How To Stay Healthy on Holiday


Holidays are usually filled with lots of food and drink and relaxing and that is what makes them so amazing, but it can be easy to overdo it. Take a look at my tips on how to stay healthy, but still enjoy your holiday.

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I am all for taking time away from your regular eating and workout routine when you are on holiday, as that is what a holiday is, a break away from what you usually do. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to be eating 5000 calories a day or to be totally inactive. Looking after your health is important at all times. Also, I took a few trips during my weight loss and for me to just totally take a week or 2 off would have had a huge impact on my weight loss. In the past, I have been on trips where I have gained 10lbs+ and it has taken me so long to get it off again. With some small changes, like the ones below, I can still fully enjoy my trip, but come home just 1-2lbs heavier, rather than 10lbs.

  • Eat at home before you get on the plane – Most people start their excess holiday eating before they even arrive at their destination. Airports are full of unhealthy choices (although airports are getting better) like fast food and fat filled sandwiches and let’s be honest, they usually taste like crap anyway, so I just see that as a waste of calories. Either take your own food to the airport, or for shorting flights, you can eat at home before you leave and you won’t need to eat again until you arrive. Also pack some healthy snacks like nuts, seeds and fruit in case you get hungry on the flight, so you are not tempted by the overpriced and tasteless sandwich or a pot of Pringles.
  • Drink lots of water – Chances are, you are going to be having your holiday in a hot country. This means your body will require more water than it would at home. Your body often confuses hunger for dehydration, so when you start craving yet more food, have a bottle of water and wait 20 minutes to see if the hunger pangs go away. Keeping hydrated will also keep your skin looking great, which will go well with that tan you will be coming home with.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks as much as possible – Fizzy drinks are full of sugar and are just wasted calories in my opinion. You will be drinking because you are thirsty, so during the day, stick to water to keep you hydrated and save the fizzy drinks for the mixers to your cocktails later that night. Diet drinks are no better either, as they are full of artificial sweeteners.
  • Sightseeing is a workout too – Grab a guide book, get off that sunbed and go explore the area you have travelled on holiday to. If there is a castle on top of a hill, go hike to the top of it. The view alone will be worth it, and your legs will thank you for it too. Whilst on holiday, try to walk everywhere. You will get to see lots of new places, get some fantastic photo opportunities and you will burn off lots of calories so you can treat yourself a little bit more.
    We always try to go on some kind of walking tour when we are away, as it is a great way to see the destination and stay active at the same time. We have used Attraction Tix to book walking tours and I would really recommend them. The tours are interesting, the guides are really knowledgeable and some of the tours allow you to get in to the attractions early, which means you beat the crowds.
  • Make use of the hotel pool and the sea – Swimming is a fantastic workout and with most hotels having a great pool, you should make the most of it. As well as being a great way to cool down after sitting out in the sun, doing 20 minutes in the pool each day will compensate for that 10th cocktail you had the night before. As well as swimming, buy some inflatables for the pool and have fun. Jumping on and off of an inflatable crocodile and having an inflatable lilo battle with your friends has to burn off some calories!
  • Try new sports – Chances are, there will be lots of opportunities to try new activities whilst on holiday that will definitely help burn off a few calories. Are there water sports available at the beach, like surfing, windsurfing or canoeing? Has the hotel organised volleyball or tennis matches? Get involved!
  • Don’t overdo it on the ice creams – The first thing I think of when the weather turns warm (apart from applying lots of sun lotion, of course) is ice cream.  Whilst you should satisfy that craving on holiday and enjoy a treat, be careful not to overdo it. It is easy for eat 4 or 5 of those a day on holiday, especially if you are all-inclusive. It’s hot and you are thirsty and you think an ice cream is the perfect thing to help that. At around 300 calories each, it can soon add up. Water will cool you down much more, but if you really want something cold and sweet, go for a fruit juice based ice lolly instead.
  • Be careful of the buffet – If you have meals included at your hotel, there will most likely be a buffet. Chances are, the food will be a little different to what you are used to eating at home, so the desire to want to try all the new things can be tempting and lead you to eating 7 plates piled with food each meal. There is also the need to “get your moneys worth”. Again, you are on holiday so eating a little more is fine, but do you really need a 3rd plate of food? Holiday or not, there is only a certain amount of food that your body needs.
    Try to fill up on salads and vegetables at the buffet and have a little bit of all the things you want, rather than full portions.
  • Make the most of all that fresh food – Being in a coastal resort means lots of fresh fish. Make the most of it and enjoy it with a big salad. Also take the opportunity to sample local fruits and vegetables you might not have at home.
  • Choose your indulgences carefully – You are going to splurge, that is a given, so choose wisely. Make sure what ever you are treating yourself too, is something you really want. There is no point overeating for something you didn’t overly enjoy, just because it was there.
  • Keep your skin protected – Staying healthy isn’t just about what you eat and your workouts. Make sure you are using sun cream and keeping your skin protected too. Healthy skin is important!

The most important thing is to relax and enjoy yourself. Just make a few healthy changes, don’t eat for the sake of it, and stay active with fun activities. Don’t beat yourself up if you get home and have gained weight. Just look back at your holiday photos and remind yourself what a good time you had, and then get yourself back into a healthy routine and start preparing for the next holiday.

What are your tips for being healthy on holiday? Leave a comment below.

