Apart from opening a whole new world for us to discover, traveling can also take a toll on our health. So before you leave, check out these seven tips that will help you stay healthy while traveling.
1. Pre-trip prep
Unless you’re a person who works out daily, its likely been a while since you walked three miles and climbed 300 steps, all in a day. Traveling and sightseeing in many countries in Europe, Asia, or South America may require at least a few hours of walking per day. You’ll always be on the go, and if you’re visiting the Great Wall in Beijing or Whitby Abbey in Whitby England, there’ll be climbing and walking involved.
Get your mind and body prepared for the physical challenges before your vacation. Exercise and proper nutrition will boost your health and immune system before you leave home.
We made it a routine two months before traveling to walk in the neighborhood a few times a week. While in Paris and Rome, the hours of walking were activities we were trained to do. Try it, and you’ll feel the difference and enjoy the many walks and climbs on your next trip!
2. Stay hydrated
It’s common to get dehydrated when traveling. The fear of not finding a toilet and the low humidity levels in aircraft cabins are just some of the reasons travelers suffer from dehydration.
Dehydration will cause headaches, irritability, fatigue or dizziness. Bring a water bottle and drink plenty of water to avoid these symptoms. Also, your body will require more water in high altitude destinations.
3. Get enough rest
You’re bound to experience jet lag when traveling to different time zones, which can effect on your alertness and sleep. Our bodies need time to adjust slowly. It’s best to take it easy and relax on the first two days before filling the days with a jam-packed itinerary.
The lack of sleep will weaken your immune system.
4. Watch what you eat and drink
Avoid tap water, cut fruits, ice cubes, raw produce when visiting developing countries. Drink bottled water and fruits with thick peels like bananas and oranges. In some countries, you may have to brush your teeth using bottled water.
If you like experiencing foods sold by street vendors or food stalls, observe these street food safety tips:
- look for a booth with long lines
- freshly prepared food
- piping hot food
- when in doubt don’t eat
Airports, hotels and pit stops (if you’re taking a road trip) are known to serve processed foods loaded with grease and salt, candy bars, and salt or sugar-loaded snacks. Try packing your own snacks and choose healthier meals.
Junk foods may cause constipation, stomach pain, reflux, and bloatedness.
5. Avoid bug bites
According to the CDC, mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies can spread diseases. Many of these are not preventable with vaccine or medicine. To reduce risk, use insect repellent, cover exposed skin, and choose accommodation that bugs can’t get in.
For additional information, read the CDC’s article on avoiding bug bites.
6. Get necessary shots
Vaccines protect travelers from serious diseases, per Vaccines.gov. You’ll require to get vaccinations, such as yellow fever when traveling to certain countries around the world.
7. Stay clean
Bring hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean.
Aldous Huxley said:
For the born traveler, traveling is a besetting vice. Like other vices, it is imperious, demanding its victim’s time, money, energy and the sacrifice of comfort.
Where will you be heading next? To calculate time change and flying time, check out Travelmath’s: