Ahhh, summer: Warmer weather, longer days — and extra pounds that creep on while you celebrate the season on your summer vacation.
Although 36 percent of Americans try to lose weight before they go on vacation, a third of all travelers find they have to start a diet when they return from their trip, a new survey from travel site TripAdvisor found. Not surprising, because 29 percent of those surveyed say they always or often gain weight while traveling.
Special cuisine and cocktails are the top vacation temptations. Almost of half of those surveyed admitted that they are more likely to overindulge on alcohol on vacation. Still, two-thirds say they often eat healthily on vacation. Some even pack healthy foods to curb travel-food cravings. Here are more notable TripAdvisor findings:
- 53 percent say they often exercise while they're on the road, with walking being the most popular physical activity.
- When it comes to workout hot spots, more than half of all vacationers exercise in hotel gyms.
- A third of all travelers say they take workout clothes with them on vacation, but 27 percent of that group admit to never using their gear.
- 13 percent of those surveyed have taken a vacation dedicated to improving their health.
- In spite of concerns about weight gain, 81 percent of survey respondents say they rarely or never feel guilty about indulging on vacation.
“While most Americans will spend at least some of their vacation relaxing, many now balance their fun with fitness,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor, in a press release.
How to Have Fun — Without the Weight Gain
When you hit the road for your summer vacation, have a plan in mind to enjoy all things in moderation. That way, you'll be able to live it up, but still zip your pants when it's time to head back home. Here are some tips to get you started:
Skip overpriced and unhealthy airport food, and bring a sensible meal or snack with you when you travel. That way, you can start your trip off feeling great (and saving money).
Use that time between connections at the airport strolling instead of sitting at your gate. If you're driving, fit in a few quick sets of jumping jacks each time you stop for gas.
A colossal frozen margarita can pack hundreds of calories and tons of sugar. If it's what you really want, have one on your first day to indulge your craving, and then skip to skinnier choices such as vodka and soda water or white wine spritzers for the rest of your trip. Remember that drinks on the rocks are generally lower in calories than frozen blends.
It's fine to have a few cocktails or dessert when you travel -- after all, you want to enjoy yourself -- but limit yourself to one or the other each day. Chances are, you don't really want both, so identify your true craving, and go for it.
If you're staying somewhere without a gym, make time for a quick workout routine that uses the weight of your own body (think push-ups, crunches, standing lunges, and jumping jacks).
Travel writer Beth Blair shares tips on how plan a great summer vacation.