How to Stay Healthy on Vacation So You Can Make the Most of Your Time Away


While vacations are an opportunity to escape the stresses of everyday life, they don’t have to be an escape from healthy living. Whether planning an adventure in the great outdoors, a visit to the big city or a simple family reunion, consider how to stay healthy on vacation with these practical tips.

How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

Vacations can sometimes come with temptations to overeat or splurge on unhealthy foods. While an occasional treat can be part of your getaway, opt for healthy eating to help fuel your family with steady energy.

  • Sample the local cuisine. Foods made from fresh ingredients help you experience the local culture — and eat healthier.
  • Bring your own snacks. Fill small, zip-close bags with raisins, dry cereal, carrots, pretzels, nuts or granola bars for between-meal munching. By having healthy alternatives, you’ll be less tempted to buy sugary snacks.
  • Split a meal. When dining out, consider sharing an entree with someone else in the family to avoid overeating.
  • Cook your own food. If you can stay somewhere with a kitchen, you can plan and prepare your own healthy meals.
  • Stay hydrated. Are you planning to head to the beach or hike a new trail? Drink plenty of water, especially in warm weather or when physically active. Limit sodas, coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks.
Summer Vacation Safety Tips

A day at the beach without sunscreen or an accident can lead to painful days for the remainder of your trip. When considering how to stay healthy on vacation, follow some common-sense safety tips to help create wonderful — and pain-free — vacation memories for years to come.

  • Protect your skin. Before outdoor fun, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen thoroughly and regularly, even on cloudy days. Protect your eyes with a hat and sunglasses.
  • Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Always supervise your children, especially around water.
  • Always wear a seat belt and bring your child’s car seat or booster seat.
  • During recreational activities, use appropriate safety gear such as life jackets, goggles, bike helmets and knee pads.
  • Plan some downtime. Avoid burnout by allowing time for rest and renewal with naps, board games, walks or other low-key activities.
Vacation Packing List for Family Getaways

Packing the essentials can help save money and reduce interruptions to your vacation. You can prevent a trip to an unfamiliar pharmacy or expensive airport shop when you already have what you need. It can also help you be prepared for an unexpected illness on your trip.

  • Medical supplies: Pack a bag with medical supplies your family uses regularly, including devices — such as an inhaler or EpiPen® auto-injector — and common medications — like allergy medication, over-the-counter pain relievers, motion sickness medication and medications for an upset stomach.
  • Health plan information: Bring your health plan card, health care provider contact information, allergies list and medical history if needed.
  • Destination-related necessities: Pack items that may be useful for the beach, pool, mountains or city, such as sunscreen, aloe vera, insect repellant, lotion and hand sanitizer. Also, bring weather-appropriate clothing such as jackets, hats, gloves, hiking boots, swimsuits or sandals.
  • Technology: Take chargers and headphones for phones, laptops and tablets.
  • Items for long flights: Stay comfortable with travel pillows, earplugs, jackets and socks for warmth, books, chargers, gum, snacks, toiletries and necessary medications. Be sure to check flight regulations for carry-on restrictions.
Make Lasting Memories

Simple planning for your vacation can free you to enjoy your time away and focus on making great memories. Will your next getaway take you overseas? Find a health plan that travels with you to have peace of mind while exploring new places. For more information, contact us at or 1-844-INS-GUIDE (1-844-467-4843), Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT.

GuideStone® welcomes the opportunity to share this general information. However, this article is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.