3 Tips To Being Mindful When Traveling

Summer time fire-it in front of mountains. Unsplash - Courtnie Tosana

Gretchen Rubin talks about the opportunity of a “clean slate” whenever you experience any sort of change. It could mean a new relationship, environment, or even a vacation. When we are physically removed from our “normal” environment, our good (and bad) habits may be temporarily left behind.

The couch that you normally sit on to do some late-night snacking while binging Netflix is temporarily replaced by dancing around the campfire. Your hurried and stressed regular weekday is temporarily replaced with walks along the beach and naps in the sun. Your habit of eating quickly while scrolling through IG is temporarily replaced with eating slowly with friends and family, savoring every bite.

But just as it’s possible to temporarily “ditch” bad habits with the strategy of the clean slate, it’s also quite possible to pick up some bad ones! Many of us take on an “I’m on vacation, I can eat whatever I want” attitude. And as much as I advocate for eating stuff you like while on vacation, I also recommend making good choices throughout. Who wants to come home feeling heavy, bloated, and yucky? This means becoming super-mindful about what is worthwhile to you and leaving the other stuff behind. That might mean saying no to that mid-afternoon ice cream cone because you’re saving room for s’mores later that day. Or it might mean smaller portions at dinner because you’d rather have a couple of extra beverages down at the lake during the day.

I have three overall suggestions when traveling to make sure you are being mindful with your meals.

1. Slow Down

Chances are high that when traveling, you have some extra time on your hands. The idea anyway of a vacation is leisure. So the first thing you can do is try to take advantage of the opportunity to eat slowly. Take a deep breath before eating. Chew more. Seek out all the tastes and flavors. Make it last.

Breakfast during vacation with easy over eggs and coffee

So many of us are barely aware of how we actually eat. If we’re eating something we really like, we often eat quickly, anticipating that very next bite before we even finish the one already in our mouths.

2. Pre-plan as much as possible

Don’t believe in the heat of the moment that you are always going to make good decisions. We need to plan as much as possible so that we are more likely to choose well.

Menu from a restaurant

Plan out your vacation menu, check out menus online, and do as much deciding ahead of time about what you plan to eat as you can. (Your present self, planning for your future self). It doesn’t mean that you can’t allow for some last-minute flexibility, it just means that you have a plan, which is always better than not having one at all.

3. Be Aware of Your Environment

You cannot eat what you don’t have in your car, cabin, tent, or hotel room. It starts when you are at the grocery store, shopping for your food. Only buy what’s on your list. (This is also deciding ahead of time).

What are you buying at the grocery store while on vacation

Also, be aware of the types of “temptations” that are around you when traveling. What are some things that could be detrimental to your goals while traveling? Are you tenting with people who bring Costco-sized bags of potato chips? Maybe there is a café beside your vacation spot that has the most amazing buttery croissants. You may not want to make a habit of stopping in there every morning.

Environment also relates to your habits. Do your best to maintain at least a couple of keystone habits on your trip. If you’re someone who regularly tracks your food, it might be helpful for you to continue to do so when on vacation. Then, you can spot trends you don’t want to continue on throughout the week.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best. Look back at previous trips and ask yourself what went well and what could be improved upon. Don’t wait until you are there to implement these changes. Be proactive, so that when you are on your trip, all you have to do is enjoy.


Hey there! I’m Stacy! I am certified in Holistic Nutrition and even though I am a nutrition nerd, I am actually a foodie at heart. My motto is: Be healthy, but enjoy life — just choose wisely!

In my current accountability practice, I help women take control of their own health through the use of real, whole foods, and assist them in creating (and sustaining) lifelong health habits so they can FINALLY get off that horrible diet-rollercoaster!

When I’m not coaching, eating, or trying out a new recipe, you might catch me hanging out with my amazing 11-yr old daughter, working out (I love barre and spin), or perhaps watching my favorite reality TV program, 90 Day Fiance!

I practice in my hometown of Calgary, AB but because most of my work is done online — I am available for consultations or coaching wherever it is that you happen to call home.

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