The last thing that anyone wants to deal with when they are traveling is being sick. While a vacation can be a great getaway, it can also be a chance to expose your body to potential health risks that you might not find at home. Plus, traveling itself is a stressful process, and everyone knows that when the body is stressed, it is more susceptible to infection or illness. By taking the time to plan ahead for healthy vacations, you can enjoy your trip and spend less time worrying about what might go wrong with your health. Here are some tips to help.
Start Healthy and Get Informed
For starters, if you are planning a vacation or need to travel for work, make sure you are healthy enough to do so in the first place. Traveling is taxing on the body and if you start off at below-optimal health, you will probably only see it go downhill once you head to your destination. Do some research on where you are going. Find out what the climate is like, what health risks are present, and if there is anything you need to do before leaving to protect your health.
If you aren’t feeling 100%, you should consider rearranging your travel plans or leaving at a later date just so that you don’t carry that feeling with you. If your dates are set in stone, such as for a prepaid vacation or a business meeting, try to boost your immune system before you go and get a lot of rest to prepare your body for traveling.
Get Required Vaccinations and Checkups
Travel to some countries and places around the world might require special vaccinations or medical examinations. When you are doing your research, find out if this is necessary for your trip. Even something as simple as a flu shot can make a world of difference in your health when you travel. People traveling to South America or Asian countries, for example, can benefit from vaccines like:
Hepatitis A and B
Traveler’s Diarrhea (yes, there is a vaccine for this condition)
Choose a travel medical clinic that is familiar with required medications, checkups, and vaccinations for traveling. Plan ahead and go at least a few months in advance of your trip. Some vaccines require time to kick in and may require more than one injection for the full effect.
Get Enough Sleep
As stated above, traveling is very exhausting for the body. Make sure that you enjoy your vacation or trip, but that you also get enough rest along the way. Sleep for 7-8 hours a night when you can, and take advantage of flights, trains, or other methods of public transit where you can catch a nap in between your destinations. The physical demands of traveling, combined with changing time zones take a toll on your body. If you are tired, rest. If you need a nap, take one. There will be plenty of time to see everything on your list, so don’t overdo it.
Drink Filtered or Bottled Water
In many foreign countries, the water is not safe for drinking. Even if it should be, the different minerals and substances found in foreign water could easily upset your stomach. Developed countries are used to clean, treated, and filtered drinking water. Take bottled, filtered water with you when you can. Rather than spending a fortune buying water everywhere you go, though, consider getting a refillable bottle system. Products like Fill2Pure are great for traveling because you can filter any water on the go, giving you safe drinking options without spending a fortune on pre-filled bottles.
Another big part of staying healthy is staying hydrated. While some people cut down on food and drinks during travel to reduce the hassle of finding bathrooms, your body needs nutrients. If nothing else, it needs water. Make sure that you have a water bottle with you at all times. If you are planning to consume alcohol, plan to drink twice as much water the next day to make up the difference because alcohol naturally dehydrates the body.
Walk Anywhere You Can
One of the best things about going on vacation is getting away to relax. Of course, you need to find the balance between getting a little “R and R” and staying healthy. The best solution is to relax when you can, but also walk as much as you can. Keeping your body active while you travel will help you stay healthy. You can fit in your daily exercise and learn so much more about a city or destination by walking around and getting to know people. Take the stairs, skip the bus if your destination is within walking distance, and go out of your way to find ways to stay active while you travel. This will boost your body’s overall health and keep the risk of illness at bay.
Keep Sanitizers and Wipes Handy
Traveling often doesn’t make washing your hands convenient. However, you are coming into contact with more new and potentially hazardous health risks on a regular basis, so you need to make sure that you are getting rid of germs as much as possible. Carry a TSA-approved travel sanitizer with you. Consider investing in sanitizing wipes or baby wipes, also, for situations where a sanitizer liquid or gel might not be the ideal choice. Stock up on these portable germ killers and hand cleaners before you leave.
There are plenty of ways you can work on your health while traveling, or even just stay healthy and avoid foreign germs. Keep these tips in mind and do your homework to learn more healthy, safe travel habits for the best trips every single time. A vacation is supposed to be a good time, so don’t let it be ruined by getting sick.