Traveling is thrilling. But, let’s face it, anything that’s thrilling can take its toll on your health. Whether you’re hiking the Himalayas or visiting the town over it’s important to stay cognizant of your health along the way. One of the biggest downers on a trip can be getting hit with travel fatigue and just wanting to go home, or, even worse, getting sick on your journey. While there’s no way to completely avoid this part of life, you can take some precautions to keep your body and mind as prepared as possible for whatever adventure you are on.
All these tips are even more important if you’re someone who travels consistently for work, pleasure or even if you are a digital nomad who’s constantly on the move (see our article here for more details on the nomadic lifestyle).
Check out some of our best tips for staying on the up and up on your journeys.
Staying Healthy on the Go
1. Stay Hydrated
This one's been in vogue for some time, but it truly can make all the difference especially when traveling. One of the most crucial things you can do to maintain your health while traveling is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even more severe health issues. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout your trip, especially if you're traveling to a hot climate. You can bring a reusable water bottle to refill at airports or rest stops and ask for water on the plane. Here’s a great article on the best water bottles for every type of trip.
This all being said, remember that other countries may not have the same standards when it comes to water as your own. It’s very very important to make sure the water you’re drinking is clean and drinkable when adventuring abroad. Here is a complete list of countries where you can and cannot drink from the tap, so be sure to buy some purified water and stick to that if you’re visiting a country in the no drink list.
2. Pack Healthy Snacks
Let’s face it, a lot of the time when you’re on the move it’s easy to go with unhealthy food options. Whether that’s delicious local street tacos, potato chips from vending machines at the airport or just struggling with a lack of ability to prepare healthy meals at home – a trip can be detrimental to your diet. And you know, if it is a vacation, a little of that is okay! You’ve got to live! But there are some ways you can prepare to mitigate this dietary damage. For one, if you pack healthy snacks, you'll have something nutritious to munch on and avoid the temptation of junk food. Some great snack options include dried fruit, healthy nuts, trail mix, or protein bars. This article here is based on the best snacks to bring for road trips, but it really works for any sort of trip.
3. Get Enough Sleep—Dealing with Jet Lag
Travel Fatigue. This is the dreaded feeling that comes on when you’re on a trip and all you want to do is be in your bed at home. Part of this phenomena can come from logistical overload, or a bad experience, but another huge factor (the can contribute to the previous two) is exhaustion. It's essential to get enough sleep to maintain your health while traveling. Sleeping well will help you avoid jet lag and feel energized to explore your destination. If you have trouble sleeping on planes or in unfamiliar beds, consider bringing earplugs, an eye mask, or a travel pillow. You can also try adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before your trip to align with your destination's time zone—simply begin adjusting your bedtime an hour earlier (or later) according to your destination. If it’s 3 hours ahead, each day sleep one hour earlier! Melatonin can be a helpful hack for sleeping earlier than usual.
This all being said, abide by the two day rule. If you’re staying somewhere for two days or less, try to keep your own schedule. If it’s longer, go ahead and adjust that internal clock.
4. Protect your Skin
Okay, this one isn’t quite as essential as some of the others, but it is something to think about when you’re on the move. Traveling can be harsh on your skin, especially if you're exposed to the sun, dry air, or different climates. Make sure to pack a good moisturizer, chapstick and lip balm to protect your skin from damage. You can also bring a face mist or hydrating spray to refresh your skin during long flights or hot days. Finally, probably the most important aspect of travel skin care is SUNSCREEN! Do not forget to apply a layer of sunscreen before you’re out exploring a new city under the summer sun or laying at the beach and fall asleep (trust me, I’m speaking from experience).
5. Wash Those Hands!
Practicing good hygiene is crucial to prevent getting sick while traveling, especially when visiting countries that may not have the same standards as your own. Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or touching your face. Use hand sanitizer if you can't wash your hands with soap and water. You can also bring disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces like airplane trays or hotel room door knobs.
6. Avoiding Altitude Sickness
If you're traveling to a high-altitude destination, it's essential to prepare for the possibility of altitude sickness. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. To avoid altitude sickness, it's recommended to acclimatize to the elevation gradually. If possible, plan to spend a few days at a lower altitude before ascending. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration. It's also recommended to eat light, high-carbohydrate meals and avoid heavy, fatty foods. If you're experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness, descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible.
Keep your travel wallet safe and healthy with HelloVacay
Let’s face it, a part of having a healthy body and mind is having a healthy wallet. Eating healthy and taking care of yourself can be expensive, but where can we find the resources in an already tight economy? Self-plug time. Check out a HelloVacay membership if you’re traveling even once a year!
Our partnerships with travel conglomerates like Booking.com and Priceline can save you up to 60% off at all the same hotels and resorts you’d usually stay at. That’s plenty of extra cash for those organic tacos. Check out our Pilot Passport today and get free access to a lite version of our membership for life! Congrats on being in the right place at the right time.
In conclusion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle while traveling is essential to enjoy your trip fully. By staying hydrated, packing healthy snacks, getting enough sleep, staying active, taking care of your skin, practicing good hygiene, and planning ahead, you can have a safe and healthy journey. Bon voyage!