It’s depressingly easy to undo all the hard work you’ve put into eating and exercising right — just one week of daiquiris and desserts will do it. Although feasting, reclining and generally relinquishing your everyday schedule are the best things about a vacation, taking a few simple measures while away will make the return to “real life” a little easier.
Include at least one big activity day
If you’re on a city break then you’re probably already surpassing the recommended 10,000 daily steps, but if the only thing on your agenda is sun lounging you’d be wise to consider throwing an excursion into the mix. Hike a mountain, visit a far-flung temple, go canyoning or rock climbing — a physically taxing day of adventures will feel great, plus there’s evidence that incorporating novel activities into your trip will make it appear to pass more slowly.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Avoid the buffet
There’s nothing like being faced with row upon row of different flavors and textures to encourage our tendency to overindulge — in fact, research says we make three separate trips to the buffet cart on average. If it’s unavoidable (buffets are ubiquitous at big resorts) try to scope out all the options before committing. Figuring out what you fancy instead of impulsively spooning everything in sight onto your plate is crucial for portion control.
Set realistic exercise goals
There’s a reason the hotel gym is normally a pretty desolate place. Even if you bring your workout clothes, it’s hard to talk yourself into the treadmill when the alternative is so much more delightful. Be realistic about what you can expect from your laid-back vacation self — walking 30 minutes to the nearest town for dinner chimes much more readily with the holiday mood than daily TRXing.
Go easy on the alcohol
What’s better than a cocktail on the beach as sunset? By all means enjoy a drink, but be aware that alcohol is loaded with empty calories (meaning they have no nutritional value whatsoever). A pina colada, for example, contains around 644 calories, and given how many you’ll consume on an afternoon bender they can add pounds pretty quick, so stick to water by day and drink reservedly in the evening.
Fit movement in when you can
On a beach vacation we spend the majority of the day horizontal. With such a chilled itinerary of reading and napping, there’s more than enough time to sneak in exercise. Do a few sets of crunches and leg lifts while you’re on the sun lounger, and before lights out – try gentle yoga stretches from bed.
Downloading the right apps before you go abroad makes healthy habit maintenance a whole lot easier. Happy Cow lists veggie and vegan restaurants, complete with reviews, for every city around the world — a great resource for fresh, nutritious meals regardless of whether you omit meat as a rule.
If you’re more of a group fitness person at home, Aaptiv can help you get more out of hotel gym machines. It combines guided audio workouts with playlists that spark your momentum, so working up a sweat every day won’t feel like such a buzz kill.
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meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.