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A vacation is a perfect opportunity to de-stress, recharge your batteries, and have some fun, but, unfortunately, it is also an opportunity to be incredibly unhealthy. Being on vacation doesn’t give you an excuse to ditch your exercise routine or healthy eating plan, but that doesn’t stop all of the holiday goers that do just this. If you want to truly enjoy yourself while you’re away, and return home with a new lease of life, then staying healthy is absolutely essential. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy when you go off on your next vacation.

Adjust Your Bedtime

Jet lag is one of the biggest troubles that many of us face while we’re away, and it can really knock you for six if you don’t properly prepare yourself for the time change. You can do this by gradually adjusting your sleeping pattern a few days before you leave. If you’re flying west, you should go to bed an hour later, but if you’re heading east, then it’s an hour earlier. When you get to your destination, you need to adapt to the new time by staying awake until it gets dark, regardless of the time back home, and eating meals when you normally would.

Prepare for The Worst

Anything could happen while you’re away, so it’s important to prepare for as many disasters as you possibly can. For example, you could start suffering from really bad headaches, in which case you would need some painkillers. You could also fall over and cut yourself, so packing a small first aid kit is always sensible. If you’re heading off somewhere sunny, then sunscreen is a must, and if you’re going somewhere with unpredictable weather, pack waterproof clothing, so you don’t get soaked and come down with a cold.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to drink plenty of water while you’re away, but this is especially true if you’re heading somewhere hot or you’re going to be doing a lot of physical activity. Do some research to find out if you can drink the tap water where you’re going, and if you can’t, make sure to only buy bottled water from inside stores and not from on the street. The air in your aeroplane will likely be dry and stale, so if you want to avoid a headache on your journey, you should take a bottle with you, and skip alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

Protect Your Skin

If you’re heading somewhere sunny, you need to make sure that you take proper care of your skin. You can get advice on how to do this from your local skin cancer clinic, but most of this advice is just common sense, like using sunscreen every time you go out. You should also make sure to reapply sunscreen when the bottle recommends, and use after sun when you get back to the hotel. Also, stay in the shade as much as you can, and avoid going out around midday when the sun is at its highest.

Plan Your Breakfasts

If you’re lucky enough to have an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast while you’re away, then you are going to need to exercise a great deal of restraint. Of course, you’re going to want to try every single dish the hotel has to offer on your first day, but this isn’t healthy and will make you feel sick. Instead, choose a day for cereal, a day for fruit and pastries, and a day for a cooked breakfast, and soon enough you’ll have tried everything. Make sure you also stick to normal meal portions.

Limit Your Meals Out

If you have somewhere in your accommodation that you can prepare meals, then you should do this as much as you can, rather than eat out for every meal. If there isn’t, then you can grab some healthy foods from a nearby store and prepare a healthy picnic each day. When you do eat out, make sure that you go to restaurants that serve nutritious meals with lots of vegetables, instead of opting for fatty fast food chains.

Walk When Possible

You may not want to hit the gym while you’re off on your vacation, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay active and get in as much exercise as you can. You can do this by taking part in physical activities, like surfing, swimming, and kayaking, and by walking as much as you can. Of course, there are going to be some places that are too far away, in which case you can use public transport, but use your legs as much as you can. You can see the sights much better that way anyway.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake

You’re probably going to have a few drinks while you’re away, and that’s fine, just be sure that a few drinks don’t turn into you crawling back to the hotel at five in the morning. Alcohol is full of calories, so drinking every day of your vacation isn’t a great idea if you’re trying to be healthy. Drinking also leads to dehydration, which is the last thing you want to endure while you’re trying to have a good time away.

Take Time Out

You’re going to want to pack as much into your trip as possible, but don’t pack in too much that you wear yourself out. After all, you’re not going to be able to enjoy yourself if you’re constantly exhausted. Instead, leave gaps in your plans to do nothing and relax. If you’re traveling with a group or as a couple, you can use this time to have some alone time and recharge your social batteries before your next outing.

You aren’t supposed to come home from a vacation feeling tired and sick, but you will do if you don’t take proper care of yourself. Staying healthy while you’re away from home isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is possible, and the tips above can help you do it yourself on your next trip.

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