So, I’ve hit that time of year. The time of year where the holidays haven’t quite picked up, but summer is over, and life has kind of chilled out for a moment. It’s this time of year that I find myself reverting back to one of my favorite past times: vacation shopping.
It drives my husband nuts, but I love searching for good vacation deals online, and dreaming of where we will go next. We are both passionate about traveling (gypsy soul, duh). However, my fitness and financial goals do not go away just because I’m on vacation. I have several requirements that must be met when planning a new adventure
- I have to be able to pay cash and still hit my financial goals outside of vacation
- There has to be time spent outside, with decent amount of walking or other physical activity
- Food choices have to have a balance between close-my-eyes-don’t-talk-to-me-good and “my body has to function and therefore still needs nutrients on vacation”
One location I keep going back to that can easily hit all of these requirements is, surprisingly, VEGAS! My best friend treated me to a trip here before my wedding and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t come back feeling terrible from eating bad food, and I also didn’t break the bank.
Requirement One: Affordable flight and hotel
One of the best deals sites I have found while vacation shopping is Vegas.com.
Sure, I can say “best deal” but without numbers what does that mean, right? I was actually able to find round-trip airfare and a hotel for 3 nights on The Strip for less than $180 per person! All of the places I looked at were 3 out of 5 ratings or higher as well.
Requirement Two: Keeping my body moving
I was also surprised that many of these cheaper hotel options still had fitness facilities listed in their amenities. However, if you don’t have a hotel gym or don’t want to spend time cooped up in a gym on vacation I have a couple of other ideas to stay active.
First, stay at the end of The Strip. This accomplishes two things: you will save some money as these hotels are typically cheaper, and you will walk more to get to the different shows and activities along The Strip. Besides, walking in Vegas is part of the fun. You wouldn’t believe some of the people you see hanging out on the Strip until you see them with your own eyes ;).
Second, you could do a quick workout outside or even on the pool deck (almost all the hotels have pools, you are in the desert after all 😉 ). I have a quick park workout you could modify or you can bring resistance bands in your bag to help get a good workout in without having a lot of equipment. Either way, if you want to actually “work out” on vacation, I recommend some sort of quick and dirty body circuit that makes you break a sweat without taking up too much of your day!
Some moves that are great when you don’t have any gym equipment include: jump squats, hand release push ups, burpees, lunges, and shoulder taps. Plug these into a 21-15-9 rep scheme and repeat several times, and you can get a workout planned in no time! For example:
- 5 Rounds
- 21 jump squats
- 15 burpees
- 9 hand release push ups
The above workout should take 15-25 minutes and leave you sweating for sure!
Requirement Three: Balance outrageous food with nutritious food
Vegas is a cornucopia of food. And, you can get whatever you want whenever you want. Burgers at 3 am? No problem. Crab legs for breakfast? You got it.
Need some help navigating all of these options? This page has the low down on everything you could want to eat in Vegas, plus reviews and some great deals.
Your options are endless, but the calories you consume probably shouldn’t be.Then again, it is vacation, and I am all about balance, so I have a couple good tips to keep your mouth and stomach happy without coming home to a boatload of mental guilt and belly bloat from the crap you ate.
First, get your protein in! Vegas is known for buffets. The quality ranges from awful to wonderful, so make sure and do some research before you go. These are actually a great option for someone trying to stick to a cleaner diet in Vegas. There are always different arrays of meats, some sort of salad bar, and other fruit and veggie options. I like to load my first plate with protein and good fats, then choose one less-healthy option. I also drink my coffee black, and stick to water instead of soda at meals to help cut back on unnecessary calories.
Since counting macros, I am also conscious of how many carbs I actually eat versus drink on vacation. I don’t always count strictly, but I try to eat less carbs at meals to balance out the fact that many alcoholic drinks are high carb. These are small, almost subconscious choices, but they make a difference long-term.
Lastly, if there is something that is screaming at EAT ME, and you really, really, want it, go for it. It’s vacation and we are allowed to let loose, but just keep in mind what is really “worth it” and what isn’t.
In the end, vacation is really about making memories and getting away from real life for a little while. But chances are, you will probably enjoy yourself more and feel better in the long run if you take a few simple steps to keep all of your goals in mind while on vacation. Let loose a little, but make sure you are able to come home refreshed and rejuvenated, not sluggish and guilty!
Now go kick Monday’s ass, and remember while you grind through this week that a Vegas vacay is never too far away!