5 Healthy Hacks for Theme Park Trips


Summer is here and theme parks are booming. Here are some easy hacks that will honor your health and your happiness on your next trip to a theme park.

A roller coaster at a theme park

Stay well hydrated

Whether it is summertime or not, theme parks can suck you dry, literally. The heat, the walking, the screaming on rides (hello dry mouth), and the extra sodium you may consume by eating out more than usual will all contribute to you needing more water than you might need on a regular day. It’s typically best to carry a water bottle with you so you’ll be less tempted to stop for sugary drinks when thirst hits you. 

Try these healthy food hacks

Start your day off with a filling and balanced breakfast. This could be from options at the hotel breakfast or things you bring for the room refrigerator like boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, cheese, nuts, oatmeal, and/or granola/protein bars. The main thing is to make sure you eat enough so you don’t end up starving by the next time you get a chance to stop for food.

Bring snacks just in case though. You might even be able to save some dough and pack lunch too. Some parks will allow you to bring in coolers and others just a non-insulated bag. Make sure to check ahead of time.

If coolers are in, you can pack things like turkey and cheese sandwiches, cold fruit, cheese sticks, cold pasta salad, carrot sticks, yogurt, and more. For your dry, non-cold items things like homemade trail mix, protein or granola bars, and peanut butter crackers all make great grab ‘n go options.

The reality is though, you will likely be eating out. It’s best to arrive at the restaurant before you are overly hungry, hence why I recommend packing snacks. Being overly hungry leads to overeating for most. I certainly encourage people to honor their health and make healthier choices when out, or to at least balance their main dish with veggies or a salad.

I also think it’s important to listen to your body and order what you think is going to hit the spot and leave you satisfied so you aren’t rummaging for food later when the cravings set in because you denied yourself what you really wanted. My point, aim for balanced choices that still allow you to have fun on vacation.

A little girl riding on a carousel at a theme park

Focus on fun

Laughter really is the best medicine. When we are happy and having fun our body is actually in a healthier state. Long lines are certainly no fun. Figure out what options your park might have like fast pass tickets or virtual lines to cut down on boring wait times. If not, come prepared with games you can play while standing in line.

Don’t skimp on sleep

It might be tempting to stay up late because of revenge bedtime procrastination or to wake up early so you can hit the park before it’s packed. I encourage you to only do one or the other though. Adventuring through a theme park all day, though fun, is exhausting so you’ll need your sleep. Being well-rested also helps keep cravings down and energy up so you can have more fun!

Maintain physical activity

I put this one in here so at least one of these 5 hacks would seem effortless. You have to really try to get in less than 10,000 steps per day at a theme park. 

Do you have any healthy theme park hacks to share? Help other Miami moms out and tell us in the comments!

Updated July 2023

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Dina Garcia
After healing her relationship with food and reversing her pre-diabetes, Dina Garcia has developed a true passion for helping others live the happy, healthy lives they deserve, free from preoccupations with food and body image. As a dietitian-nutritionist, mindful eating coach, and founder of Vida Nutrition and Conscious Living, she is all about helping her clients ditch diets, build a healthy relationship with food and find practical solutions that make healthy eating DO-able. She’s constantly juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship but enjoys the flexibility that being her own boss provides her family. Dina has been featured in CBS Miami, Bustle, Self, Women’s Health, Livestrong, Thrillest, Simple Most, Business News Daily and more. She completed her undergraduate degree in dietetics in 2005 at Ball State University, then her supervised practice in 2006 at California State University, Fresno. You can follow Dina here: IG: instagram.com/dietitiandina FB: facebook.com/myvidanutrition blog: vidanutrition.com/blog