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When it comes to travelling with the family, healthy eating and exercise tend to take a backseat in exchange for convenience and comfort. But with some simple tweaks and mindful planning, it’s not impossible to enjoy a healthier holiday without much hassle.
Here are nine health and fitness hacks you’ll want to try on your next family holiday.
Instead of hailing taxis or ordering an Uber, explore the city via public transportation instead. It’s a great way to experience the city’s culture and way of life, and the kids get to see different landscapes too.
If you’ve older children in tow, better yet – walk everywhere! If it’s not possible to walk all the way to your destination, alight a few train or bus stops away and walk the remaining distance.
Eating on the go is synonymous with convenience and takeaway foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt. That’s why it’s important to allocate enough time – at least half an hour – to enjoy a well-balanced meal.
Find an eatery that offers healthy meals or pick up pre-made salads or sandwiches at the supermarket. Be sure to choose whole grain, low-fat and low-sugar options where possible. Trying street food? Pick healthier dishes like noodles in broth, grilled kebab wraps and bento box meals.
Where to go: For wholesome meals-in-a-bowl that will also please the kids, try Pearth Organic Kitchen in Perth; Happy Garden Cafe in Manila or Hale Healthy Fast Food in Kuala Lumpur. All restaurants are within a five- to fifteen minute drive from our properties in these cities.
Adequate hydration is important to prevent fatigue and keep hunger pangs at bay. Make sure everyone in the family has a couple of large bottles of water before heading out. And remind one another to keep sipping throughout the day.
If you’re looking for guided tours without wanting to spend big bucks on a touristy sightseeing bus, try a walking tour instead.
Guided walking tours are convenient – you don’t have to look at maps or worry about getting lost, allowing you to focus on caring for the kids. It’s also a great way to meet other travellers, explore lesser-known areas, and find out more about the local lifestyle while getting a workout in.
Prefer planning your own route? Remember to work out a walking route through areas that have plenty of rest stops and cafes in case the kids get tired.
Where to go: Parks and gardens are also a great way to explore a city. Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers plenty of shade, generous walkways, and unique architecture. The kids will love the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, where they can learn about nature and walk along streams and suspension bridges. If you’re staying at Fraser Residence Orchard, Singapore, the Gardens is a quick five-minute drive away!
Cooking your own healthy meals while on holiday is a great alternative to eating out. And for the freshest produce and ingredients, you can’t beat the local farmers’ markets. Here, you can stock up on seasonal fruit and veggies, artisan cheeses and honey, and high-quality jams and condiments made from local ingredients.
If you’re staying at any of our serviced residences, the fully equipped kitchenettes will have everything you need to whip up your meals. Get the kids involved by letting them select and prep the ingredients.
Where to go: Within a seven-minute walk from Modena by Fraser Bangkok is the Khlong Toei Fresh Market. Also check out Market of the Sun in Tokyo and Boulevard Helvétique Market & Halle de Rive in Geneva, just a five-minute drive from Fraser Suites Geneva.
Wherever you are, you’re bound to come across open spaces where you can exercise with the locals or try an exciting sport.
If you’re near a beach, for instance, look for zones that have been sectioned off for a game of Frisbee or beach volleyball. You can also try hiking along a popular hiking trail or rent bicycles for the family and cycle together through a nearby park.
Where to go: Cycle through Paris with an English-speaking guide with Bike About Tours or schedule a family day out at SuperPark Hong Kong, an indoor venue offering activities like wall climbing, bowling, skating and trampolining.
Being stuck in your transport for an extended period of time is not good for your muscles and blood circulation. Every 30 minutes or so, remember to stretch in your seat and rotate your neck, shoulders and ankles to help ease any muscle discomfort and get a quick boost of energy.
If you’re on a plane or train, make the most of your bathroom visits by taking a quick jaunt around the cabin before returning to your seat.
Long journeys tend to leave one peckish. To stave off hunger pangs, get everyone in the family to select and pack their own healthy titbits, like nuts, naturally sweetened cereal bars, dried fruit or rice crackers.
You can buy them at local markets too, where large selections of natural and organic foods are commonly sold. That way, you won’t have to resort to buying heavily processed snacks and sweets between meals or be caught off-guard if you get stuck on transport for hours.
You may be on holiday, but it’s possible to stress yourself out still. Running yourselves into the ground is counterproductive to staying healthy – it weakens your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to illnesses.
There are many ways to enjoy a time-out in the middle of a hectic holiday: go for a brisk walk or leisurely swim first thing in the morning; take a short nap with the kids in the afternoon; have a massage at the spa or watch a funny, family-friendly movie at the local cinema.
Where to go: Hot spring resorts are among the best places to relax and unwind. Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne has a family bathing area and smaller hot spring pools for babies and children. Soak in views of Port Philip Bay as you take a leisurely 90-minute drive back to your home away from home at Fraser Place Melbourne.