Tips for Traveling Healthy
By Kimberly Graf. Published on May 20, 2018
Whether you're going on a road trip across the United States or a week-long visit in a foreign country, you still want to be healthy. Getting sick while on vacation is probably one of the worst things that can happen to ruin your trip, so don't let it happen to you! We've put together some tips to help you keep your mind and body at its best while you're away from home.
Hydrate! This can't be overstated at all. Hydrate as often and as much as possible. It's so easy for your body to dehydrate as you travel, whether you're changing altitudes frequently on a flight or driving through mountain roads. Extended periods of time at higher altitudes can lead to altitude sickness, which makes you feel terrible and sick. It's also a shock to your kidneys, as higher altitudes are often drier. You're going to need to drink more water than ever if you're staying at or about 4,000 feet.
After long plane rides, you often get something called 'jetlag', which is your body being exhausted from traveling, including the changing altitudes and the effects on your body. If you hydrate excessively, you can prevent some of the worse bouts of jetlag.
Sleep as much as you can. Traveling in any way is hard on your body, whether it's long trips in a car or plane, or long vacations in distant places. Sleeping more than you usually would really helps your body store up energy and keep you feeling great. You want to be feeling your best when you experience the things that you've gone on vacation to see, so do your body a favor and sleep, sleep, sleep!
It also helps to pace yourself. Set up an itinerary that spreads your events and sightseeing out over the time that you're there, but also give yourself time to rest and relax on your vacation. You're going to be tired out too quickly if you try to cram everything in to just a few days.
Take your vitamins with you – you can put them in your checked luggage at most airlines, or take them with you in your day bag if you're driving. Those extra vitamins will give your body a boost that will help you overcome the travel slump. Also, make sure that you're getting exercise and stretching your muscles the way you should.
In other countries or exotic locations, this just means that you need to walk most places instead of taking any sort of local transportation or renting a car. During long road trips, make sure that you stop often and get out to stretch your legs and walk around for a little bit. If you are going to be stopping every few hours to get gas anyway, why not use that time to get a little exercise in?
No matter where you're going, you're going to want to invest in some sunscreen and sunglasses. Protecting your eyes and skin from the sun will help you feel a lot better about the trip. Who wants to be laid up with severe sunburns after a week on the beach? Remember that you should reapply after swimming if your sunscreen isn't waterproof, and ease your mind about your skin's health!
Another big thing that is extremely important is hand sanitizer and wet wipes to constantly clean your hands. If you're going abroad, your body isn't going to be used to the types of germs that some of these other countries have – such as different strains of the flu, different cold germs, etc. Plus, there are some locations that don't sanitize or clean their public spaces like you'd be used to in the United States. So keep yourself covered and stop freaking out about it by cleaning with wipes or sanitizer often. Plus, you're going to be in contact with a lot of people all the time no matter where you're traveling or how you plan to get there. Keep yourself from getting sick with these simple tools!
The last time is sort of specific to road trips, but you can also implement it overseas if that's where you plan on going. For road trips, keep a cooler in your car – for more than just drinks! You can bring all of the ingredients you would use to cook healthy meals at home with you. With a camp stove, available inexpensively at most big retailers, you can pull off at roadside parks or picnic areas and cook healthy meals for yourself and your family.
This is more cost-effective than getting fast food on the road, and your body will thank you! If you buy certain small appliances for cooking (hot plates, electric skillets, etc) you can even do this in hotel rooms to avoid eating too much food that's bad for you while you are away from home. You'll save your wallet, and your body as well. It doesn't get much better than that!
People often say that they need a vacation from their vacation, or end up going back to work sick and tired when they don't have to! Using these simple tips and techniques, you can pamper yourself even while you're enduring the stress and strain of traveling.