This blog post was updated on November 22, 2021.
Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is challenging, especially while you’re on vacation. Whether it’s catching a cold on the airplane or putting on extra pounds in Paris, it seems like everywhere you look, there’s a risk of getting sick or eating too many calories. To keep those airport germs away or keep vacation weight gain from creeping in, here are a few ways to travel while maintaining your health.
Make Your Own Food When You Can
Yes, you’ll want to fully experience the cultures that you’ll be visiting, and trying new types of food is a big part of that. However, you should also consider making your own food when you can. This is because eating out, whether it’s at restaurants, street food, or a combination of the two, is often not the healthiest way to go about things. Conversely, you can control the nutritional aspects of your own food much easier. To do this, head to your local market for fresh fruit and pick up healthy food at grocery stores. Also, prepare for long journeys by bringing food items such as fruit and trail mix for your plane, train, or bus ride.
Drink Lots of Water
One of the most important things to keep in mind while traveling is to drink tons of water. You should drink at least eight ounces of H2O for every hour of travel during airline flights since the cabin can be super dry. That way, you’ll feel super energized and ready to go once you land! One of the best ways to drink lots of water is to bring a reusable bottle with you and keep reusing it. You can refill it at water fountains or bottle-filling stations; use water purification tablets if necessary.
Get Some Rest
The amount of sleep you get can have a major effect on how you feel while you’re abroad. While traveling can throw off your sleep schedule, make sure you’re getting enough rest to keep germs at bay. Also, bring some comforts from home to make your environment feel more familiar. Remember: getting a good night’s sleep can make or break your travels!
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Sign up for Active Tours
Traveling can be a non-stop cycle of eating, sightseeing, eating some more, and then hitting the hay. While you may be consuming more calories on the road, you can still keep the pounds away as you sightsee. For example, fun activities like biking or walking tours will help keep your waistline in check. Resist bus tours that will keep you inactive. Even just walking around a new city can help maintain a healthier lifestyle on the road.
Wash Your Hands and Use Hand Sanitizer Frequently
As you travel, you’re likely going to come in contact with tons of germs. Even common things like shaking your new friends’ hand to holding onto the bar while riding various forms of public transportation, or touching doorknobs in museums, bars, or hostels are bound to be full of bacteria. As a result, you want to be particularly careful to have clean hands. Regularly wash them and bring hand sanitizer with you for those times when you don’t have soap and water handy, especially when you’re ready to devour some street food.
Pack Vitamins and Take Them Every Day
It can be difficult to eat balanced, healthy meals while you travel. Or, you may simply not want to. Meanwhile, your mind and body are both likely to be pushed beyond what they’re used to as you constantly get used to new environments and exploring them. One of the best ways to do avoid this is to ensure that you take care of yourself physically and mentally, and vitamins are an important element of that. Also, don’t forget to down some vitamin D! Many travelers will be out and about enough to absorb plenty of sunlight, but if your travels keep you indoors most of the time, dedicate some time to go outside every day.
Protect Your Skin
If you’re going to be outside a lot, especially during the summer, take care of your skin. Trust us, you don’t want a bad sunburn as a souvenir. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply it every couple of hours. Also, if you’re in an area with large numbers of mosquitoes or other dangerous insects, you should apply insect repellent too.
Limit Your Alcohol
Many of us head out on vacation and immediately drink more than we typically do at home. A bad case of “vacation brain” can lead to ordering more alcoholic drinks with meals than you normally would. While it can be tempting to let loose and unwind, travelers looking to keep up healthy habits should limit their alcoholic beverages. Downing glass after glass will build up your calorie count and may pack on some extra pounds.
Book Hotels with Gyms and Pools
Fitting in time to exercise isn’t always easy while on vacay. Whether you’re looking to unwind or kick off a long day of travel, getting in a quick workout or a light run will energize you and make you feel amazing. If your hotel has a gym or a pool, exercising while traveling will be even easier and accessible. When booking a hotel, check out the amenities to make sure your exercise routine can be made more accessible.
Got any other tips on how to stay healthy while traveling? Tell us in the comments below!