- Here is how you can prioritize your health and stay healthy while traveling
- 1. Check your destination
- 2. Take out travel insurance
- 3. First aid
- 4. Carry your medication
- 5. Eat something healthy every day
- 6. Start your day right
- 7. Stick to your usual portion sizes
- 8. Get enough sleep
- 9. Eat well
- 10. Plan ahead
- 11. Drink water
- 12. Try not to stress too much
- 13. Move on the flight
- 14. On arrival
- 15. Pack these for your trip
- 16. Exercise when you travel
- Special tips for staying healthy when you travel during the pandemic
How to Stay Healthy While Traveling includes 16 tips to stay healthy while traveling along with 7 special tips to stay safe when you travel during the pandemic.
If you have been working from home, getting ready to travel can feel a little intimidating. For one thing, travel can interfere with your health and fitness goals even if you are an experienced traveler.
Whatever your reason for traveling it is always a good idea to be prepared when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Putting your health first does not have to be all-consuming or detract from the purpose of travel; if anything it should make the process that much more enjoyable and help you stay healthy while traveling.
How to prioritize your health and that of others while traveling?
Here is how you can prioritize your health and stay healthy while traveling
1. Check your destination
While traveling is an enriching experience there are some places in the world that have diseases, illnesses, and health systems that differ from those you are used to. Get to know your destination and get the necessary vaccinations
2. Take out travel insurance
Travel insurance can help save you a lot of time, stress, and money and should be considered an essential part of your travel budget. Travel insurance can cover cancellations, theft, damage, besides funding or contributing toward medical expenses during your trip. If you need to go to a hospital or clinic when abroad chances are it will come at a cost, so having insurance in place could save you significant sums of money. If you bought travel insurance before COVID19, check if it covers pandemics and epidemics. Read the fine print before you sign up.
3. First aid
Having knowledge of some first aid skills such as CPR, choking, and wound dressing could be a life-saving skill to take with you on your travels. It will not only help protect you but also those around you. Consider taking courses such as those offered at https://cprcertificationnow.com before you travel. Carry a first aid kit with you.
What should you put in your first aid kit?
Regardless of the duration of your travel, a basic travel first aid kid is a must. If you are traveling to an unfamiliar destination or country, first aid supplies and medications may be different from what you get at home.
Add enough supplies to prevent illness, take care of minor injuries and manage pre-existing medical conditions that cover more than the duration of your trip.
Here’s a quick list of what to include:
The basics include plasters, blister pads, disposable gloves, gauze, tweezers, scissors, safety pins, rehydration salts, tensor bandages, a thermometer, sterile dressings, and of course, alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
If you are on medication, talk to your doctor before your departure about dosage and when to seek medical care. Check to see if there are restrictions on the medication you are carrying—some countries may prohibit certain medications.
Medications to include in your first aid kit
- Your prescription medication and any other over-the-counter (OTC) medications you usually use.
- Cream to treat minor skin irritations and itches from insect bites
- Allergy medication
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Anti-motion sickness medication
- Anti-fungal/antibacterial ointments and creams
- Cold and flu medication
- Pain and fever medication
- Antacids and laxatives.
- Destination specific medication if any
- If you use needles and syringes, take more than enough to last your entire trip. Make sure to carry a medical certificate from your doctor.
4. Carry your medication
If you are on prescription medication, be sure to carry more than enough with you. It is also a good idea to make a list of the medication you take and why in case you should find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing medical treatment. This will also be useful should you need to stock up on your supplies.
5. Eat something healthy every day
If you are traveling on vacation then healthy eating may not always be possible. That said, try your best to eat and drink healthily. Try to include at least one balanced and healthy meal a day containing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Always ensure your foods are well cooked.
Make sure you stay hydrated, especially if you are in the sun or exerting yourself. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much alcohol. Alcohol will cause you to dehydrate and can make you more prone to slips, trips, and falls, all of which you definitely want to avoid while traveling.
6. Start your day right
Ensure that you get a good breakfast to keep you energetic all morning. It is your most important meal of the day. Keep it simple. For example, eggs, granola, and fruit.
7. Stick to your usual portion sizes
Try and stick to the portion sizes you’d normally have at home, even if you have to eat out thrice a day. This applies to alcohol, too. While entertaining or being entertained, enjoy yourself but remember to practice moderation.
8. Get enough sleep
Travel can be tiring and impact your mental health. Get enough rest. In fact, make sure you get enough sleep the night before you travel. You can never guess how well you will cope during your flight or in a new room. So make sure you carry eye masks and earplugs if those help you sleep.
