Say the word “vacation” and most people think “I get to relax”, which is their short hand for sloth. It’s all too easy to sit by the pool and let the kids play while the adults booze it up. Or take a cruise where all you do is lay around and eat. But are those the only options?
Last month a friend and I did a 10 day, 3,300-mile road trip from SF to Glacier National Park. Along the way, we covered a few mountain biking single tracks in the beautiful Sawtooth mountains, followed by a 108-mile overnight bike trip through west Glacier National Park. Then a few more 10-mile foot hikes within the park. On the way out, instead of sitting in traffic, I jumped out and took my bike up and over the Road to the Sun in Glacier to take in one final view of this amazing place.
This trip was a ton of driving (sitting on our butts and eating roadside food) balanced out with a good amount of physical activity. My one goal was to check out Glacier National Park by bike and foot. When I got back home I was exhilarated, not tired and needing a vacation to recover from my vacation.
Why is an active vacation important? Breaking a sweat is a great way to reduce stress and maintain your fitness while sightseeing and meeting new people. Looking forward to a big hike or bike ride in the morning will keep you from going off the rails on your eating plan in the evening. And then when you do decide to party, you have earned it.
I guarantee you will feel more positive and creative if you plan some exciting physical challenges into your trip, vs. promising yourself you will get up early before breakfast and use that dinky exercise room at the hotel.