Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
No one wants to be ill when on vacation or away from home, that’s why it’s so important to stay healthy when traveling. We’ve put together 10 super simple hacks to keep you healthy and happy on your next trip.
Get Vaccines (Including the Flu Shot!)
If you’re traveling abroad to a nation home to diseases that are unusual to America, you must get your vaccinations before boarding your flight. However, the same can be said even if you’re traveling within the United States.
A surefire way to stay healthy when traveling anywhere is to get the flu shot. The vaccine will support your immune system in fighting off viruses that result in influenza, and result in a ruined trip! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the shot will take around two weeks to do its magic, so make sure to plan ahead.
Drink Plenty of Water
A crucial part of healthy travel is staying hydrated. When out of our normal daily routines, drinking plenty of water can be easily forgotten. That’s why it’s worth keeping regular reminders on your phone to drink up.
This is especially true during flights. Inside your nose are mucous membranes that play a key role in keeping bacteria and viruses out of your body. The air on planes tends to be very dry and will make you more susceptible to inhaling unwanted germs. The best way to counteract that is to drink a lot of water. With some airports banning single use plastic bottles, make sure to pack your own refillable one before traveling.
Get Enough Sleep
Poor sleep = a compromised immune system and increased chances of falling ill. Getting good shut-eye is one of the best ways to stay healthy when traveling, and it’s free!
In the build-up to your trip, make sure to incorporate a good sleep routine into your life. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To do so try to reduce your caffeine and alcohol usage, make sure your room is cool, and stay away from blue-light emitting screens an hour before sleep. If you’re traveling to a different timezone, gradually change the time you go to bed and wake up to your soon-to-be destination. This will help prevent any jet-lag ruining your trip!
Steer Clear of Aisle Seats
When booking your flight, try to pick the window seat. According to a 2008 investigation into virus transmission on flights, those passengers seated on an aisle seat were more likely to be exposed to a virus outbreak. Passengers own the aisle are more likely to be brushed by other flyers on their way back and forth to the toilet, which could account for the findings.
Be Aware of Germs
Talking of germs, keep an eye out for them wherever you are traveling. You don’t want to obsess over them but it’s worth taking small steps to protect yourself. There are simple rules to follow here: always wash your hands, stay at least six feet away from anyone who appears ill, and use disinfecting wipes on surfaces you plan to eat off. If you follow these easy-to-follow tips you’re far more likely to stay healthy when traveling.
There’s always time for lazing around on the beach or sunbathing by the pool but keeping active is also key to staying healthy when traveling. If you’re staying in a hotel, take advantage of their gym or jump on a bike instead of getting an Uber, where possible.
If neither of those are possible, go even smaller – do 20 squats when brushing your teeth, do five jumping jacks each day, or take the stairs instead of an elevator. It’s super simple, so they are no excuses!
Look After Your Skin
If you’ve ever experienced sunburn or heat stroke, you know it’s no joke. The easiest way to stay healthy when traveling is by using sunscreen and reducing time outside. Make sure to use at least SPF 30+ whenever you’re out in the sun. Make sure to also cover up where possible, purchase a sun-resistant hat, and avoid long periods in direct sunlight.
Choose Healthy Foods
It might be one of the hardest tips to follow when traveling, but choosing healthy foods can go a long way in protecting you from getting ill. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge when away, but it does mean basing your choices primarily on whole and immune-boosting foods. Stick to the rule of having one tasty, but maybe not healthy, treat each day and you should be just fine.
Always Eat Breakfast
On the topic of food, breakfast should be eaten every day, and a balanced one at that. A good breakfast will set up your day either for success, and help you stay healthy when traveling. It is key for managing your blood sugar, preventing crashes, and keeping you fuelled for a day of exploring.
Aim for around 20g of protein alongside some complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. For example, go for a bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of whole peanut butter, and a handful of blueberries. Simple and delicious!
Pack a First-aid Kit
If you do find yourself getting sick, a first-aid kit can do wonders in helping you feel better. It doesn’t need to be complex, just make sure to pack some ibuprofen for any pains or headaches, insect repellent, anti-diarrhea medication, some bandages, and some antibacterial wipes.
Throw those in your carry-on, you don’t want to lose them if you’re baggage goes wandering, and you should be able to stay healthy when traveling!