9. Eat well
If your trip involves business meetings or if your flight timings are messing with your usual mealtimes and snack times, plan for it. Keep your energy up by planning your snacks and perhaps carrying them with you. Some good options are protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, pre-packaged cheese and crackers, trail mix, etc. When you keep up mealtimes and your regular eating routine as much as possible, you can also prevent jetlag and stay healthy while traveling.
10. Plan ahead
When traveling to a new destination, it can be tough to know where you can find the kind of food you like. So do the research and look up your destination. Maybe your hotel has a restaurant –what time are they open?
11. Drink water
Long flights can leave you feeling dehydrated as the humidity on board the plane is lower than what you are used to. It can cause headaches and lethargy. So make sure you drink enough water, especially if you have a mid-flight alcoholic drink or coffee. Stay hydrated.
12. Try not to stress too much
This is easier said than done, especially when you travel on work. But do remember to relax. Sleep well the night before your flight. Avoid last-minute stress by getting to the airport well in time. During your trip, try to take some time to yourself. Practice mindfulness via meditation, listen to some music, read a book or work on a crossword puzzle.
13. Move on the flight
Sitting in a flight for hours can be really uncomfortable and cause back pain, shoulder stiffness and tight hamstrings. Ensure that you get up from your seat periodically to keep your blood circulating and release any tight muscles. Being stuck in one spot puts a strain on the muscles and ligaments. Relax them by changing position often and moving around when you can. Do the same during long meetings to stay healthy while traveling.
14. On arrival
After a long flight during which you have probably been washing your hands and taking your mask on and off, moisturize your face and hands. Wash your eyes to soothe dry skin and eyes after your flight. When you can, take a walk during the daytime to adjust to time zone changes if any.
15. Pack these for your trip
Packing can be stressful especially if you’ve had a busy day. There is so much to include—outfits, footwear, casual clothes, etc. But don’t forget to add the following to your list as they can help you stay healthy while traveling.
- Headphones to listen to music or catch up on podcasts. This can help your mental health and perhaps help you sleep.
- Earplugs to shout out external noises
- Comfortable shoes/sneakers to walk/jog.
- A reusable water bottle.
- To keep you fit, maybe fitness bands or a skipping rope.
- Book or magazine to help you switch off and relax.
16. Exercise when you travel
It can be tough to think of exercise regardless of whether you are traveling on business or for pleasure. Therefore, it needs extra effort to find the time and inclination to work out. It is not impossible though. Try a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) practice that doesn’t need much space or time. The benefits are increased metabolism, endurance, strength and power even as it gives you some variety. Or go in for a yoga routine such as sun salutations that can give you a gentle and full-body workout. Or simply practice a series of stretches to keep you fit and flexible.
Special tips for staying healthy when you travel during the pandemic
1. Wash hands regularly
To protect yourself and others from COVID19, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Constant use of hand sanitizer can irritate your skin, but if you have no access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
2. Don’t travel if you are sick
If you are not feeling well, avoid travel even if it feels like the beginning or end of a bad cold as it can risk spreading an infection to whoever you come in contact with. Postpone your trip. Talk to your doctor to discuss when it is safe to travel.
3. Mask up
When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use your elbow. Make sure you wear a face mask to protect yourself and your fellow travelers. If you feel sick at work, go home right away. Before you travel, find out what you need to do to quarantine if you fall sick
4. Disinfect and clean
Airlines do follow a hygiene protocol and cleaning measures. However, there is no guarantee that every surface will be covered. Carry antibacterial wipes to clean your seat armrest, tray table, seat-back pocket, air vent, seat touch screen, headrest and window blind. This applies to other frequently used items by others such as hotel remote controls, elevator handrails, etc. Clean your hands after you take public transport. Pack the wipes in your hand luggage.
5. Opt for a window seat
If you are allergic to dust, opt for a window seat on the aircraft, away from foot traffic. While aircraft do have HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Arrester) filters to filter 99.99% of dust particles and airborne contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, and ensure the highest possible quality of cabin air, that window seat can add to the protection and keep you less anxious when you travel.
6. Keep your vaccinations up-to-date
To keep your immune system from being compromised, keep your vaccinations up to date to stay healthy while traveling. Also, check the latest government health and safety guidelines both at your departure and arrival destinations.
This can vary by destination, so be aware of what the prevailing distancing rules are. And follow them for your own safety as well as for others.
Stay safe. Stay healthy while traveling.