You’re in Italy, enjoying a whirlwind tour of Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. You’ve seen the Vatican, walked around ancient ruins, stared at masterpieces like David by Michelangelo, and drifted on a gondola along the canals of Venice. 

Still, even though you’re enjoying your vacation along the Mediterranean coast, it’s no excuse to skip all the things you used to do to stay healthy back home—like eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of high-quality rest. 

Sure, most people on vacation skip their healthy lifestyle, believing it’s too difficult to eat, exercise, and rest in a novel environment and a hectic travel itinerary, but it’s a convenient myth. Just because you’re having the time of your life doesn’t mean you can’t continue to honor your health goals. 

How to Eat Well on Vacation 

Before you left for your trip chances are you paid a little more attention to what you ate and may have even been on a diet. Going on vacation, doesn’t mean you have to forgo your new meal plan. After all, who wants to vacation if you deny yourself the pleasures of the local food. Instead, it’s about making a logical (rather than impulsive) decision. Perhaps you indulge in delicious gelato everyday to satisfy your sweet tooth or you can’t resist a cheese board.The key is to understand your body and how often you should eat. If you had a large dinner the night before, perhaps you only need a light breakfast or you know that if you eat late at night you don’t feel good. 

You can travel without derailing your diet. The key is about making strategic decisions such as choosing healthy meals and snacks, not skipping meals, and eating based on your body’s needs. While you may find it difficult to follow a planned menu because you’re not sure what kinds of healthy foods are available, you can usually find healthy choices wherever you go. Another tip is to review the menus in advance so you can plan any substitutions and what’s worth indulging in. 

How to Exercise on Vacation 

While you could count walking around a new city as exercise, it shouldn’t be your only form of exercise. If, say, you’re used to working out three times a week at your gym, find out if your hotel has a gym. If it doesn’t, then you could improvise by following a simple total body workout. 

A basic calisthenics routine might include bodyweight squats, push-ups, bicycle kicks, jumping jacks, lunges, and planks. If this is too easy for you, amp up the intensity by increasing the reps and decreasing the rest intervals, perhaps only resting a minute between your sets. 

If you’re short on time because you’ve got a busy itinerary, then consider getting up an hour earlier to get in your daily exercise. 

How to Get Enough Rest on Vacation 

The interesting thing about vacations is that you’re excited at being in a new and different place and so fascinated with the unfolding novelty around you that you might suffer from sleep deprivation and exhaust yourself.  

A smarter way to enjoy your vacation is to maintain the good sleep habits that you routinely followed when you were home. This might include setting a regular bedtime routine, taking naps when necessary, decaffeinating before bedtimes, and managing stress so that you can unwind and have a good night’s rest. 

Enjoy a Healthy Vacation 

By default, vacations naturally improve your health and well-being; but, of course, you can also sabotage all the benefits of vacations–such as lower stress levels, more mental clarity, and improved moods—by doing unhealthy things like eating poorly, not exercising at all, and exhausting yourself.

Since it’s difficult to make decisions when you’re in the midst of a vacation, the best time to decide on your diet, exercise routine, and sleep habits is before you leave home. By having a plan in place, you won’t feel overwhelmed by all the wonderful new experiences you’ll have when you’re on vacation.