Summer is upon us, and that means the season of amusement parks, beach vacations, and family fun. Sadly, that also means greasy amusement park food, restaurants, and general unhealthiness. How do you take control of your eating while still enjoying your family vacations? Here are five tips to keep your body, and your family members' bodies, in beach shape all summer long.
1.) When you are travelling to a theme park, encourage your family to eat a hearty breakfast. The food at amusement parks is saturated with fat and unwanted calories. By consuming a healthy, hearty breakfast beforehand, you will save calories and money, since theme park food is always highly overpriced. You will also be giving your family the fuel that they need to have a good time at the park. However, if you have to make a fast food decision still try and think about what exactly is going into you and your children’s systems.
2.) Long drives and flights can put a damper on a vacation. Jet lag can make you, and especially your kids, lethargic for the first few days of the trip. Encourage your kids to nap on the flight or in the car. For longer trips that involve international flights, try adjusting your family's sleep schedule a few days before you leave. That adjustment will make the first few days of your vacation much easier. When searching for places to stay, keep in mind that many Orlando hotels offer quiet hours policies to ensure their visitors get a solid night's rest!
3.) Contrary to popular belief, frequent stops are a good thing during long drives. Getting you and your kids out of the car for a few minutes here and there can allow everyone to stretch their legs and burn off the excess energy that can get stored up over time. Fresh air is a great for the body, and it can make it much easier for your kids to avoid meltdowns in the car.
4) It is important to remember that airplanes are notorious for being germ-filled environments. When on board, try to stick to bottled water. The water on planes has been under investigation by the EPA for E. coli contamination for six years. Dr. Charles Gerba, also known as 'Dr. Germ,' once said that airplane bathrooms are among the dirtiest anywhere. Carrying some Purell with you while you travel is a good idea. This is definitely a case of 'better safe than sorry.
5.) This may be common knowledge, but it is too important to leave off the list. UV light can cause severe damage to the skin, and the more often you burn, the greater your risk for developing skin cancer. Make sure that your whole family is wearing sunscreen, at least SPF 15, and they should reapply at least every two hours.
While you never want to over-plan your vacation, remembering these tips will help to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. After all, what is better than a fun trip with your happy, healthy family?
Kendra Thornton is a former Orbitz Director of Communications promoted into the full-time position of Motherhood.