How to Stay on Track in Vacation Mode: Our Top Tips

Tucson Nutrition Coach

Vacation. An opportunity to get away from the daily grind, relax, and enjoy a new and fun location. Many times, we also associate this time with a “free-for-all” when it comes to our nutrition. Getting out of our normal routine, lots of eating out, and possibly even the stress of being around family in close quarters can add up to thousands of excess calories, totally derail our progress, and make us so sluggish that we can’t truly enjoy the experience.

So how do we keep up with our healthy habits when we are in vacation mode? Here are our top ten tips to help you stay on track when it comes to your nutrition when you are away from home.

Snack well

Stash good snack options for the car or plane ride. Bars, protein powder and shaker bottle, applesauce packets, jerky, beet chips, rice cakes and nut butter, etc. Make sure you have plenty of quick and easy healthy options between meals on hand.

Hit the grocery store

As soon as you arrive at your destination, head to the grocery store. This is a sure way to have access to nutrient-rich foods throughout your trip. Stock up on less processed whole foods like lean sources of protein, lots of fruits and vegetables, and some good sources of complex carbs like sweet potatoes or Ezekiel bread.

Eat In

Try to eat in at least once a day. Usually breakfast is a good meal to start with. Have a kitchen where you are staying? Great! That makes it easier to prepare food like you would at home. Even if you don’t have a kitchen, grab some instant oatmeal that you can make in your hotel room with a little hot water and fruit like apples, bananas, or oranges.

Drink water

Make sure you’re staying properly hydrated will help you curb cravings and keep hunger and unnecessary snacking to a minimum. It really is one of the best things you can do to help you lose weight and stay on track no matter what the situation.

Choose Wisely

When eating out (which typically is a necessity when traveling) stick with items on menus that have been steamed, grilled, or baked. Avoid words like sautéed and fried, which usually means the oil and fat has been packed on. Order dressings and sauces on the side.

Get some exercise

Aim for at least 15-30 minutes of mindful movement a day. This can be a walk, home workout, or even check out out your hotel gym. Most gyms in hotels now have some free weights and a few machines that can get you a decent workout in a short amount of time.

Enjoy a treat

Think about some special “treats” you don’t want to miss out on; special foods that are unique to your destination. Plan ahead and eat lots of good quality food throughout the day before you indulge and while you eat, enjoy it! Then get back on track at your next meal.

Don’t starve yourself

Avoid “saving” calories for later. Throughout the day, eat normally with lots of lean protein, nutrient dense vegetables full of fiber, and complex carbs. This way, you won’t be as tempted to overdo it later because you have let yourself get too hungry.

Plan and prepare

If you are in a situation when you would normally splurge and go overboard, STOP AND THINK for a few seconds. Ask yourself: “Do I really WANT to eat this?” Sometimes it is easy to go crazy with so much temptation everywhere and more often than not, if you stop and process how you feel, you might just realize you don’t even want the food (and the inevitable upset stomach afterwards). This can avoid a lot of excess calories!


That’s what vacation is all about, right? Above all take a deep breath and enjoy your vacation! Find fun and different ways to explore, be active, and move. This is not the time to stress about every detail. Appreciate the opportunity to get away with your family or friends and get right back on track when you get home!

Want more support? We specialize in helping our nutrition clients make good decisions when it comes to their eating and lifestyle. Click the link below to learn more about how we can help you be healthier and happier than ever before!

Tucson Nutrition Coach

Karen Hazelton is Precision Nutrition Level One Certified and a Healthy Steps Nutrition Coach. Her sports background is in tennis, and through hard work and dedication she earned a Division One tennis scholarship to University of Northern Colorado. An important component of her training was developing strength in the weight room. Being physically strong and having a good foundation of metabolic conditioning was essential to playing her best on the court. After earning a degree in mathematics, she moved back to her hometown of Tucson and became a high school math teacher.

Karen loved her work as a teacher, but after taking time out of the classroom to raise her two young kids, she realized how she missed coaching and working with athletes. That led her to obtain her training and nutrition certifications. She loves to see members use fitness and nutrition to become stronger, happier, and healthier versions of themselves.