Nobody likes being sick, and getting sick while traveling is the worst! It can literally ruin your vacation. Staying healthy while traveling is not hard if you just know what to do. With my self diagnosed germ-phobia I stay pretty healthy most of the time thanks to these tricks.
Staying Healthy While Traveling
Don’t stop for junk just because it is the most convenient. Seek out a cafe or restaurant. You will you eat better, and you will also meet locals and get a better taste of the town that you are visiting. Pack snacks and meals in your bag for long flights. You can also find healthy options at the airport – bypass the greasy fast food and head for the restaurants and order food to-go if you don’t have time to sit. Go to the grocery store while traveling and cook. Whether you are staying with friends, relatives or in a hotel you can go shop for fresh food and make it where you are staying.
Staying hydrated is my #1 tip. Dehydration is really common when flying. By drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after your flight you will not only stay hydrated (which helps keep your immune system working well), but will also help with jet lag. Both caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you so try to keep them to a minimum. Stay away from salty snacks that the airlines provide and pack your own healthy snacks or buy some in the airport before your flight. Every cell and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. If you get dehydrated you are more likely to get sick.
Sleep deprivation leads to bad decisions around food – such as reaching for caffeine and sugar for pick-me-ups and keeps you from making good choices at meal time. If you find it hard to sleep when traveling try melatonin. Try pineapple, bananas, and oranges before bed as a natural source of melatonin. Being tired doesn’t make you sick but it makes you more at risk. Your immune system takes a hit and has a harder time protecting against illness. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep when traveling or as much as you would get at home. Getting good sleep is key to being healthy while traveling.
I know it is vacation but you have to keep moving and exercising. Exercise stimulates the immune system, releases endorphins, and keeps your brain sharp. Use the hotel fitness center and pool daily. If you are on trip to visit family go on a daily outing somewhere where you will get a couple of miles in (zoo, historic district, mall, market, beach, etc.). If you are in the city, walk to dinner/movies and skip the cab ride (that cab is a breeding ground for germs anyway!).
Staying healthy while traveling is an ongoing process that you need to remember before, during, and after a trip. A healthy diet provides nearly all of the nutrients you need, but many people don’t always eat the healthy all of the time – especially when we travel. That’s why a multivitamin can help fill in the gaps. A daily multivitamin is an inexpensive way to fill the holes.
Wash Wash Wash
We all know – wash our hands when we use the restroom but what about all of the other times? Airplanes are breeding grounds for all kind of germs. Did you remember to wash your hands during that layover before grabbing lunch? Yuck. You have no idea what you picked up from the tray table on the plane and now you are going to pick up that bread and dip it into your soup? Gross. What about when you get back to the hotel from the museum/market/amusement park? When you walk back into your house/hotel/rental stop at the door and take off your shoes and go into the bathroom and give your hands a good washing. It will keep the germs outside and it keep the inside clean.
I am not saying that you have to go crazy (like holding it for 16 hours of flying plus an hour cab ride to avoid a public restroom) but when you are out and about think about what you are doing so that you have a great trip, no matter if it is for work or play.
Follow these simple rules during your travels and you will stay healthy while traveling.