Your Guide To Staying Healthy While Traveling

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


Staying healthy while traveling can be a challenge.

You are out of your comfort zone, away from your daily routine, and often nowhere near soap and water right when you need it. 

Plus, you are in contact with A LOT of new people. 

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to end up sitting next to someone who is sniffing, sneezing, or has a hacking cough on a plane. And then there is the recycled air, and the doors, handles, and other surfaces that are used by hundreds of people daily.

Sometimes it seems like catching a bug while traveling is inevitable, and nobody likes to sightsee with a cold! 

Before you start unpacking your bags and cancel your flights, remember that thousands of people travel every day and stay completely healthy. It is possible — I promise! (In fact, here is scientific proof that travel can actually be incredibly good for your health!)

Here are some of my tried and tested tips to make sure you stay healthy on your next trip. 

Take your vitamins

If you don't take vitamins regularly, start taking a multivitamin to boost your immune system a few days before your trip, while on your flight, and once you arrive at your destination.

Make sure you bring some extra with you to take during your trip if you start to feel a little off. 

My favorite immunity boosters are Emergen-C and Airborne (pictured above). They are easy to pack and give you vitamins and minerals all in one. 

Drink lots of water

The best way to flush out toxins? Drinking a ton of water.

It's easy to forget to drink water when you are exploring all day or relaxing in the sunshine, but the quickest way to feel healthy is to stay hydrated. 

I recommend making sure that you always have a water bottle with you by bringing an empty one to fill up once you are through security. 

Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake

I know, I know — there is no way that you are going to give up your morning espresso or your beach vacation pina colada. 

Don't worry, I'm not asking you to. 

Just keep in mind that caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are dehydrating, and can also lead to headaches, stomach cramps, bloating, swollen ankles, and even contribute to lowering your immune system.

You definitely don't have to avoid them altogether, but I would suggest cutting back on long travel days — especially if you are going to be sitting for awhile — and if you do overindulge make sure to drink a few extra glasses of water to counter any side effects.

Carry hand sanitizer with you

It never fails, you are sitting in a window seat when your airplane snacks arrive and there is no way you are going to crawl over the people beside you and get to the bathroom to wash your hands. Hand sanitizer to the rescue!

This will also come in handy when you are grabbing a snack from a street vendor or using a public washroom that may not have all the comforts of home stocked up. 

Avoid salty food

Salt is dehydrating, which can lead to the dreaded bloating, muscle cramps, and unsightly swollen ankles.

And, of course, most of the snacks that you are served on a plane are packed with salt. To avoid giving into temptation on your long-haul flight, pack some of your own snacks (thing natural nuts, seeds, granola bars, dried fruit, etc.) to munch on. 

It's also smart to have a few healthy nibbles in your bag when you are exploring a new city so that you don't give in to temptation when hunger strikes. 

Bring your own blanket

Get ready for a gross travel fact...

The blankets you are given on long-haul flights are not usually washed between uses.

If you get chilly on planes or are planning on sleeping during your flight, pack your own small blanket in your carry-on bag. If you are traveling light, a large scarf (see above) or sarong will also do the trick.

Make sure to move

Travel means sitting for long periods of time, walking for hours on unfamiliar surfaces, and basically doing physical activities that are outside the norm.

Sitting for a long time on travel days can make you feel sore, achy, and lethargic. The best way to counter that and prevent toxins from building up in your body is to move!  

Make sure to go for a walk — even just a short one — when you arrive at your destination to get everything moving again, try doing some basic stretches before, and (if you are anything like me) and find yourself with swollen ankles, throw your legs up on the wall to let excess fluid drain out. 

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your guide to staying healthy while traveling