Travel Tips

Window Seat or Aisle Seat: 6 Shape-up Family Vacation Ideas

Locations in this article:  San Diego, CA

One-of-a-Kind Weight Watching Getaways

If you’re looking for a new wellness activity, consider yoga. This March 2 through 9, Jessica Bellofatto, yogi, & wellness author, and Adam Kelinson, will be hosting families at a Yoga and Nutrition Retreat in Rancho Santana, Nicaragua. The venue includes 2700 acres of rolling hills, 2 miles of shoreline with 5 distinct beaches each nestled in their own hideaways. You and your children can swim, surf, snorkel, and horseback ride. There will be a series of yoga classes, spa treatments, surfing, swimming, guided walks, zip lining, nutritional consultations, and a menu of wholly organic and locally grown food. Your family will be hosted in a six-bedroom private home for the week that has an infinity edge pool overlooking the cliffs and sea below. The retreat can accommodate 10 families.

For families searching for an out of the box weight conscious adventure, join the people from Fitpacking. Fitpacking’s goal is to take families on wilderness hiking vacations to jump start their fitness level while providing an memorable outdoor experience. Most trips are one week long (7 days is the shortest “weeklong” trip, 9 the longest).  They also have 2-week trips, which tend to be 12-15 days. There are more than 20 different expeditions to choose from starting in mid-February and running though mid-December. All of them are in the U.S. with the exception of a June excursion in France and the final trip of the season in December that travels to Israel. Each trip is limited to 10 participants, a guideline set by the National Parks, so if you see a destination you’d like to visit sign up early.  Check out the body composition study on the site to determine how much each member of your family could potentially lose by participating in a Fitpacking program.

At Rancho Cortez in the Texas Hill country, owners have combined a dude ranch and a Fitness Program.   On the morning after your arrival at the ranch you and your young ones will be given a fitness level assessment prior to beginning the schedule. Then a wellness program will be designed specifically for you based on your family’s needs and abilities. They promise to keep you moving 6 to 8 hours every day with everything from corralling, cattle roundups, lasso lessons, boot camp, strength training, water aerobics, stretching and more. Rancho Cortez is open year round so you can book your visit at anytime. Stays vary from two weeks to 6 months, and there is no age limit for children.

Weight-Loss Staple

For 35 years Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa has an institution for weight loss and well-being. Since 2002, Doral resort in Florida has been home to the organization’s “family immersion” camp. Run like a summer camp for kids and their parents, the Pritikin Family Program includes tennis, swimming, dance classes, as well as strength training, music-charged aerobic workouts, and afternoons horsing around at the Blue Lagoon recreation area, which features a 125-foot waterslide, waterfalls. Games like volleyball, soccer, basketball, and poolside bingo are daily events. The cooking classes are designed with an emphasis on nutrition and healthy food choices. While your kids are busy, you’ll receive the full benefit of the traditional, for-adults Pritikin Health and Weight-Loss Program. You can attend workshops to learn strategies for motivating your kids to make healthy choices, such as planning menus with them, handling picky eaters and junk food lovers, and fitting fitness fun into everyday family life.  The family immersion program runs from June 30 through July 13 and is for families with children 8 to 18.

For more healthy travel behaviors, check out:

By Kerri Zane for Kerri Zane is a family travel expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding the REAL One, on sale now. For more advice on health, beauty and travel, visit her at