Eating on Vacation

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WOOOO. Where is my afternoon going? Work’s going to be over before I know it, and I have a LOT to do!


Mid-morning snack was a handful of nuts and raisins.


When we buy nuts and raisins, we get them from Costco in 5 lb. bags.  The Husband portions out trail mixes into little ziploc baggies so we can grab and go — I love it!


Lunch was kind of lame…. I’m running out of groceries!


Two slices of WW toast with cottage cheese and pepper.  With carrots sticks on the side.


Eating on Vacation


If you missed part one of the "Vacation" tips, check out this post!


So, although I am a pretty good vacation exerciser, I’m not a stellar vacation eater.  I take the same approach to vacation eating for short trips as I do exercising — if it’s just a weekend away, I’m more likely to eat whatever I want.  If it’s a longer trip, I do try to control myself more.


The honeymoon was the worst example of eating!  But it was excusable because it was our honeymoon.  I ate, drank, and dessert-ed myself to the point of regret.  When I came home to discover that I had gained 4 pounds in 10 days, I wasn’t very happy.


So, although it’s nice to enjoy myself food-wise on vacation, I also don’t want to feel like I’m undoing all my hard work. 


Here are my Eating on Vacation tips:


  • Plan a few "special meals" in advance.  I find it’s easier to stick with healthy eating if you know you’re going out to a really nice restaurant the next day.
  • BUT don’t treat every meal like a "special meal."  Reserve the splurge meals for that fancy dinner out, not boring old breakfasts in the hotel (this was my biggest mistake on the honeymoon).
  • Skim restaurant websites for nutritional information and plan your meals in advance, when possible.  My trouble with eating on vacation is that most meals are eaten out. Knowledge is power!
  • Split desserts with your vacation companion.  Desserts are practically a KEY aspect of vacationing, so don’t skip them — just enjoy them in moderation.
  • Drink wisely.  All you drinkers out there know what I mean!  For me, there are vacation moments during which I would like to have more than my fair share of booze. Don’t waste booze calories on a glass of wine with lunch.  🙂
  • Pack snacks so you have something healthy to eat when exploring your vacation spot.
  • Watch liquid calories.  Beyond the booze, I know that I am more likely to get special coffees and whatnot when I’m on vacation.  These add up fast, and they aren’t worth it usually!
  • At buffets, load up on steamed veggies, clear-broth soups, and salads.  When the opportunity arises to get in some low-calorie but high-fiber munchies, take it!


Do you have any other tips for me and other vacationers?



  • d.a.r. March 18, 2009, 10:39 am

    Drink lots of water!!! That is my problem away from home, it is so easy to forget my normal hydration and mistake thirst for hunger.

  • therunningaddict March 18, 2009, 10:42 am

    This post and the previous one are great! So much of what you say is totally right – especially the exercising first thing in the AM. The food is definitely a difficulty…

  • Adventures in Newlywed March 18, 2009, 10:43 am

    Protein for breakfast, salad for lunch, and whatever you want for dinner! I drink with lunch and dinner while on vacation (typically), so I would rather have a lighter breakfast and lunch to make up for the extra booze calories 🙂

  • VeggieGirl March 18, 2009, 10:43 am

    Tips = enjoy and savor!!

  • Amanda March 18, 2009, 10:44 am

    Often, we will stop at a grocery store first thing after we check into our hotel. We either bring a foldable cooler or buy a cheapo one at the store and stock up on fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc. to pack snacky lunches (especially if we are at the beach). It saves money, a trip back to the house, and calories!! I would much rather graze on light stuff all day than eat a cheeseburger when I’m in my bathing suit 🙂

  • Sara March 18, 2009, 10:50 am

    This and your last post are awesome! All your tips are great. Thanks for posting them!

  • Sarah W. March 18, 2009, 11:02 am

    my hubbys mom does a trail mix using the peanuts, raisins and semi sweet choc chips from costco! yum!

    no vacation tips here – I’m the WORST vacationer!

  • haya March 18, 2009, 11:03 am

    we usually take a cooler with healthy snacks (fruits and veg for example) and things like a loaf of bread, maybe some cheese etc to have for lunches.
    when i’m on a special vacation, i try to have only one “meal” out per day (either lunch or dinner but not really both) – for the other meal we would just have light sandwiches or other snacks from the cooler. i guess this only works if you’re driving, but even if you fly in, you could always stop at a grocery store and pick up what you need.

    it’s not only a good eating healthy tip but also good for saving $

  • Brandi March 18, 2009, 11:06 am

    great tips!

    definitely choose the splurges – some are worth it, and some aren’t.

    find out if the area you’re visiting has special dishes they’re known for – splurge on those instead of just random things you can get other places. Ex: Hot Brown in Louisville – not healthy, but holy man 🙂 That trip was worth that alone!

