Traveling can be a blast (or a hassle), but there’s nothing worse than being far from home and feeling unwell. And because train stations, buses, and planes are filled with all kinds of people in various states of health, it’s best to protect yourself with healthy travel tips.
What are the best ways to stay healthy while traveling?
Try these healthy travel tips while traveling this season.
Travel Tips: Prioritize Your Health
Sanitize Those Hands — The world can be just plain germy and dirty. Whether you’re headed on a vacation or taking a trip for work, the airport, subways, and taxis you take (and the hotels you stay in) can be a breeding ground for germs.
And if you are busy shaking hands, holding stair rails, or gripping stability bars on trains and buses, you could end up with dirty hands. But if you travel with hand sanitizer, you won’t need to wait to wash your hands. Antibacterial hand sanitizer can help keep you staying healthy while traveling.
Keep A “Stay Healthy” Travel Kit With You — Unfortunately, illness can strike anywhere at any time. But if you keep a travel kit of over-the-counter remedies and vitamins, you might be able to fend off something that could become a real nuisance if neglected.
Of course, you’ll want to keep your prescriptions with you. But you can also plan for potential issues like headaches, upset stomach, or cramping that might come on while you’re traveling. Being able to take care of a sick stomach or fever while on vacation can be a lifesaver, so be prepared.
Get Enough Sleep: Avoid Jet Lag With A Good Night’s Sleep In Your Hotel
Count Those Sheep — Bring a sleep mask and earplugs if need be, but make sure to get sleep when and where you can. Many say that sleep is a cure-all, but on vacation or when traveling, it can be hard to get good sleep. Jet lag can be a beast of an inconvenience.
Even if you can’t get a full 8 hours, closing your eyes may help you relax. And travel can be tough on your body, so stay someplace comfortable (if you can). Do your best to get a good night’s sleep. Carve out a little bit of a break in your agenda to unwind and sleep.
If you’re traveling for business and not a vacation, consider adding a day to your trip to catch up on rest before or after meetings.
Drink To Stay Hydrated: Keep A Water Bottle Handy And Eat Foods With High Water Content
Drink Water Often — Traveling can be stressful, and if you’re rushing or running about, you may not remember to drink water or eat a healthy meal. Bring a water bottle with you when you can.
Again, frequent air travel can adversely affect hydration levels, nutritional behaviors, sleep quality, and how much sleep you actually get. And dry cabin air and compromised air pressure can sometimes cause dehydration.1
Staying Healthy With Fresh Fruit And Healthy Meals — Try to keep healthy snacks handy. You never know when your plane, train, or car might be delayed and you’ll be unable to find food. If you can, take fresh fruit with you. Fruit can help you stay hydrated and offer vitamins and minerals you might not get in packaged foods.
And again, always keep a full water bottle with you. Try to stick to a regular schedule for meals, if you can. Remember: It can sometimes seem easier to just grab fast-food when on a tight travel schedule, but heavy, processed foods might actually enhance jet lag symptoms like headaches and fatigue.2
Staying healthy while traveling means keeping yourself properly nourished so your immune system can stay strong and function as it should.
Tips For Healthy Bodies: Workouts, Exercise, And Stretching
Stretch and Exercise — Traveling can stiffen your joints and cause all types of cramps and aches. Why? Because sitting in a single position for a long time is never a great thing. As often as you’re able to, stand up from your seat. Stroll the aisle. Stretch your legs and arms when you can. This will help keep your blood circulating and keep you from feeling locked up.
Stretching can help you keep your muscles long and flexible. And that way, when you do get to exercise at the hotel gym, you won’t be putting too much force on the muscles themselves. Healthy muscles can also help you with balance issues and avoiding falls or other injuries.3
When you’re able, choose a hotel with a workout room. This way, you can get some steps in or at least you can have a comfortable place to exercise and stretch.
Keep Calm And Carry On — Travel can be full of inconveniences, delays, upsets, and frustration. And stress can tank a good vacation.
Practicing ways to destress can keep you sane and excited for your destination (or your return home). Take deep breaths. Count to 10, and breathe deeply in stressful situations. You’ll be glad you didn’t let an inconvenience get the best of you.
Travel Tips: Putting Your Health First
In the end, you will be doing yourself a world of good if you focus on getting a good night’s sleep, staying hydrated, eating healthily, and remaining calm while you’re traveling. There are healthy options out there, and committing to finding them may help alleviate discomfort or frustration while you’re away.
And, if you do end up feeling unwell while on a trip, find a doctor. A healthcare professional might be able to offer you advice, medication, or alternative approaches to finding comfort while you’re traveling.