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  1. says

    Whenever I got on a long plane trip, I take blueberries and grapes with me. They are easy to pack and don’t get too mushy when it’s been out of the refrigerator. Also, I have wanted to try this many times, but haven’t been able to just yet. What a great idea to get people active, while learning about the city. Other cities do bike tours, as well.

    • Dannii says

      I have seen those tours before – they are awesome. I try to take watermelon with me, as it’s really refreshing.

  2. says

    Great advice! To me, holiday is a time to restore energy, to feel really healthy again. I am always inspired to exercise a lot (because I love to do it, and have the energy to do it without having to work all day!), and am not really tempted to eat crappy food- because I don’t like it anyway! But, it’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I didn’t always feel this way about vacation time!

  3. Julie says

    At buffets, the desserts are usually in little mini portions, so I pick a couple of the ones that I really want and I stick to those.

  4. Naomi says

    I just try not to stress about it. I eat a little more than usual, but I stick to my workouts. I have never gained more than a couple of lbs when I am away and it always comes off pretty quickly when I am back.

  5. Ruth says

    I like the one about eating before you get to the airport. Airport food is so overpriced and makes me feel crappy of the flight too.

  6. says

    I make sure I walk *everywhere* when I go away. Even if I can’t eat great, it helps to keep me healthy :) Although nowadays I usually pick somewhere I know I can get fresh produce or self cater.

    • Dannii says

      Yeah, if we do a short haul city break, then we rent an apartment so we can at least make our own healthy breakfast. But with places like the Caribbean, it is a bit more difficult, but luckily their hotel buffets have so much healthy food.

  7. says

    I somehow manage to LOOSE weight while I’m on vacations. I think because I am always so GOGOGO that it just naturally happens! I don’t complain. :)

    • Dannii says

      I lost weight when I was in Prague – because of all the walking. But a 2 week all inclusive holiday is usually a little different.

  8. says

    We always share things between the two of us- eg if we want an ice cream we get a cup with a scoop and share it- it saves money too! I think often all you need is a little bit of something to feel satisfied.

  9. Claire says

    I love doing water sports like kayaking when I am away. I can’t just lay on a sun bed all day, I get bored.

  10. Melanie says

    I just discovered your blog and at the perfect time as well as I am going to Spain for the week on Monday and I really don’t want to gain too much weight, as I have lost 20 lbs recently.

  11. says

    These are all great tips!! I especially nodded along to drink lots of water and avoid fizzy beverages. I’m not always the best at doing that myself…but I always feel better when I stay strong!

  12. says

    The best thing I do to stay healthy on vacations is by making it an active one. I hardly ever limit my food or pick/choose indulgences just because I think that’s the best time to just eat what you want and really experience the area. But it’s also super easy to see most places by foot or through a run/bike ride. And if not, there are usually activities you can book that are active. Water is a good one – I fail at that! And I tend to drink more alcohol on trips. Those are two things to definitely work on

  13. says

    Hey lady!!
    You are my inspiration! I have been on vacation non stop for awhile now and I kept thinking I should write about being healthy on vacay–but I couldn’t think of anything brilliant.
    You put this into words REALLY well and helped me realize that I was a lot healthier than I thought haha. Thanks girlfriend, I may have to use your idea for a post soon–and mention your genius. Take care!!

    • Dannii says

      Yes, definitely when flying. If I don’t drink loads of water, my face is all puffy by the end of the flight.

  14. says

    I agree, always, always eat at home before you leave or take something with you. I spent a long weekend away with all of my friends and knew there would be a lot of food. So I packed up sandwiches from home for dinner on the drive up and also packed a cooler filled with fresh fruit, veggies and snacks. Sure, I had some other goodies, but just SOME. Not all and not for every meal.

  15. says

    Great tips Dannii! For me there is nothing worse than going on vacation and coming back and realizing you gained weight. Vacations are awesome but they don’t mean you need to totally ditch a healthy lifestyle.

  16. Jane says

    I find that I usually eat better when I am on holiday, with all the local foods that are much fresher than I have at home. I eat a lot of fish and salad on holiday.

  17. Natasha says

    I always make sure my whole family get involved with the hotel activities. We have essentially paid for them anyway, so might as well make the most of it. Plus, it burns off some of those calories.

  18. Angie says

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I am going on a 2 week all inclusive holiday next week and I really don’t want to undo all my hard work, so I shall be following these tips.

  19. Hillary says

    The buffet is always my problem. I just can’t stop myself from going back for more until the point that I feel sick.

  20. says

    Great tips. When I travel, I try to take as few vehicular tours as possible (unless really worth it)–save your money and get out there and really explore. I thought about this the other day–lay your head in your hotel, put your feet to the ground. You not only get the activity in, but you really get an experience. Eating wise, I just try to stay balanced, and I try to eat the things that are native to region–boeuf bourguignon and frogs’ legs in Paris, thin, crispy pizza in Rome, seafood on the coast. And just as for things without butter–you really don’t need it if you are using local ingredients!

  21. says

    ohhh . . . icecream! You nailed it! That is usually my one big indulgence when on vacation! Great reminder . . . all the “little” cones add up! Great post!

  22. Becca says

    My tip would be to have a bottle of water in between each alcoholic drink. That way you drink less and have less of a hangover the next day.