Vacay for Babes on a Budget

One of my best friends Keala is a featured writer on the blog today! Keala teaches group fitness at the University Recreation Center at JMU (known as UREC) and aspires to be a personal life coach. She brought some of her awesome advice with her on our trip on how to eat healthy and have great workouts. 

We went to Bethany Beach for a few days and it was so fun to spend time together, workout, and most importantly save money on our meals! Check out this awesome post written by the wonderful Keala and then see pictures from our trip!


The word vacation drums up many immediate thoughts: beach chairs, ocean, tasty food, and pure relaxation.  While some getaways may be hefty in cost, it is completely possible to lighten the load and still have a phenomenal vacation experience!

The cost of food and other incidental items can add up quickly; instead of dining out each meal, think ahead to plan and pack your meals throughout the week.  This not only saves the green but also provides an opportunity for the preparation of food together, which will enhance your bond with whomever you are traveling.  

Anna Grace and I LOVE to shop at Trader Joe’s: this is a specialty store offering many organic and delicious options. We each separately purchased usual items on our grocery list and then brought them with us to the beach.  Packing everything into a cooler is helpful because then you can use the cooler while you are away for a beach picnic lunch or snack.  We prepared the meals together while listening to music (French Café Pandora station, anyone?) and experimenting in the kitchen.  The leftovers we saved for later meals, which was exceptional because we were able to get the most out of the product!  

Sample meals:

  • whole wheat penne pasta & organic vodka sauce w/green beans (+kosher salt & pepper)
  • cheese pizza topped w/ ½ jar of roasted red & yellow peppers (+side of leftover green beans)
  • tilapia (squeeze a 66 cent lemon over for flavor), brown & long grain rice w/side of organic peas 

Sample snacks:

  • black bean & quinoa chips w/a salsa made of 1 can pinto beans, 1 can black beans & 1 can of southwest bean salsa
  • reduced-guilt air popped popcorn
  • 80 calorie fruit snacks
  • corn tortilla chips and organic mild salsa
  • Special K and Trader Joe’s granola bars (low-calorie, low-sugar)

*because I (Keala) am a vegetarian/pescatarian and Anna Grace is not, you can add any carnivorous option to the meals, such as adding chicken to the penne pasta or adding it on to half of the pizza

It always acceptable to splurge in moderation!  Always have something sweet (we brought Raisinets) and allow in moderation for adult beverages (chardonnay and Stella Artois between the two of us over a few days).   

Stay on the workout grind while on vacation to ensure that you feel your best.  Go for a walk or run to and from the beach—we did 6.5 miles!  Bring workout DVD’s to do together, such as a yoga sculpt DVD. If you are staying at a beach house complex, scout out the gym and do 45-60 minutes of cardio and a mix of weight lifting exercises.  Exercising is a healthy part of vacation and should be incorporated each day.

Come prepared with paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, sunscreen, reading materials, yoga mats, spices for cooking, your favorite DVD’s to watch, and anything else to save on direct cost when you are already on vacation. Get plenty of rest on your vacation!  Some days it is best to have no schedule, which will allow for flexibility of plans, spontaneity, and give you a mental break from overthinking it.  

Anna Grace and I have been best friends for a few years and we make sure that we see each other to reconnect as often as our hectic schedules allow it.  We had an awesome few days in Bethany Beach full of rest, relaxation, and fun :)  AG documented our lives through photography (she’s really talented) so that we could share it with you.  

Thanks for reading and happy, healthy vacationing!