Monday, June 12, 2023


By Megan Isola

Tips and Strategies

Image by beststudio on Freepik

Traveling is an exciting and enriching experience but poses risks to your health. Exposure to new places, unfamiliar foods, and different climates can increase your risk of illness or injury. With the right tips, you can stay healthy while traveling and enjoy every moment of your trip. We’ll explore the best ways to stay healthy during your travels, from planning, wearing sunscreen, reducing jet lag, and more.

1. Reduce stress by planning.

Planning the details of your travel can help reduce stress and keep your immune system strong and able to protect you against illnesses. Planning doesn’t mean you have to be minute-by-minute either; it just means planning ahead so you can focus on enjoying your trip.

If you don’t have your travel details or itinerary, start with the primary elements first. If you’re bringing your pet along for your trip, ensure you verify your AirBnB allows dogs. Then book your transportation, whether you plan on traveling by plane, bus, or train. If you are aiming to be sustainable while you travel you may want to look into a method of transportation that is easy on the environment like an airline that utilizes sustainable air fuel, for example. After arranging the most significant aspects of your trip, begin planning your days.

Do you plan on riding on a jet ski? How about exploring all of the museums your destination has to offer? Whatever you plan on doing while away, ensure you buy tickets, protect yourself from credit card fraud, and make your plans in advance to save you from stressing and catching a cold on your way there.

2. Get plenty of rest

Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections or illnesses. Getting enough rest helps your body maintain immune cells, which keep you healthy. Additionally, travel inherently adds stress, and stress negatively impacts your health. Getting enough rest helps reduce stress levels, improving your overall well-being and helping you stay healthy.

Traveling can also be physically demanding, especially if you’re doing lots of sightseeing. Rest helps your body recover from increased activity, reducing your risk of muscle sprains and other injuries.

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3. Eat enough

With all the excitement of being in a new part of the world, it can be easy to skip meals. However, eating a balanced diet provides your body it needs to support a healthy immune system. By getting proper nutrition, you help protect your body from illnesses and infections while traveling.

Traveling is also physically demanding, and you need extra energy to keep up with all your travel plans. Eating enough provides the fuel you need to power you through long days of activities. If you’ve ever experienced the infamous “travel gut,” eating a balanced and healthy diet can prevent digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and food poisoning.

4. Bring a travel first-aid kit.

Just like at home, accidents happen while traveling. Before your trip, make sure to pack a travel-sized first aid kit. Your kit should include bandaids, acetaminophen, hydrocortisone, disinfectants, allergy medication, hand sanitizer, and whatever you’ll need in an accident. If you get a headache, paper cut, or allergies, you’ll be glad you kept a stash of items to help you take care of it.

5. Hydrate

Staying hydrated while traveling is crucial to maintaining your health. With all the extra movement, your body loses fluids, leading to dehydration if you don’t regularly replenish. Dehydration causes symptoms from fatigue, dizziness, constipation, and headaches. It also makes you more susceptible to illness by weakening your immune system, making it harder to fight infections.

Traveling also exposes you to different climates and environments, which impact your hydration levels differently than at home. To avoid the harmful effects of dehydration, drink plenty of water and other fluids like juice and tea.

6. Wear sunscreen

As you spend more time in the sun than usual, don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Regularly wearing and reapplying sunscreen throughout the day saves you from the aching pain of a sunburn. Sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. When you develop a sunburn, your immune system focuses on repairing the damage, leaving you vulnerable to other forms of illness. Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts protects your skin and helps keep you healthy during your travels.

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7. Take vitamins and allergy medication.

If you suffer from intense allergies when you travel, begin taking allergy medications a few days before your trip. Ensuring your allergy medication is thoroughly in your system before traveling protects your sinuses from reacting to irritants and developing a sinus infection or cold.

In addition to preparing by taking allergy medication, you should keep up with any vitamins and supplements you’re taking. Vitamins C, B, A, and nicotinamide riboside help strengthen your immune system. These supplements help keep you healthy and give your body the nutrients it needs to keep you energized and healthy while on vacation.

8. Get vaccinated

Getting the necessary vaccines before your trip protects you from common infectious diseases that are prevalent in the areas you’ll be visiting. Traveling to new locations exposes you to bacteria, pathogens, and viruses your body hasn’t built any resistance to. Little to no resistance to foreign viruses increases your risk of getting sick.

The vaccines you need depends on where you’re going, how long you’ll stay, and your age and current health status. Some common travel vaccines include those for hepatitis, typhoid, rabies, and influenza.

9. Limit alcohol

Excessive drinking has harmful effects on your physical and mental well-being. While it's normal to want to enjoy a beverage or two while on vacation, it's crucial to be mindful of your alcohol consumption while traveling. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration and risky behavior, which increase the likelihood of accidents or injuries.

Drinking alcohol also weakens the immune system, increasing your risk of illness because it disrupts sleep, affects digestion, and compromises your body’s ability to fight off infections.

10. Reduce jet lag

Jet lag significantly impacts your physical and mental well-being. Failing to manage jet lag can increase your risk of accidents or injuries and lower your immune system function. To address jet lag and stay healthy during your travels, take short naps, and use over-the-counter medications to aid sleep and reduce symptoms of jet lag.

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Keeping illness at home

By following these tips, you can stay healthy during your travels and reduce your risk of illness or injury. Whether heading out for vacation or embarking on a work trip, it's essential to take good care of your health wherever you are in the world. By staying hydrated, bringing a first aid kit, and wearing sunscreen, you can enjoy your travels confidently.

About The Author

Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys attending concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.

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