Vacation Tips

You’ve planned your perfect get-away - booked your flight, made reservations to that lovely boutique hotel you’ve been googling forever and plotted your itinerary down to the last detail. And now it’s time to pack and it’s stressing you out!

Where do you start? Here are some useful tips when packing:

Check the weather

Spend a few moments checking the weather forecast in your destination for when you’re there. This way, you can pack appropriately. You do not want to be spending precious vacation time buying extra clothes because what you brought was inadequate or not really appropriate for the weather. Checking current weather will also be a good reminder - maybe last time you visited it was hot and sunny but maybe they are going through thunderstorms every day as well right now. So check.

Pack lightly

Bring pieces of clothing and accessories that you can mix and match. Also, if going somewhere where temperatures could dip, it is better to bring clothes that you can layer, rather than packing along something bulky like a heavy coat or sweater. This way you can have more options if the weather changes. Some seasoned travellers also recommend bringing just a minimum number of underwear, socks and undershirts. These can be washed at night and worn again the next day. And when packing your clothes, folding them in half then rolling them will maximize the space in your suitcase.

More Packing Tips

if you can, I pack hanging clothes on hangers, in plastic dry cleaning bags. The bags do a great job of keeping things from wrinkling, and unpacking is fast and easy when all you need to do is pull the clothes on hangers out and put them in the closet. This also solves the problem of not having enough hangers.

Know what your activities will be

Going to the beach? Definitely pack a swimsuit, sunblock and hat. Perhaps a snowy mountain? Bring goggles! It is but logical to match the contents of your suitcase to whatever it is you are planning to do on your vacation. But wherever and whatever, pack something dressy because you never know what could turn up (an invitation to a dressy dinner, perhaps?) and it’s good to have something to wear when the occasion calls for it.

Leave the toiletries at home

The Transportation Security Administration has very specific guidelines on what you can bring in your carry-on and you might have to ditch some of them before you can pass through security. If you put them in your luggage, they might leak or explode and then, there goes your vacation wardrobe. Hotels will have amenities, so for the first night at least, you would have soap, shampoo and conditioner. If you must, pack travel sized bottles of your favorite toiletries. And I always double bag them in ziplocs.

Don’t forget the basics

Toothbrush, comb, shaver, and any necessary prescriptions, and a first aid kit. I’d rather have a bandaid and aspirin, than not.

So now that you’re all packed and good to go, it’s time to enjoy your vacation - your get-away. It would be tempting to just let loose and let go - what diet? No way! And exercise - forget about it! But would you like yourself if you come back from vacation looking fat and bloated instead of lean and tan?

The key to eating healthy even while on vacation is moderation. You do not have to deprive yourself. You would end up craving and eating more. It’s okay to sample the many local culinary delights while on vacation but again, do not overindulge. Here’s a helpful tip - use the 80/20 rule: Choose a treat or cheat food of your choice and make it 20% your daily calories then as best as you can, stick to healthy food choices for the rest of the 80%.

If exercising was never relaxing for you, it would be tempting to just forego it all together while vacationing. What could be more inviting than just lazing around on the beach sipping a cool tropical (and probably sugar laden) drink? But this need not be the scenario. Whether alone or with your family, you can engage in fun activities that are great substitutes to your gym routine - mountain hiking, surfing, biking or walking on the beach, skiing, even just swimming laps around the pool. Take advantage of the activities that your destination has to offer. Stay motivated and stay active while enjoying your vacation.

Most of all, come back rested and refreshed, healthy and smiling.