We are going to Costa Rica in November this year for about 11 days, including travel. That means 11 days I won’t be going to the gym and lots of eating out. BUT, I do have some strategies I use to make sure my fitness while on vacation doesn’t push me off the wagon.
Before I jump into my strategies, though, I want to just clarify a couple of things.
First, I am on vacation, so if workouts and nutrition get off, well I don’t beat myself up…everyone needs to take breaks.
Second, travel to some places like Costa Rica or more rural areas, can be challenging when it comes to food planning. For example, if I go to larger city, I know, in general, what super markets will have. In places like Costa Rica and more rural areas of the U.S.–not so much.
Thirdly, where you are staying greatly affects these strategies. If you’re at an all-inclusive resort, you’ll probably have full access to a gym and a good idea of the food that will be served. For this trip, we’re staying in an AirBnB house so we’re on our own for finding food and fitness. That is typically the case for us when we travel abroad; We’re either on a sail boat or at an AirBnB.
That’s enough of clarification, let’s jump into the ways I try to stay on track.
Strategy 1: Research Restaurants
Traveling while vegan can be challenging. Some places, domestically and internationally, are easier than others. Luckily, Costa Rica’s pretty good for vegan options. I still do online research for places we can eat close to where we are staying or visiting:
- When you find restaurants, some have websites, some don’t. Sometimes you can get menus, sometimes you don’t. Most of the time there is at least pics of select menu items. If there are menus, that’s obviously best, but pics can be helpful as well.
- Reviews are a great source of information for restaurants without posted menus. In some areas, restaurants don’t advertise their veg and vegan options, but I have had luck finding with vegetarians and vegan reviews providing insight. The reviews will say things like ‘Great vegan options’, or ‘unless you like salad and fries, the menu is lacking for vegans.’
- Even if you’re not veg/vegan, but you have some dietary expectations, checking out potential places for eating is a great way to make sure you have the options to keep you on track.
Strategy 2: Research Super Markets
Again, if you’re not staying in a place you can cook, this is less of an issue, but we always need to get provisions – again, we’re usually sailing or at an Air BNB. I usually just look for the closest, largest grocery store, try to evaluate what they may or may not have by pictures and then just have them on my list.
- You can’t really meal plan, at least with international grocery stores in places like Costa Rica, because in my experience, you never really know what they will have. Basics that US Grocers have year-round are not always available in some places. So, we meal plan based on what’s in the store once we are there.
- Although you can’t plan the actual menu, you can decide which meals you’ll be eating in and which ones will be at restaurants. That will give you a guideline for how much you’ll need once you’re there. Plus, snacks…must have snacks!
Strategy 3: Plan on Activity Based Fitness
Although I always have good intentions with body weight workouts while we’re on vacation, I usually end up skipping them. The good thing is, when you’re traveling, you’re usually moving. Sight-seeing and exploring involve lots of walking. Plus, for us, this vacation will include planned activities, like hiking, zip-lining, and snorkeling. We also have a pool at the AirBnB we’re staying at, so maybe I’ll get some laps in! I do plan on bringing the aforementioned body weight routine, but we’ll see how ambitious I am. This vacation happens to be right when we end our 12 week sculpted vegan shred plan, so it’ll be easy to justify time-off before we start the next planned fitness endeavor.
Since we are on vacation, I won’t feel guilty if I slip on the nutrition or training while we’re gone. BUT, we have worked hard to get in shape and make progress toward or fitness goals, so a little preparation goes a long way. If I know restaurants and places I can get nutrition and know I will be getting some exercise – staying on track is much easier.
Do you have any International Travel Tips regarding staying on track fitness and training wise? We’d love a comment with any advice!
Thank you so much for stopping by and we’ll see you next week!
Kelly (& Steffan)
P.S. While we’re in Costa Rica, we plan on live streaming and of course we’ll be sharing our adventures in an episode, too! So, stay in touch with ‘Like’ on Facebook!