Useful Tips on Staying Healthy While Traveling
Traveling is one of the best things you can do. You get to experience different cultures, explore new surroundings and get out of your comfort zone. But, vacationing isn’t always as glamorous as it looks on Instagram.
Many adventures are accompanied by stress, bruises, cuts, germs and illness — from food poisoning to coronavirus. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when leaving the comfort and safety of home, but there are ways you can prepare for the change of pace and maintain your health.
Always Stay Hydrated
You’ve heard it a million times before, but it’s just as important now as it always has been: You have to drink water. Staying hydrated is the key to feeling energized, staying healthy and protecting your skin from the signs of early aging.
Keep It Clean
This is good advice no matter where you may travel. So many diseases are preventable thanks to modern standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can take a break from all of your personal responsibilities. In fact, it’s even more important to prioritize being clean now.
When you’re in the vacation mindset, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to go for a run or head to the hotel’s gym. But there’s a huge difference between sticking to your regular exercise routine and sitting around all day. A simple way you can stay active is by walking while you explore.
Focus on Eating Healthily
At home or abroad, there are so many health issues that you can avoid or lessen by eating better. When you eat well, you can give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy and function as it should. You'll feel more energized and ready to take on the day.
Schedule a Checkup Before You Leave
No matter if you’re going to a remote jungle or an urban city, it’s a good idea to get checked out before you hit the road. Schedule a quick checkup with your primary care provider to ensure you’re in top shape. If you’re traveling out of the country, you may also need to get certain vaccinations.
Stretch Every Morning
Do you have a full day planned? Spend 10 minutes every morning stretching before you head out. You’ll feel so much more refreshed when you start your day. Stretch your arms, neck, shoulders, legs and back to work out any morning stiffness.
Plan for Cabin Pressure on Your Flight
When you’re flying, the cruising altitude is much different than the air on the ground. This can have more of an impact on your body than you may realize. The pressure makes people feel the same as they would high up in the mountains, and that pressure can make breathing difficult.
Protect Your Skin
Who doesn’t love lying out in the sun and soaking up its rays? Despite how great your tan looks, you can have too much of a good thing. Everyone knows that the sun’s rays can cause sunburns and, over time, skin cancer. But still, so few people take sun protection seriously.
Learn Basic First Aid
This is a simple tip, but it really comes in handy. Before you head out on your journey, teach yourself the basics of first aid. Learn how to perform CPR, treat burns and care for cuts and blisters. You should also know what to do if an emergency arises.
Cook Your Own Meals
Traveling is a great way to try new things and experience the local cuisine wherever you may be. But you don’t need to eat out for every meal to enjoy the local flavors. Doing so can be expensive and not particularly healthy.
Few types of exercise work out your body, mind and spirit quite like yoga does. Yoga helps to boost flexibility, increase strength and improve circulation. It can even help you de-stress, improve your mood and encourage higher-quality sleep every night.
Protect Your Immune System When Flying
Airplane cabins aren’t known for their cleanliness. They’re typically cramped places, crowded with people who may have coughs, colds and other diseases. Ventilation is limited, and the interiors aren’t cleaned very thoroughly between every flight. All of this together creates an environment where a person can get sick very easily.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is always crucial for your overall health — but especially so when you’re traveling. When you’re able to wake up when you please, do whatever you want and stay up late, it can be difficult to stick to a regular sleep schedule. But, you need to be well-rested to prevent illness and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Try to Stick to Your Routine
Travel often comes with an air of spontaneity and freedom, but most humans are creatures of habit. Heading out on a trip can seriously mess up your routine. This can, without you even realizing it, cause stress and all of the negative side effects that come with that stress.
We get it. You’re away from work, you’re on vacation and you just want to kick back and have a few drinks. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you do so responsibly and smartly. Don’t go overboard and binge drink every night.
Disconnect From Technology
Since you’re taking a break from work and home life, why not give yourself a break from your digital life, too? These days, we hear all too much about the negatives of constantly being connected to our devices. Social media, in particular, can have a uniquely devastating effect on people’s mental health.
Make a Buffet Plan
Buffets are a staple of cruise ships, casinos and all-inclusive resorts. The sheer number of food choices can be overwhelming, and you may quickly realize that your eyes are bigger than your stomach. For this reason, it’s smart to head into the buffet with a plan.
Take in the Fresh Air
Your mom was right; you shouldn’t waste all day sitting in front of a TV screen. Get some fresh air and experience the natural beauty of the world around you. Even if you’re visiting a big city, there’s bound to be a green space nearby where you can enjoy the clean air.
Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you don’t have to floss. Stick with your usual dental health routine. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and use mouthwash periodically.
Take It Easy and Pace Yourself
When you’re in a new and exciting destination, it can be tempting to want to see everything. You may have the urge to pack your itinerary from dawn to dusk with activities. But more often than not, planning such a strictly scheduled trip can be overwhelming and create more stress.
Stock Up on Wet Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
All day, you come into contact with germs and bacteria. When you’re traveling, you usually spend much more time in public spaces than usual, which means exposure to more germs and a greater chance that you’ll get sick. Protect yourself by carrying hand sanitizer and wet wipes with you.
Be Active While Flying
It’s hard to sit still on a long-haul flight, but boredom shouldn’t be your biggest concern. Did you know that staying immobile for extended periods can actually be dangerous? You could develop blood clots in your legs or a condition called deep vein thrombosis.
Practice Stress-relief Techniques
Travel provides an escape from your everyday stressors, but it’s not without its own annoyances. You may be anxious about flying, worried about keeping up with your itinerary or unable to disconnect from work. Whatever’s on your mind, the stress it causes can impact your mental, emotional and physical health.
Be Smart When Ordering Out
Because cooking your own food is more difficult while traveling, most people eat out at restaurants for every meal. While dining out can be nice every once in a while, doing it three times a day can take a toll on your waistline (and your wallet). When you do eat out, make smart choices.
Check Your Lodgings for Bedbugs
These little pests are any traveler’s worst nightmare. Hotels, hostels and vacation rentals alike are all susceptible to bedbug infestations. Bedbugs are nocturnal, blood-sucking insects that love to hide in fabrics and crevices, making mattresses one of their favorite dwellings.
Go for a Hike
One of the best ways to exercise while exploring a new area is by going on a hike. Hiking offers a unique combination of both physical and mental benefits that are vital to your overall health while traveling.
Pack Less Than You Think You Need
When packing for a trip, most people have a tendency to go a little bit overboard. Take it from us — you’re not going to need 12 different pairs of pants, a formal gown and a month’s worth of underwear (unless you’re traveling for a month). And lugging around all of that extra weight puts unnecessary stress on your body, potentially causing injuries.
Practice Safe Sex
No matter if you’re traveling for fun or business, it feels like anything can happen, including hitting it off with an attractive stranger. Though traveling provides the freedom to get a little crazy and do things you wouldn’t do ordinarily, you still have to be smart about it.
Embrace the Sunlight
Who doesn’t love a little vitamin D? This vitamin helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is essential for healthy and strong bone growth. It can also help to prevent respiratory infections like the cold and flu, decrease the effects of seasonal affective disorder and even help to lower the risk of heart disease.
Indulge a Little
Staying healthy doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of everything fun and enjoyable. In fact, a big part of taking care of yourself and your spirit is enjoying yourself. Traveling is meant to be indulgent, so live a little. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself after a long day of traveling.