Take a Vacation, but Not From Your Health

Taking a vacation doesn’t have to include a vacation from your healthy lifestyle. There are many spots you can visit to keep fit during your time away. Look for destinations that have a healthy atmosphere (large open spaces, fresh clean air). Plan holidays that are going to provide some healthy activity. Hiking, walking, biking, are great exercises while away.

Resorts can offer many activities to keep you moving and having fun. Kayak or canoe rentals, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, pools with aerobics and lap swimming schedules, hiking trails and so much more. Also, try retreats that get you away while getting you involved in other activities. Horseback riding and yoga retreats are popular. You get to relax and get away from it all while keeping fit.

Here’s the top Healthy Vacation Spots in the U.S.A.:

  1. Big Island, Hawaii. You can experience a wide variety of activities including surfing, hiking, climbing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking.
  2. New York City, New York. New York is the city that never sleeps. You can get a lot of exercise without even realizing it. Walking is a big way of getting around.
  3. San Diego, California. San Diego has the ideal weather conditions for getting outside and getting active. Visit beaches, eco-reserves and state parks for running, hiking.
  4. Sante Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe has the freshest air around. A great spot to visit with rich history you can get out and explore with more than 300 days of sun every year.
  5. Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Located in the Rockies, Steamboat offers great skiing in the winter and a perfect spot for hiking and biking trails in the summer.
  6. Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is known for having more bicycles than cars. There are hundreds of miles of trails, beaches and lakes perfect for swimming and canoeing.
  7. Austin, Texas. Hometown of Lance Armstrong, Austin is a great biking destination. Running is actually an ideal activity for Austin as it has an elaborate trail system that winds around the town with several loops with varying lengths (3 to 18 miles).
    Sedona, Arizona. Head to the red rocks of Sedona for some rejuvenation (spiritual journey or massages and peace). Personal enrichment is considered an attraction but it is also a great spot for mountain biking, hiking, golfing and tennis.

  8. Seattle, Washington. Seattle is the best place to visit for healthy food options with fresh fish, farmers markets and Washington’s famous apples.
  9. Bar Harbor, Maine. Bar Harbor is the ultimate seaside town for the active traveler. Explore 125 miles of hiking trails through mountains, lakes and sea cliffs. There is an abundance of fresh fish and locally grown blueberries making eating healthy an easy choice.

We all need time away from the everyday hustle and bustle. We need time to rejuvenate and relax. It helps us stay healthy. Don’t stop being active while on vacation, keep up with your healthy lifestyle.

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Money Saving Tips for Travelers

With the warmer weather creeping in and our hectic lives taking over, many of us are dreaming of ways that we can escape. Unfortunately, travel can be costly and with the economy still in a slump, that dream vacation may seem like an impossible feat to accomplish. Before you give up on your travel plans however, check out these money saving tips for travelers which can make the impossible a reality.Search for Hotel Deals
One of the biggest expenses when it comes to traveling is your lodging and if you can find a great deal, it is half the battle. Fortunately a slowed economy equals lots of savings when traveling. Since less people travel when the economy isn’t flourishing, most hotel chains are tripping over themselves, offering deals which keep them competitive. It’s a win-win for those looking to travel.

Big hotel chains such as the Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt, as well as others such as Holiday Inns are constantly offering discount prices and packages for guests and most will also add incentives at the same time to get you to choose their hotel over another, especially if you use one of your credit cards that offers point systems for lodging.

Work in conjunction with the hotel and credit card companies and see which deals are the best. You may also try traveling mid-week instead of on the weekends as the rates for rooms are almost cut in half if you stay for instance on a Wednesday to Wednesday instead of booking on a Friday through Sunday. Hotels also offer discount rates if you agree to stay longer so extend your three day weekend to a four or five day escape and save even more.

Home Exchange Programs
Another consideration for lodging is home exchange programs and these have become quite popular over the past couple years. Sites such as homeexchange.com or homeaway.com are social sites where you can work with other people from all regions of the world to swap homes for vacationing. Folks that live in European countries often want to travel to North America and vice versa and this is a great way to get free lodging while conceding to both parties that wish to travel.

Saving on Airfare
If you plan to travel further and need airfare there are plenty of ways to save money. First, plan to book your trip ahead as airlines offer discount prices the further out you book. Also see if your credit card is one that offers frequent flyer miles. Many do and you may have amassed some miles without realizing it which could take money off the bottom line or even get you a free flight.

Be flexible when booking and consider taking a connecting flight. Though most like the luxury of hopping on the plane and getting to their destination in one sweep, connecting flights often equal large savings. You should also consider flying out at non-popular times and instead opt for a red-eye flight or a flight that leaves mid-week.

