5 Tips for a Healthy Vacation

Jenny Lake

Maintaining a healthy routine in your day-to-day life can be difficult. Maintaining a healthy routine while travelling is more than most people’s will power can manage. Even when travelling to a destination known for its active lifestyle, the temptation to trade whole food for fast food and exercise for entertainment can be irresistible. To stay on track, you need a game plan. Here are some tips my wife and I found helpful on our recent road trip to Jackson Hole.

Pack a Picnic Lunch – Even if you never eat them at home, a fast food burger seems to be the standard meal on a road trip. Instead, pack a cooler with cold cuts, a veggie tray, or anything else you’ll enjoy eating cold and plan to stop somewhere nice along the way. Rest stops and town parks usually have picnic tables, facilities, and a pleasant atmosphere. We stopped at a picnic area along the banks of the Logan River. Lodgepole pines and the rushing river provided a much nicer ambiance for our lunch than fluorescent lights and drive through traffic.,

Stay in a Condo Instead of a Hotel – In a condo with a full kitchen, you can keep your usual snacks in the fridge. With a healthy option close at hand, you’ll be less tempted to run to town for ice cream or a pastry. You can also cook your own breakfast instead of eating out.  Restaurant breakfasts often contain more than half your recommended daily calorie intake.  If you aren’t in the mood to cook one morning, order an omelet, but hold the sides. Skipping the fried potatoes and toast with jam will cut the calories dramatically.

Pack Your Gym Bag – Many hotels have an on-site fitness center. What’s less well known, however, is that renting a condo or home often comes with access to an off-site fitness center nearby. When renting in Teton Village, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to visit the Teton Sports Club, located in the Aspens neighborhood about halfway between Teton Village and the town of Jackson. In addition to an array of cardio and weight machines, the Teton Sports Club offers Pilates, spinning, and ski fit classes at no extra charge. You can also attend a Crossfit class for an extra fee. When you make your lodging reservation, be sure to verify that your specific vacation rental comes with fitness center access, as it’s up to individual owners and property managers to offer that amenity to their guests.

See the Sites on Two Wheels – This is easier to do in some destinations than others. In 2012, Jackson/Teton County was named one of only 16 Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Communities by the League of American Bicyclists. The award recognizes the area’s system of bike paths as one of the best in the country. The pathways parallel many of the major roads in the area and can be used to travel from the town of Jackson, into Teton Village, or north into Grand Teton National Park.  We rented bikes from Dornan’s near the Moose entrance to the park and rode eight miles north to Jenny Lake. Despite the imposing mountains the park is known for, the terrain in the valley floor is very flat, making for an easy ride. The ride from Moose to Jenny Lake took about 40 minutes each way.

Ethan and Sarah riding to Jenny Lake

Kill Two Birds With One Stone – Get your entertainment and exercise together at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. The museum offers free yoga outdoors on the sculpture trail every Thursday at 10:00 am during the summer. In addition to displaying enormous bronze statues of wildlife, the museum offers an excellent location for viewing the real thing in the wild. Spread across the valley floor in front of the museum is the National Elk Refuge. While the elk leave the refuge in search of higher altitude and cooler temperatures during the summer, Trumpeter swans, Great Blue herons, and song birds can still be spotted.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for making sure your next vacation is a blast, without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle.

Destination Expert, Ethan Young


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