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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Returning from vacation

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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Many of us come home from vacations packing a few extra pounds, but it doesn't have to be that. Try culinary or eco tourism and indulge yourself.

Many of us come home from vacations packing a few extra pounds, but it doesn’t have to be that way. On your next vacation plan to indulge yourself with healthy gourmet food and a variety of activities.

A good vacation should provide plenty of stimulation beyond the buffet table or the pool bar. You don’t have to stay away from good food or watering holes completely–think about adding a glass of heart-healthy red wine to that salad and seafood, and finish off with a whirl on the dance floor to add fitness to your fun. New activities will bring vitality to your holiday and help you trim the fat.

Moving your body in new ways can have surprising results. Go local: try badminton in Malaysia, tai chi in China, or hiking in Canada’s national and provincial parks.

Many travel companies customize vacations to your specific needs: Do you want rugged, relaxing, or a mix of both?

Food and Drink

The newest travel trend is culinary tourism, which combines healthy local food with excursions to farms and tastings with chefs, and allows you to engage with the local people in a meaningful way. You can enjoy local fruits and vegetables, and awaken your taste buds with new flavours and cuisine while eating light and enjoying more.

Drink plenty of bottled water, wherever you are, and stay away from ice cubes and vegetables washed with unpurified water. If you don’t know the water’s source, it’s best not to drink it.

Staying hydrated will give you the energy to move around in warmer climates. If all you can think about is laying on the beach, then cool off with the occasional vigourous swim. Body surfing, snorkelling, and diving are even more physically challenging, and will open your eyes to a whole new marine world.

If you are looking for that little bit of extra edge, try a more daring itinerary–zip trekking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, or skydiving or something else you have always dreamed of trying.

Something Old, Something New

Try a light adventure company with flexible itineraries and experienced guides who can provide you with activities suited to your fitness level. You may not be ready to climb Ben Nevis in Scotland, but you could try a walking trip to the West Highland Way instead. A hike in the rainforests or volcanoes of the Andes is invigorating, but take time to acclimatize yourself to the higher elevations beforehand.

If you have enough adrenaline in your life, try a yoga or spa retreat, or take a course on cooking and growing local foods. Sample anything that takes you out of your comfort zone so you really have something to talk about when you get home. It’s okay to zone out on the beach, but be sure to take evening strolls when the lights are dazzling and the evenings are cool.

Try out your new Spanish phrases while in Mexico and meet some of the local people beyond the boundaries of your hotel. Laugh and enjoy the company of new friends you would never have met at home. A good vacation should let you step outside of yourself and try something new. You will arrive home feeling lighter, healthier, and just a little happier.

Vacation Sensations

A few suggestions to rev up your vacation engine.

Cruises offer a variety of fun and challenging activities to keep you fit while sailing, such as jogging and walking tracks, yoga classes, and on-site gyms, combined with shore excursions. Try the on-board bistro restaurants for a gourmet experience.

Try eco-adventure tourism and culinary tourism: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Italy, Vancouver Island, BC, and Nova Scotia are just a few of the destinations offering low eco-footprint yet high-energy activities and good local food.

If you don’t have the time or money for a long vacation, try a mini break to get a high return for your money. A quality mini break can refresh, decompress, and rejuvenate with minor time, cost, and travel constraints.

Enjoy yourself–after all, you are on vacation!

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