The most popular flying times (and most expensive) are between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:0 p.m. due to the convenience and because business folks fly during these windows. Friday through Monday are also peak times so being flexible and flying out on days other than those also equals savings more times than not.

Look for round trip tickets instead of paying for them separately and pack only what you need as most airlines now charge additional for bags.

Save Money on Food
Another huge expense is dining out when traveling. Book a hotel that has a kitchen so you can prepare some of your meals at the hotel. Shopping at the grocery store and preparing meals can literally save you hundreds of dollars.

Of course you will still want to experience the dining and cuisines while on vacation but reserve your funds for dinners and cocktails, commit to eating breakfast and lunch at the hotel. You should also book a hotel that offers free continental breakfasts with your reservation. Many chains offer this as an incentive and not having to pay for breakfast every day can save a lot of money. You can then grab a mid-day (cheap) snack and invest your money in a good dinner.

If you really want to save, a second option is to eat a big lunch and then stay with something light for dinner. Not only are dinner prices inflated by double than lunch prices, but you won’t go to bed with a full feeling and your digestive system will thank you for it as well, as we are more active during the day than at night.

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Fitness Destinations

It may seem strange, even for you the reader, to say that Caribbean vacations, specialty spa resorts and skiing in Colorado are all getting old and boring. Perhaps a fitness vacation could be in order to spice up your old vacation habits. If you have thought about this already, you are among many others who feel the same. With all the pressure for us to become and remain fit, thousands are now taking their vacations to a whole new level. Destination fitness vacations are the latest rage, and here you will see why giving them a shot could be the best thing you have ever done. Here are some amazing fitness vacation destination hot spots.

Cinque Terre
Located in northern Italy, Cinque Terre has gained popularity over the last decade and is one place that must be considered if a fitness vacation is what you’re after. There are 5 towns or “lands” as most refer to them that make up the Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Each of these lands or towns has something to offer in the way of nightlife, wineries, museums and lots of historical sites. Enjoy a nice meal in any of the quaint town’s waterside or embark on a scuba or diving expedition. Also there is the infamous walking trail which is 11 Kilometers long in total. Throughout the hiking path there are many challenges to be met for the fitness enthusiast.

Crystal Cruises
If you have your heart set on a cruise but still want a vacation that is active, Crystal Cruises are a great choice. On board guests can enjoy a state of the art gym, many holistic classes like Yoga and Pilates or take a jog on the boat’s top track while viewing the sea and enjoying the breezes. The menu aboard this cruise line is packed with nutritious meals and snacks and the ship makes plenty of pit stops along the way so you can still enjoy shopping, a cocktail or dining when you need a break from getting fit.

Hawaii is a popular tourist spot and SwellWomen combines the luxury of sunbathing in the tropics with the perfect fitness vacation destination. One of the main activities on this vacation is paddling which just happens to be one of the best ways to tighten and tone those hard to reach spots. The packages also include surfing lessons, some snorkeling and Yoga Classes. There is sure to be something for everyone. SwellWomen caters to their female clients, but also has vacation packages for co-ed, couples and single males as well.

New Life Hiking Spa
Killington, Vermont is where this fitness destination is and for a U.S. vacation it has a lot to offer those who want to stay moving and get inspired to be fit. These vacations include hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, swimming, and even wellness workshops where you can learn about nutrition. They also offer cooking classes, spinning and Yoga. With so many activities to do, and being surrounded by beautiful foliage and nature, this fitness destination is somewhere everyone should consider.

The Amansala Resort in Tulum, Mexico
Perhaps the only thing that could make a vacation to Mexico better is a fitness buff embarking on their Amansala vacation. The most popular one here is referred to as a “mini boot camp” and it isn’t for the faint of heart. This vacation will not only teach you how to get your body in tip top shape, it will give you a powerful kick start. Activities include all kinds of body sculpting classes, classics like Pilates and Yoga, kayak sessions and abdominal classes. Once your workouts are done, enjoy sunbathing on the beach and eating one of their many low-fat meals specially designed to not interfere in your weight loss goals.

For the animal in you, taking a one week fitness excursion in Kenya may be just what the doctor ordered. This week long fitness vacation will be like no other that you have ever had. Along with getting into shape, guests can expect to see some cool wild life, eat some local and healthy fare as well as shed pounds. Most of the fitness routines here take place in the beautiful outdoors such as runs along the amazing beaches and swimming obstacle courses. Each day will bring with it a run as well as a couple tailored exercise sessions. For down time you can also attend one of the tour guided safaris or wade in the crystal clear oceans.

There are many other options for a fitness vacation; if you want to put aside the usual lazy days and step up to something truly unique, challenging and adventurous, all while bettering your health, a fitness vacation just might be worth a try!

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