Splurge on food. You might think a good way to save is to eat hotdogs and Fritos for the whole trip. Don't do that. You should come home from a vacation feeling physically better than when you left. If your kids are picky eaters, this is a great time to introduce new foods as part of the adventure. If your kids are pretty good eaters, then now is the time to push the envelope. At the cabin where we stayed last summer, a gourmet 4 course dinner was included with the lodging. Holy Walleye en Papillote, I told you it was heavenly. A year later and my kids still talk about the palate cleansing sorbet like it was magical elf food from Lord of the Rings. Plus, if you're doing dishes each night, what kind of vacation is that?
This is the line that hit me, and it's amazing to me that it's something I've never really considered before. "You should come home from a vacation feeling physically better than when you left." My mind is blown.
I'm still at the point in my venture into healthy eating that "vacation" for me also means a vacation from having to work hard to figure out fresh, low carb, balanced meals everywhere I go and a chance to go crazy and eat whatever the hell I want. And even though I sort of philosophically agree with the notion that "vacation calories don't count", I don't think I have ever come back from a vacation feeling physically better than when I left. I usually come home feeling in need of recovery.
So my question is this. What's the best way to negotiate that in-the-moment desire to eat something delicious-but-really-bad-for-you while on vacation with the knowledge that it will make you feel crappy, thus keeping you from truly enjoying the non-food aspects of your trip? While this question might sound like a no-brainer to people who don't care much about food, for me, the food wins out nine times out of ten. It's easier at home, but when I'm out enjoying myself, I still haven't shaken that feeling that sugary, starchy food in mass quantities is a crucial component of my good time. When I scrapbook my vacations, pictures of the food and of my friends and me eating usually take center stage. And scrapbooking healthy food does NOT excite me. I mean, if you replaced my fried cheese with a celery stick, would it look as cool?