How To Take Care Of Your Health While Travelling: A Practical Guide to Staying Healthy

How To Take Care Of Your Health While Travelling: A Practical Guide to Staying Healthy
17 Jun 2022

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Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Taking a vacation is, for most people, the perfect opportunity to leave work stress and daily routines behind for a few days. However, for many travelers this means long flights, unfamiliar hotel beds and strange food. Some might not think about it right away but these are all potential threats to our health. While we’re traveling, we’re also far away from our healthcare clinic. Most of us have heard stories or know someone who has gone on a trip and come back with an illness or virus that they didn’t have before. Ask anyone who travels frequently, and they’ll tell you – hotels, airplanes, and restaurants are all petri dishes for viruses and bacteria to grow. If you’re afraid of getting sick on your next trip, keep reading to find out how you can keep your health safe while traveling by adopting some simple habits before, during, and after your trip.

Before your trip

The key to staying healthy while traveling begins before you even leave for your trip. Before you hop on a flight, board a train, or start a road trip, make sure you’re well-rested and hydrated. Get as much sleep as you need and drink plenty of water. If you’re traveling by plane, it’s important to start taking the necessary precautions at least 48 hours before your flight. This will give you enough time to recover from any potential side effects of the medications – like nausea, headaches, and more. In order to avoid catching a cold or flu while in transit, make sure to sit in the middle of the plane, away from people who are coughing and sneezing. Avoid touching your face while on the plane, and keep your hands away from your mouth. Wear gloves if you’re worried about catching germs and don’t forget to wash your hands before eating or touching your face.

During your trip

Keep your hands clean by washing them regularly, and avoid touching your face while out and about. You should also avoid shaking hands with new people or touching doorknobs, shopping carts, etc. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and keep your eyes protected from the sun with sunglasses. If you’re visiting a cooler climate, make sure to pack a warm and comfortable outfit for chilly evenings. At meals, try to avoid rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth after using your hands to eat. Don’t drink from the water fountains in public places, and avoid eating food that has been left out for an extended period of time.

What to eat and drink while traveling

When traveling abroad, it’s important to keep in mind that your body may not be used to the local bacteria, viruses, and other threats that may be in your food and water. Therefore, it’s smart to avoid drinking tap water as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses. Stay hydrated by drinking bottled water and avoid fresh juices, as they may have bacteria in them. If you’re traveling to an Asian country, you may want to avoid drinking tap water as it may contain harmful parasites and bacteria. Instead, you can purchase bottled water and purified water or boil tap water before drinking it. If you don’t want to carry around bottled water all day, you can also purchase a water filtration bottle that will let you drink from the tap without worrying about contaminants. Another option is to store water in large, reusable bottles and use a water purifier that attaches to your travel water bottle so that you can refill it from the tap.

What to pack

As you start to pack for your trip, don’t forget the basics. Bring along the travel essentials and throw in a few additional items that will help keep you healthy. Here are a few things to remember: Remember to bring medication with you if you need it. Make sure you have enough for your whole trip and bring the appropriate prescription if necessary. Bring toiletries and hygiene products. Don’t forget to bring a travel-size toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary pads, shampoo, shaving cream, hand sanitizer, tissues, and more. Pack light and wear comfortable clothes. You don’t want to bring a lot of extra weight with you, but it’s important to be comfortable. Skip heavy fabrics and consider wearing breathable fabrics instead. Bring a sweater or jacket. Even if you’re visiting a warm climate, you’ll likely want to bring a sweater or jacket at some point during your trip. If you’re traveling to a cooler climate, you’ll definitely want to pack a warm outfit.

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Craig Silva

Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, travel and food writer, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, and social media strategist. Craig likes to travel, go camping, go on road trips, watch movies, build stuff, operate the grill, and sing with his band. Craig is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space.

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