How To Eat Healthy When You’re On Vacation

I recently took a mom-cation to Orlando, and it was glorious. 3 days, no kids, and I got to attend an amazing conference before heading home.

My time away made me realize how much you can really recharge on vacation.

Escaping the everyday routine and getting to relax and destress is a great way to shake things up when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

But, if you’re committed to eating better, you might find yourself faced with a few challenges while you’re traveling that aren’t so fun to deal with.

Eating healthy on vacation can be surprisingly tricky. I will totally cop to struggling to stay on track during my 6 days in Orlando.

I mean, Epcot Food & Wine isn’t exactly built for diets (though you can definitely find healthy options if you look for them).

Then I quickly realized that my plan of eating my way through the world was faulty.

Y’all. When you’re in a vacation mindset, it can be hard to convince yourself to make smart choices. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to make healthy eating easier when you’re on vacation. Learning how to eat healthy when on vacation takes discipline and planning. Let me share how to eat healthier when you’re away. 

Learning How To Eat Healthy When On Vacation

how to eat healthy

Stay Somewhere with a Kitchen

This wasn’t something I was able to do this trip, but in the past when we’ve traveled as a family, having access to a kitchen is a must.

While many people consider the fact that they don’t have to cook a highlight of going on vacation, eating every single meal at restaurants can quickly pack on unwanted pounds.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you have a kitchen handy is to rent an Airbnb or VRBO (Use the Airbnb Link to save up to $47 on your first booking). If you’re doing Disney, some of the family suites have small kitchens, so it is possible!

You can take it a step further by pre-planning and placing an order through your favorite grocery delivery app straight to your hotel room.

That way you’ll have everything you need to cook healthy meals from the comfort of your vacation rental.

Make Smart Choices at Restaurants

how to eat healthier when traveling

I ate out for six whole days, y’all. There is no way I could have done that if I’d only eaten junk.

It’s silly to assume that you’ll go off and relax and not enjoy a few meals out (or all of them in some cases).

When you do find yourself at a restaurant, consider your options carefully before placing your order. If you’re not sure about ingredients (I do not handle gluten well), don’t be afraid to ask.

I’m often one who asks for a side salad or steamed veggies instead of mashed potatoes. I have yet to get too much side-eye from anyone except my kids.

Remember, you don’t have to opt for the deep-fried dish every time. I was able to find plenty of healthy foods that weren’t deep fried, like scallops, jerk chicken, and sausages (yes, I totally ate the potatoes, too).

Bring Healthy Snacks With You

I made sure to bring beef sticks, dried fruit, and a bottle of water with me during my days in the parks.

It makes everything so much easier! And it’s something we do regardless of whether we’re with the kids or not.

Most places – even Disney – will let you bring food along, so you’ve got no excuse for relying on overpriced, overly-processed snacks.

Plan to bring easy-to-carry snacks like trail mix, granola bars, veggie chips, and even fresh fruit.

Think about things that are easy to eat on the go so you’re prepared when hunger strikes. 

Everything in Moderation

how do i eat healthy when traveling

Part of why I travel is to experience the food, which means that staying away from dining out altogether just isn’t going to happen.

If you enjoy regional cuisine (or head to Food & Wine), you shouldn’t deny yourself the opportunity to try some specialties – even when those things aren’t quite healthy (like the fried hummus sticks pictured here).

By taking steps to ensure the majority of your meals are fairly balanced and nutritious, you won’t feel bad when you decide to splurge and savor whatever it is you’ve been craving. 

Drink More Water

It is amazing how many people order things other than water when they dine out. Sure, I enjoyed quite a few delicious cocktails during my trip. I made sure that I was alternating my drinks with water, and that the amount of water consumed more than doubled the amount of everything else.

Water is the best way to stay hydrated. Plus it doesn’t come loaded with unnecessary calories in the form of sugars. Take a water bottle with you, like one of these amazing hydroflasks that will stay cool, even in places like Orlando, to save even more versus purchasing water all day long. Plus, it’s better for the planet!

It’s perfectly fine to opt for a different beverage every once in a while! If you’re accustomed to exclusively ordering sodas or other beverages when you eat at restaurants, you might find yourself drinking a lot more. Not to mention adding a lot of calories to your daily intake.

Keep these tips in mind as you gear up for your next vacation. You won’t do too much damage to the numbers on the scale when you return.

How do you and your family eat healthy when you’re on vacation?

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