Traveling is great for the soul. It can be relaxing, exciting, and inspiring. Each day is a new adventure which can unfortunately sometimes include those “womp, womp” travel moments – when you lose your luggage, get ripped off, or get terribly lost. Those moments when you curse yourself and the world, but once you’re home, it’s your favorite story to tell. No one, however, wants to remember, revisit, or retell the story of that time they got horribly sick while traveling. It’s uncomfortable, frustrating and results in you missing out on all the fun. Your chances of getting sick increase with travel frequency, duration and location. You just have to accept the fact that you’re eventually going to get sick, but you can do your best to lower the frequency and severity. Below are a few easy tips that apply anywhere to help keep your health in tip top shape.
Uno: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! It is always a good idea to research the places you will be traveling to for health do’s and don’ts. Although be careful when reading this stuff as it can be quite easy to go full on hypochondriac. Just make sure you’re aware of the general immunization and health tips by visiting resources including: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel, wikitravel.org and lonelyplanet.com.
Deux: STAY HYDRATED! I cannot express this enough. It is extremely important to drink h20 while traveling. Seems basic enough, but this is one tip that is easily forgotten. Keep a water bottle with you at all times! If you happen to fall victim to “Delhi Belly”, “Montezuma’s Revenge” etc. (if you can hold it down) keep drinking water! Just remember the best travel buddy is, and always will be water. Plus having a water bottle handy saves you from buying it at $4/bottle in the airport or at tourist traps. Just be confident about where you’re filling up, such as respectable restaurants and hotels.
Tin: WASH YOUR HANDS! Yes, I know I sound like your mother, but it is extremely important to keep your hands clean. Public transportation, money and doorknobs, to name a few, are teeming with germs. Paper soap saved my life while traveling in India where I couldn’t count on trains, public restrooms, etc. to be stocked with soap. Paper soap is basically what it sounds like – thin sheets of soap that resemble pocket size sheets of paper that are perfect for one washing. You can purchase them online Amazon has a good selection at a decent price. FYI- if you happen to be going to India you can buy a pack on any corner, at any chemist for about .50 USD. And for quick sanitation, nothing quite beats keeping a travel size anti-bacterial gel in your pocket.
Vier: SLEEP! I know this can be a tough one for everybody, especially when you add in the effects of jet lag and so many cool things to see, so little time! We’ve all heard the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, well you just try and apply that to your day-to-day life. If you’re on vacation, then do yourself a favor and make some time to sleep in. Your mind, body, spirit, and immunity will thank you. Plus, you’ll have a lot more fun if you’re healthy for the duration of your trip instead of just the first few days.
Fem: EXERCISE! Wait, what? Yes, I said exercise. I know it’s the last thing you want to do while traveling, but think about it. You could be sitting for long periods of time on planes, trains, buses etc. That combined with the overeating that always happens while traveling, and you have an unhealthy mixture. I’m not saying go pump some iron, I mean you can, but it can be as simple as going on a walking tour of the cities you are visiting. Here’s a list of some great walking tours around the world that are offered by Gray Line. This is a great way to be active while taking in the sights! Remember an active body is a happy body.
What are your tips and tricks to stay healthy while traveling? Let us know in the comments below! (click here if you can’t see Facebook comments)