and the temperature. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to have a drink, and make sure you tell your kids the same. It’s all too easy to become dehydrated and develop health issues when you’re not drinking enough water. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol are dehydrating so water is a better option. 

Listen To Your Body

Try to listen to your body on holiday. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you’re full. It can be tough when there are large portions and free nibbles on the table, but try and remind yourself not to eat mindlessly or for the sake of it. 

Aim To Keep Up Your Five A Day

Try to keep up your five a day on holiday. See if you can order separate portions of vegetables with meals and encourage everybody to have some. Buy fresh fruit to snack on, and have juice in the morning. Fruit is often so fresh and delicious on holiday that it feels like a treat. Allow yourself and your family some indulgences, but try to make smart choices where possible too. You could adopt a ‘one treat a day’ mentality for other treats eg one dessert after dinner. 

Don’t Over Think It

Although you want to stay healthy on holiday, don’t let it be the focus of your holiday. You’re not going to be able to stick to the same schedule you would at home, you’ll go to bed later, work out less and spend more time relaxing (hopefully). Vegetables will be there when you get home, as will the gym and sleep. The worst thing you can do is stress about being unhealthy when you’re trying to enjoy your holiday! Do your best to make smart decisions, but don’t let it impact your time negatively. Enjoy yourself

You might want to also check out these tips on how to keep kids safe in the car in hot weather.

***Disclosure: This is a collaborative post***

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