Planning for a Fall Vacation it seems I either overload our schedule with rainy hikes, pre-planned yoga routines, and my own downloaded workout videos OR I pack piles of dairy and sugar filled treats, and bring endless DVD’s to watch, all with the express purpose to just “take a break!” It’s easy to forget that activity can be a break, and that indulgence and rest is important, both ends of the spectrum have their place. A healthy vacation is one that can leave you feeling rested, full, and just as good (or better!) feeling as when you arrived.
Fall vacations pose their own difficulty, right out of the gate, because the ease of activity happening daily at a pool, or walks through the beach or town, or one gorgeous hike, is quickly eliminated when the rain starts to pour. A summer getaway is fairly easy to stack the deck in your favor: fresh fruits, walking to explore where you are, daily swims or a few laps before you head up for a shower. Leaving a cozy, stormy, fall beach getaway, feeling worse for the wear, is far more common.
I wanted to share a few tips I found helpful on our recent getaway to a rainy, sleepy, beach town.
First: Water. It can feel hard to remember to drink water on Vacation. You aren’t in your typical setting with the reminders, reasons (water cooler break? Sitting down for another snack time with kiddos?), and norm’s that can help you stay hydrated at home. So, be proactive. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen snag a glass, and water, when you very first arrive. Helping your brain realize that water is a good drink to grab, in this environment, is helpful to set you up to reach for it again. It also ensures that you know where/how to get water quickly for the rest of the trip. If that feels too tough to get you going, bring a new water bottle, or set a timer on your phone. Travel is dehydrating (car or plane!) and getting a couple extra glasses of water is important.
Second: Pack your food! As much as possible, bring your own foods to prepare. We nearly always stay somewhere with a kitchen. With AirBnB and VRBO being as popular as they are now, it makes it pretty easy to find a condo or home to rent instead of a hotel. Having the ability to eat at “home” on vacation will keep your goals at the forefront, your family eating really well, and will save you SO much money! We spend about the same amount on 6 home made vacation meals as we would spend on two meals out with our family of four.
Third: This goes along with the second tip, but deserves it’s own heading. Meal Plan. Just like you would at home, but with some indulgences built in. For example, I planned meals and snacks that we would often have; Grilled Meat and a loaded salad, hummus and veggie snack plate, loaded hashbrowns and bacon, beet and kale salad. I also planned some treats, gluten free waffles and pumpkin spice syrup, and the big fun (that my daughters requested!) – chocolate fondu! It was a huge hit, we planned it for after a really veggie/meat heavy dinner, and how interactive of a dessert it was, made it extra fun!
Fourth: Bring your exercise clothes, yoga mat, and running shoes. I didn't end up going for a run, but I managed a couple of great yoga sessions out on the gorgeous balcony of our place. My goal was something active, each day, and I met that with some cold morning yoga that got my blood flowing. Setting an attainable activity goal held me accountable to movement, but didn’t set me up to feel like a failure when I didn’t manage a run. To help the kiddos stay healthy, active, and not have too much pent up energy we played active indoor games! We had dance parties, and cranked up their favorite music. We brought a big mat and had tumbling practice! I also brought along extra yoga mats the the kiddos and my husband all joined me for some morning yoga and stretching (at home our kids LOVE to do the Cosmic Kids Yoga videos on youtube, so we brought those to life on our vacation).
Fifth: Unplug. This past weekend our vacation was fully unplugged, and it was incredibly (embarrassingly) hard, but it helped me to achieve such a more relaxing time. I slept better, read an entire book, and found the space to actually sit and just look out the window at the water and think. I brought a notebook and wrote down goals, plans, and how I would incrementally achieve them. It was brain time I could only get to when I stopped giving it constant (or, near constant) input.
Stormy beach vacations are one of my favorites getaways, and being a PNW family means that we have ample opportunities to enjoy the beach this way, and it's far less expensive to plan a visit in the grey months than any other time of the year. Some of our best memories, vacations, and times of feeling really connected as a family have come from “cooped up” trips where we rarely leave the house. During this 72 hour getaway we went on one walk to town and on the beach that lasted under an hour, but we made amazing home cooked meals, moved and played and jumped around together (dance party!), and I enjoyed the space and refilling nature of yoga, a good book, and hot coffee on repeat.
Healthy and restful can go hand in hand, and meet the whole family's needs, so well. Also? Bonus that you don’t have to ride out the sugar and sleep fall out with your kiddos post trip! This morning we all woke at 6am, ready to work, with no vacation hang-over in sight!
What tips do you have to having a healthy fall vacation with your family?