Tips to Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling can lead to amazing, life-altering experiences, but it can also very easily take your health and fitness routine off track. It’s easy to excuse unhealthy habits on a trip because of the “I’m on vacation” mindset, but by being proactive and prepared, you can have fun and be healthy on vacation. Here are some tips to keeping yourself in optimal health throughout your trip from departure to return.

Research the Destination First

Make sure to conduct research on your destination before booking your trip; you’ll want to be aware of any current health issues happening so that you can talk with your doctor and prepare prior to your arrival. Along with researching the population health, you’ll also benefit from learning about the area you’re staying in, including nearby grocery stores, fitness centers, and the closest hospital just in case. Learning the lay of the land will help you find healthy food options and allows you to prepare in advance if you have any food or dietary restrictions.

Go to the Doctor

See your doctor at least four weeks before leaving on your trip so that you can get any vaccinations and medications you may need. Tell your doctor where you’re going, what kind of activities you’ll be doing, and any relevant health information. If you have a disability, are pregnant, have a weakened immune system or chronic illness, then make a plan with your doctor on how to take extra steps to ensure your health and safety while traveling.

Healthy Packing List

Write a packing list and stock up on supplies well in advance of your trip, in case certain items take long to ship or your doctor needs time ordering them. Make sure to pack:

  • Medical supplies (prescription medications, glasses and contacts, insulin, inhalers, etc.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Vitamins
  • Skin protection, such as sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Antacids
  • Pain and fever medicine
  • Decongestant and cough drops
  • Antiseptic wound cleaner and bandages
  • Aloe for sunburns and anti-itch cream for insect bites
  • Copies of your prescriptions and health insurance card
  • Healthy snacks like nuts or protein bars

Plan for Dietary Restrictions

Print a card with all of your dietary restrictions and allergies in your destination’s local language so that you can be prepared and eat safely at restaurants.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Breakfast is known as the most important meal for a reason – because it gives you energy which is vital for your busy vacation days! Try keeping breakfast healthy by incorporating fruit, vegetables, and protein; a spinach omelette with a piece of fruit or plain yogurt with berries are ideal breakfasts that will help you feel full throughout the day and help you get in important nutrients.

Pace Yourself

It can be tempting to want to fit in as much as possible while you’re on vacation, but you don’t want to overexert yourself. Try to give your body time to relax between adventures and dedicate time to stretching in the morning and at night to relax your muscles and help your body feel refreshed.

Stay Hydrated

Water is your best friend, especially while traveling. Keep yourself hydrated by carrying a water bottle around with you at all times and remember to drink throughout the day, especially if you’re somewhere hotter or more humid than home. It’s vital that you first check the water quality in the country you’re traveling to though, as you may have to stick with bottled water instead of tap.

Eat Smart

When you travel somewhere new, it’s good to immerse yourself in the culture and try different foods – but you still want to be healthy and ensure you’re getting the essential nutrients. Make sure you eat fruit everyday (easily had at breakfast or as a healthy snack) and eat vegetables whenever you can (try choosing a vegetarian dish or having a side salad to balance your meals). If you’re away for an extended period of time, consider going to a local grocery store and cooking some of your own meals; it’ll help both your wallet and your waistline to cook healthy meals instead of going out all the time.

Exercise

It’s just as important to get about 30 minutes of activity a day on vacation as it is back home! Find hidden gems absent in travel guides by walking or biking everywhere, take the stairs instead of elevators, and utilize local fitness centers to stay active. You can also do a variety of exercises in the room you’re staying, including pushups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, and yoga poses.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is filled with empty calories, makes you dehydrated, and can result in reckless behaviors that may be dangerous – not to mention the dreaded hangover that could ruin an entire day. If you’d like to enjoy a drink because you’re on vacation and away from work, then go ahead and treat yourself. Just don’t overdo it and remember, the key is moderation and drinking water.

Sleep

Your body needs rest after a physically draining day, crossing time zones, carrying around luggage, and all the other exhausting aspects of traveling. If you changed time zones, try to force yourself to stay awake until your typical bedtime and then sleep throughout the night. Try to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night and listen to your body throughout the day; if you’re feeling tired, let yourself sit for a bit or take a short nap to recharge yourself.

Are you traveling somewhere for the holidays or have another trip coming up? Come in to one of our locations to get any vaccinations and check ups needed prior to your travels!

Care, for all aspects of life

Call or come into your local CareCube today to learn how we can help you!