I don’t know about you, but I’m notorious for getting sick once or twice a year, but only after or at the end of my travels. I blame it on switching up my normal routine and allowing myself the chance to finally relax. There are lots of ways to not be like me and keep up a healthy lifestyle and routine while you’re traveling.
Take these travel health tips below to keep up your physical and mental health!
Strengthen your immune system before travel
Your immune system is able to fight off infections and illness, so make sure you’re eating healthy, take your vitamins, get lots of rest, and try to relax. If you start out healthy, you're more likely to stay healthy during the duration of your trip.
Eat meals that are healthy and easy to digest
Eat lots of veggies, meals high in protein and fiber. Eat foods with probiotics like yogurt to benefit your digestive system. Taking extra vitamin C and B can’t hurt either! When you're traveling it will be more difficult to eat a balanced diet, but try to eat one healthy meal per day.
Exercising before travel will get you ready for the larger amount of exercise that you’ll encounter on your trip. Exercise will help with your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure, and assist with your blood circulation so that you can help your immune system run more smoothly. During the trip you’ll probably do a lot of walking, so take advantage of it! Use the stairs instead of the escalator, take that bike tour of the city, and take that morning jog around town before you start your day!
Stress can have a negative effect on your body’s health as well. I've noticed that when I finally relax on vacation, my body seems to notice and that is precisely when I get sick. So reducing stress before you travel is always a good thing. Download that meditation app and take time to decompress before and while you travel.
I hate to be this person, but when you're on a flight you should really steer clear of coffee and alcohol. It is important to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, so stick with water and orange juice if you can manage. Get up and walk around the plane once an hour or so to avoid blood clots. I also recommend buying a pair of compression socks for the flight.
Get a full night’s rest
Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, so be sure to get a full 8 hours before and during travel. When you’re running on empty you’re more vulnerable to illness, so make sure to rest up! It can be tempting to stay out late and get up early to experience all you can, but make sure to get that much-needed shut-eye.
Drink lots of water. Be sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it at water fountains whenever possible.
Pack some healthy snacking options in your day bag! Stop by the grocery store and grab a few items that you can stash in your bag for when you’re on the go! Fruits, snack bars, etc. No one likes to be hangry, and you never know when your next meal may be. Every country you visit will have a very different selection of snack options, so if you crave consistency, pack your favorite energy bars from home.
Stick to your routine
If you take vitamins every day, don’t leave them at home when you jet set off on your new adventure. If you exercise daily, stick to some sort of exercise routine no matter what your day has in store for you. Even maintaining your makeup/skin/personal care routine will keep you feeling refreshed and confident. You always want to be feeling your best when you’re on the go so don’t throw your routines out the window. That routine will help you stay healthy and happy.
Pack antibacterial items
Yes, it kinda sucks to carry these around all the time, but you will be touching a lot more things than normal so it is important to carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. You also might not have the opportunity to wash your hands as often as you’d like. Wipe off any surfaces that you’re making a lot of contact with for a long period of time, e.g. plane or train armrests. Avoid touching highly trafficked things like turnstiles and arm rails if you can, but if you can’t, use hand sanitizer.
Wear your glasses
I’m terrible at heeding my own advice with this. I almost always wear my contact lenses, and rarely like to be seen in my glasses. But wearing contacts while traveling can be difficult due to varying change in climate and you might be prone to more dryness and irritation. You’re more likely to rub your eyes and expose them to contaminates if your eyes are irritated.
Stay away from others that show symptoms of sickness
This pretty much goes without saying, but keep your distance from anyone sneezing, coughing, or seems ill.
Keep a stocked First Aid Kit
I always travel with a few basic first aid items to keep me comfortable. If you get headaches easily or might find yourself with a bit of a hangover after a night out, pack some over-the-counter pain reliever. Bandages are great for minor cuts and moleskin is great with preventing blisters. The last thing you want is to have a gnarly blister on your heel that will prevent you from enjoying the rest of your day. If you get motion sickness or have a sensitive stomach, be sure to pack some medications that can help you your particular time of need.
Sunscreen is a big must have item for both short term and long term skin health. I hate getting burned and having an awkward “tan” (if you can even call it that - I’m incredibly fair-skinned). Peeling is definitely not something I want to deal with while on the road either. These may be superficial reasons, but the most important reason to wear sunscreen is to prevent skin cancer, so pile it on!
It can be hard to put the phone or laptop away when you’re traveling, but this is the perfect time to step away from your responsibilities and relax. Try not to check in too often with work or home so you really feel like you’re on vacation. You’ll come back more refreshed and hopefully in a better mindset to get things done!
How do you stay healthy when you travel?
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