Staying healthy while traveling is critical! Not only do you want to risk getting others sick, but it is also a big damper to all of that planning and money spent on your trip. While it can be easy to get lost in endless nachos in Mexico, it is important to still prioritize your health and well-being. Here are some tips for practicing good health so you can have a safe, healthy, and fun trip…
Practice Healthy Hygiene
Although we’re sure your mother has already taught you, let’s brush up on some hygiene routines that should be implemented into your daily routine.
The CDC recommends you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap. If you are not sure how long that is, you can always obnoxiously or quietly hum the happy birthday song twice. This practice should always be done before and after eating, after contact with public objects, and when in contact with others. Carrying around a hand sanitizer is a great last resort when you do not have access to running water.
For the sake of protecting others, always remember to never cough or blow your nose in the open air. Make sure to blow into a tissue or into your elbow to avoid infecting others.
Something that is rarely talked about, but is extremely important, is keeping up with your dental hygiene. Although it can be easy to forget when you are constantly changing timezones or your schedule is out of whack, it is crucial to not neglect it. By not taking care of your teeth, you are becoming buddies with gum diseases, cavities, and bad breath (hello– don’t you want a foreign fling?)
Avoid the Crowds
Where there are more people, there are more germs. While not always avoidable, limit your exposure to people in a tightly condensed area as much as you can. Anyway, places that are packed are usually a tourist trap.
Look for places off the radar of average tourists, like parks, essential shops open, and local favorites.
Make sure you have the right shots
Different countries have different diseases. Depending on where you are from will determine your immunity levels. Before you travel to a country, check with your government which immunization shots you need to get. These are always easier in your home country, so get them before you depart.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is not for the weak! Sleep is necessary to keep you strong and alert, which are two critical components you will need when you are abroad. Make sure you are getting a MINIMUM of six hours of sleep every single night.
You could also explore alternative sleep schedules to break up those 6 hours into smaller bite-sized naps. The key is to reach REM sleep and feel refreshed.
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Before you get caught up lounging on a beach with six Pina Coladas, remember to get your daily dose of vitamins! When you are traveling, eating junk food and drinking can be very tempting. However, this has long term detriments to your health. Make it a goal to eat at least one vegetable at every single meal. And anyway, feeling like a tired slob when there is so much to see and do is not fun.
If you want to ensure that you are eating healthy on your trip, try to find a hostel or hotel that has a kitchen. Having a kitchen means that you can make healthy, homecooked meals (and even save money). This is a great way to make sure you are hitting your eight servings of vegetables a day.
Get Annual Check-Ups
If you are a long-term traveler or a digital nomad, do not forget your annual check-up. Your body does not turn into steel just because you are traveling. As easy as it is to forget about boring adult routines when you are exploring the rice fields of Bali– the responsibility is still there. Make sure to keep up with your annual blood work, this could save your life!
Get Health Insurance
Better safe than sorry. Whilst traveling you are exposing yourself to new experiences and environments. One of the greatest joys of travel is reaching out of your comfort zone, after all. However, this also means that you have a higher risk of getting sick. The last thing you would want to happen is to be in a foreign country without health insurance. A good health insurance company will help you during your time of need in a foreign country.
Carry Sanitization Wipes
When traveling you’re exposed to a lot of germy, dirty surfaces (a big one of which you are probably holding in your hand, ahem cell phone.) Making sure you are constantly wiping these surfaces such as the airport trays, tables, or your phone can help avoid illnesses.
Make good habits of wiping or bathing your hands and phone in sanitizer gel or wipes, especially before eating or giving yourself a face massage.
Drinking enough water is especially important while on vacation. While you are at the beach or walking around the city, you step toward dehydration with each foot. It’s important to stay hydrated to keep your organs functioning and energy high.
Not all water is created equal however. Make sure you’re drinking the right kind of water. You cannot drink the tap water in many countries. So carrying a water filter or bottled water will prevent you from getting poisoned and spending most of your trip inside.
When you are traveling, it will be harder to go to the gym (and why would you want to?). Take advantage of being in the city or the countryside and WALK! This is a great way to ensure you are sightseeing enough and staying active. If you are lacking motivation make a competition with yourself by grabbing a Fitbit and challenging yourself to a new step goal every day. Make it simple and fun!
If you are more into group classes and find hard to workout alone. There are several workout classes for free on YouTube. Or you can try attending an AirBnb experience workout class. The most important thing is to get active and moving!
Staying healthy while traveling will ensure that you have a wholesome trip. Who wants to be stuck at a hospital or in bed on vacation? Taking just a few extra precautions will help you to avoid getting sick with a virus or infection. Make sure to consult your doctor for specific health advice before you travel.