Staying Healthy While Traveling
As the nation continues the return to normalcy, people are choosing to travel again. Although this is a monumental step, we must continue to take action to protect ourselves from illness. If you know you’ll be in the air or on the road soon, consider taking a few minutes to read our practical tips for staying healthy while traveling.
TIP #1: HANG ON TO H2O Nobody enjoys feeling dehydrated. They typically experience sluggishness, which we don’t want right before leisure or work trips. Before you reach for an alcoholic beverage - or even another coffee - sip on some water first. It’ll keep you feeling satisfied and refreshed throughout the day. And to do your part for the planet, avoid single-use plastic bottles and instead bring a reusable water bottle along for the journey. You can even make a game out of refilling it at specific checkpoints!
TIP #2: KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN No doubt, you’ve heard everyone tell you this, but washing your hands is more important than you may think. Although the COVID-19 vaccines are readily available, we must still be vigilant. We touch numerous surfaces throughout our airport, hotel, and public transportation adventures. Cash, door handles, paperwork - the list goes on. However, let’s say you need to itch your nose, pick up a sandwich, or wipe your eyes. You may want to think about where your hands have been, accumulating bacteria and germs from multiple points.
Fortunately, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes can clean your hands in a pinch, which is super useful when soap and water aren’t readily available. But, of course, washing your hands is crucial. Be sure you’re doing so as frequently as you’re able.
TIP #3: UPGRADE YOUR TRAVEL WARDROBE Travel restrictions like wearing mandatory masks in the airport and on flights are going to continue for quite some time. So, before you embark on your next journey, remember to invest in a breathable, comfortable, high-performance mask that you can wear over your nose and mouth continuously for many hours. Furthermore, dressing correctly for your journey will keep you comfortable, better protected, and will provide health benefits. Your clothes are the only layer between you and any germs all around on surfaces. Some specialized clothing is made to minimize the ability of microbes to survive on its surface, especially odor-causing ones. Other accessories, like travel compression socks, can help boost your circulation during long hours of inactivity, such as sitting on the plane.
TIP #4: JUST BREATHE AND STAY (MENTALLY) BUSY It’s easy to believe that all travelers are fearless human beings. But truthfully, many of us experience anxiety and stress, especially when it comes to planning and executing memorable trips. These feelings are absolutely normal. The good news is that you can just take it back to the basics. Think about what helps you unwind or keeps your brain distracted from unhelpful thoughts - whether it’s an enticing read, a juicy podcast, or a satisfying puzzle. Then, prioritize incorporating this activity into your travel routine. Further, focus on deep breathing, which can dramatically reduce any jitters. Journaling and meditation are easy activities that can aid you in concentrating on your breath.
TIP #5: NOSH ON NUTRIENT-RICH FOODS Fast food can really tempt travelers - it’s quick and delicious. You’re also probably thinking about how your trips are your time to indulge, and you can absolutely do that, but it’s better to practice moderation; greasy food can make you feel groggy, and you don’t want that feeling to hold you back during your time away!
Remember to opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of protein and good fats. The key is balanced meals and healthy snacks, as they’ll naturally energize you and keep you fuller for longer. Best of all, you’ll be less likely to experience the nasty “crash” that comes with consuming unhealthier options. Many people even bring their own food for their travels, so if this option is available to you, don’t be afraid to take advantage. In addition to eating healthily, pay attention to your body’s hunger cues. Few people enjoy feeling overstuffed, so only eat until you feel satisfied. On the same hand, if you feel like you’re starving, nourish your body as soon as possible.
TIP #6: SLEEP AND SUCCEED Unfortunately, it’s more likely that you’ll get sick when you’re always on the go and can’t treat your body to the rest it deserves. You’re probably crossing time zones, too, and this might make getting sleep more difficult. Jet lag is no joke! Ideally, you should squeeze in a good night’s sleep the day before you travel. Even better, you can practice sleeping in a specific time zone a few days before you depart for your trip. Alternatively, if you must, taking a quick nap while you’re en route to your destination should do the trick. Once you arrive, see if you can stick to a regular bedtime. If sleep proves to be an issue during your time away, you can even try a natural sleeping aid, such as melatonin.
Finally, while you’re away, always listen to your body. If you have plans on a particular day, but your body is craving rest, don’t hesitate to slow down and either cancel or reschedule those activities. After all, you don’t have to see everything in just one day.
TIP #7: WELCOME WALKS AND WORKOUTS When we travel, we have the tendency to sit for most - if not all - of the journey. Plus, once we get to our destination, we’re bound to lay around. However, moving your body is one of the most important things you can do while you travel. For instance, a quick lap around your airport gate or a stretching session before takeoff can promote alertness once you land.
Further, you can incorporate activities like bike rides around your destination city or hikes in a reserve near the outskirts of town. Hotel gyms are also worth scoping out if you don’t want to pack too many outdoor activities into your trip.
SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
I hope you can take inspiration from my practical tips for staying healthy while traveling. On a parting note, here are some final recommendations for your adventure:
Should you plan to leave your home country, ensure you’re up-to-date on all necessary immunizations and vaccines prior to travel.
If you’re traveling to a warm and sunny climate, lather on the sunscreen! Sunburns damage your skin and are very uncomfortable, so it’s important to apply protection with at least 15 SPF. Make sure to continually apply sunscreen throughout each day, too.
Take your vitamins! They’re necessary supplements that will seamlessly compliment your dishes. If you tend to forget to take them on trips, try storing them in a pill case and packing them in your toiletry bag.
Stay connected. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can’t make a new friend or reunite with loved ones. Your emotional and mental wellness will thank you.
Where2Next? Travel, LLC is a Special Needs Group™ Certified Accessible Travel Advocate and a Scootaround Certified Blue Star Ambassador Advisor - with knowledge in accessibility needs for luxury travel.
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