  • Matt March 18, 2009, 11:07 am

    Thanks for the vacation tips!

  • Missy March 18, 2009, 11:10 am

    Great tips! I find that it can be helpful to bring my own oatmeal packets for breakfast instead of eating everything in site at the breakfast buffet! If I see bacon, french toast, and pancakes in front of me…there is no way I can just walk by!!

  • Runningwithin March 18, 2009, 11:19 am

    I second the grocery store tip! I know that when I go visit family in Indiana, they do NOT have things like fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal, which to me are staples. So the first thing I do is hit up a grocery store for necessities. A good breakfast and having fruit on hand is so important.

    Also, I just started my own blog! Your blog is one of my absolute favorites, would you mind if I added you to my blogroll?


  • *One Step at a Time* March 18, 2009, 11:21 am

    Great tips!! Another I can think of is to continue to eat on a regular schedule. If you skip lunch or breakfast one day, you might over-do dinner and that is never good! 🙂

  • Jess March 18, 2009, 11:24 am

    I agree with saving your splurges for local items! For me, that’s definitely part of the fun of traveling – why spend the calories on something you can get at home any old time?

    I also read someplace to save your “special” meal out for the last day you are on vacation. You have something to look forward to and it doesn’t become a daily habit! I’ve tried it and it has definitely worked for me!

  • Bi0nicw0man March 18, 2009, 11:44 am

    Having just returned from vacation I’d say a couple of things that worked or I learned were:

    – drink lots of water…especially if you are drinking alcohol

    – load half your plate with fruits or veggies before getting the rest of your meal (we mainly ate buffet)

    – eat enough protein at breakfast that you only need a small lunch

    – bring a few granola bars or something similar for those moments when all you really need is something to tide you over…so you don’t end up ordering something way bigger than you need

  • Erin March 18, 2009, 11:48 am

    I love these tips. I do best when I can eat breakfast and lunch in the room and enjoy dinner out, but thats not always possible.

  • Run Saraaah March 18, 2009, 12:29 pm

    Great additional tips…I am probably going on a cruise for our honeymoon and the food there can be soooo rich…and also not what my body is used to.

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) March 18, 2009, 12:52 pm

    Kind of a financial and healthy eating tip…eat only one meal out a day and make that your biggest meal. Then have mini-meals/snacks the rest of the day comprised of fresh fruit and veggies and lean protein.

  • jesslikesithot March 18, 2009, 12:55 pm

    Going after the main food groups ya need in a meal like veggies, carbs, fruits, protein first in a meal is always smart to stick with, because then if you are still hungry after eating all of the basics, then feel free to enjoy a yummy dessert, but if you are full then you can probably live without it!

    right!? haha!

  • Sarah March 18, 2009, 12:59 pm

    Love your vacation tips! My only other tip is to carry your water bottle everywhere… definitely helps curb the hunger and keeps you hydrated!

  • Bec March 18, 2009, 1:03 pm

    eating your own breakfasts/doing picnic lunch really help + save money, also plan ‘physical’ activates like walking or biking places!

  • Danielle March 18, 2009, 1:16 pm

    Great tips! In early May I’ll be going away for 10 days to NC. I’m really excited because we are renting a house so most of our meals can be prepared at home. But I will definitely plan a little for some nights out. Do you have any tips for long car rides? We have a 9 hour drive, what are some good snacks that travel well?

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina March 18, 2009, 1:26 pm

    great tips!!!!

  • Yasmin March 18, 2009, 3:14 pm

    Do as much walking and sight-seeing as possible!

  • K March 18, 2009, 3:15 pm

    Lunch is so not lame – I love cottage cheese 🙂

    I think your list pretty much covers it! I pack SO many snacks it’s unreal!

  • kara March 18, 2009, 3:46 pm

    Another thing that I like to think about is getting EITHER a drink, an appetizer, or dessert (the last 2 would be shared). Kind of easy to overdo it with all of them.

  • Adi ( March 18, 2009, 5:41 pm

    Great tips Caitlin, thanks!

    Most of all though — enjoy your vacation!

  • Leanne March 18, 2009, 5:43 pm

    Great tips! I go on mini vacations quite a bit (going home included), so it’s important to me to stay on track. Hope you have fun!

  • bhealthier March 18, 2009, 7:32 pm

    nice tips!

    hmm… water for sure. drink a glass before you eat to prep your digestion and help your stomach out.

    ENJOY YOURSELF! enjoy what you normally wouldn’t because it is special to where you are… don’t get all whacked out crazy like- but enjoy key lime pie in key west or napa valley wine in CA… you know the idea- Eastern Carolina BBQ in Eastern Carolina! primanti sandwiches in the burg… oh i miss my home now.

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 19, 2009, 5:00 am

    Great tips!

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