February 12, 2020
Nobody likes getting sick, but feeling under the weather while you’re away from the comforts of home is downright awful. Long flights, different time zones, and the action-packed schedules that come with traveling can be particularly hard on the body. Fortunately, there are healthy habits you can practice to help keep you feeling your best during your trip.
Here are eight tips for staying healthy while traveling:
Many travelers sacrifice a few hours of sleep to fit more into their day. While this may seem like a clever idea, it’s actually counterproductive. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night for adults to operate at peak performance and avoid a weakened immune system. If you’re traveling to a different time zone, you can gradually adjust your sleeping schedule a few days before your trip to eliminate jet lag.
If you’re traveling for pleasure, your days will likely be filled with delicious meals. While it’s perfectly okay to indulge a bit while on vacation, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re eating. If possible, begin your day with a nutritious breakfast and bring some fruit, veggies, or nuts with you to snack on throughout the day to avoid overindulging at dinnertime.
If you’re going on a hiking trip, this tip may not apply to you. But for those traveling to get some well-deserved R&R, a little bit of exercise can actually complement your body’s rejuvenation process. Many hotels offer fitness centers so you can fit a workout into your daily schedule. And if you’re traveling somewhere new, get some steps in while exploring everything your destination has to offer!
Being on-the-go all day can cause your body’s water levels to fluctuate. When you don’t sufficiently replace the water your body naturally loses, you put yourself at risk for dehydration. The good news? It’s easy to avoid dehydration by drinking enough water throughout the day. It can get expensive to keep buying water bottles, so always bring a reusable water bottle that you can simply refill throughout the day.
The same hygiene rules you practice at home should apply while you’re away. Keep illness-causing germs and infections at bay by washing your hands frequently with soap and water. It’s also always a good idea to have some hand sanitizer packed for those times you don’t have access to a sink.
If your travel plans include a lot of time spent outdoors, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is a must. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces your risk of developing skin cancer.
You never know when you might need it, so it’s always best to be prepared by carrying a first-aid kit. Basic first-aid kits can be purchased pre-packaged or you can create your own . Be sure to bring it with you wherever you go in case of an emergency.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides travel health notices on their website to keep you informed of any health risks you may encounter on your journey.
Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, practicing these healthy habits will help you make the very most out of your time away from home.