Discover 15 Tips for Healthy Travel
Nothing ruins a trip faster than getting sick. After all the time you spent planning and anticipating your trip, after all of the money you spent taking the trip, you can’t even enjoy it because you feel lousy or may even be hospitalized. You planned everything about your trip down to the tiniest detail, but you didn’t plan to get sick.
Traveling can increase your risk of getting sick because you’re around a lot of people and touch more things touched by others. You’re in a different environment, eating differently and you may lack sleep. Trying to avoid getting sick on your trip is well worth the effort, so here are 15 simple things you should do while traveling in order to stay healthy:
- Follow the COVID-19 protocols:
Drink enough water - for the same reasons you should drink plenty of water while at home, it’s good to drink plenty of water on vacation. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and other health problems. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times. Go easy on the caffeine, sweet drinks and alcohol.
Don’t drink tap water - there are certain countries that when you travel there you shouldn’t drink the tap water. You may need some travel vaccines when traveling to certain parts of the world, such as in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Don’t share drinks - the spread of germs is instantly minimized if everyone keeps to their own containers and utensils. In addition to washing your hands, the careful watching of one’s drink is a vital gesture to maintaining your health and energy while traveling.
Eat at least one healthy meal per day - sure, you want to try the local cuisine and indulge a bit on vacation, but too much of a good thing can make you feel sluggish or sick. Try to eat more protein, veggies and fruit when you can, and go easy on the carbs and fatty foods. Researching nearby grocery stores or healthy restaurants ahead of time can make this easier to do.
Brush your teeth - clean the bacteria out of your mouth after meals or sleeping to keep your mouth free from germs and your breath fresh. Flossing once a day keeps your mouth even cleaner. Putting aside healthy habits like this for too long can come back to bite you.
Wear socks while traveling - you are likely to walk across high-traffic floors on your trip, and those floors are breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi. Be sure to wear socks so that, if you remove your shoes, your feet will be protected.
Get daily exercise - although some trips include plenty of built-in exercise, it’s important to make sure each day of your trip includes some physical activity, even if it’s just walking. Try to stay in a walkable neighborhood and walk wherever you can. Just like at home, daily exercise reduces stress, keeps energy levels up, helps digestion and improves circulation. All good stuff.
Stretch - a few minutes of stretching at the beginning and end of each day helps your flexibility and agility, and it relaxes your muscles before bedtime for a better night sleep. Move your body around at least once per hour if you’re sitting in the same position for a long time to feel refreshed and keep your blood flowing.
Pace yourself - allow extra time in your daily schedule for rest and unplanned activities so you can operate at a healthy pace and chill out a little. Just like at home, it’s important to avoid stress or overexertion so you don’t get sick or become seriously ill.
Try to stay calm - bad things can happen on trips. It might be a delayed flight, lost luggage, flat tire or large crowds. Most people have experienced problems on trips that can cause stress or anxiety, which is not good for your health. Remember to take a deep cleansing breath and exhale, and try to remain calm when bad things happen.
Get enough sleep – sleep keeps you healthy and mentally alert. While you travel, grab some sleep during long layovers. Many large, international airports offer hotels or sleep pods at reasonable prices. During your stay, schedule your time to allow 6 - 8 hours of sleep so you can maintain enough energy to enjoy your trip. Make your sleep space as dark as possible to avoid disruption of sleep.
Pack a travel health kit - be sure to pack OTC and prescription medicines, vitamins, sunscreen and basic first aid supplies to maintain good health, and to treat simple medical incidents yourself and avoid visiting a doctor. You’ll be exposed to more germs than normal, so vitamin C and probiotics will help.
Get vaccinated - find out the vaccinations required to enter the country or countries you are traveling to by checking with your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be sure to allow time to get all of the appropriate vaccines before leaving for your trip.
Buy travel health insurance to make sure you will get proper medical treatment in case of illness or accident. Emergency evacuation insurance is important when traveling to isolated areas. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign country without access to affordable and reliable health care.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone outside your household
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
- Wear a face mask
- Bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
- Wash hands or use sanitizer often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Wear latex gloves or use sanitizer when needing to touch dirty, public surfaces like gas pumps
We can help you find the travel health insurance plan that best fits you and your trip so you can be sure any medical emergencies will be covered and you won’t be out a lot of money. Check out our plan options to see which one works best for you.