School is out and the weather is warmer. Many of us – whether we are on summer break from college or looking forward to a much-needed vacation from work – are planning on traveling.
While visiting a new place is fun and exciting, chances are, you’re probably going to get sick.
It isn’t uncommon to catch a cold or bug when you travel. According to a National Travel Survey, up to 63% of people will get sick either on vacation or coming home from vacation.
And you would think people wouldn’t travel when they are sick – but many do. Business people and those that have to travel will board a plane whether they have the flu or not.
So, if you’re planning on spending a week in Mexico or jet-setting to Europe, here are three tips to staying healthy while you travel.
1. Boost Your Immunity Before Traveling
It’s best to protect yourself before you plan on taking your trip. Loading up on supplements, vitamins and probiotics can help your immune system be in top shape for that plane ride.
Getting ready for vacation can also make you more stressed. From booking your flights to planning the itinerary – all of this can be stressful.
And since stress increases the likelihood of getting sick, make sure to:
- Get some quality sleep. For adults, the recommended amount is between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Watch some funny movies. Laughing has positive effects on your mental health. It can help lower cortisol levels, helping you ease tension and relax.
- Skip the coffee and drink more tea. Drinking coffee will cause a short-term spike in your blood pressure and increase your jitters. So, instead of going for your morning coffee when you’re under stress, opt for some tea. It has less caffeine than coffee and contains theanine, an amino acid known to have a calming effect on your nerves.
2. Protect Yourself On The Plan Ride
Most people who will get sick on vacation will get sick on their plane ride.
It’s inevitable. You are confined with sixty or more people in a small cabin, sharing the same air.
So, what happens when there’s someone obviously sick on the airplane? How can you protect yourself?
The biggest thing to remember is to wash your hands frequently when flying. The dirtiest surfaces on an airplane include the bathrooms, tray tables and aisle seats.
Washing your hands with soap and water is the best method when your hands are visibly dirty. When your hands don’t appear dirty, it’s acceptable to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to kill most germs – although soap and water is always best.
If you do end up sitting next to someone who is coughing or appears sick, you can wear a mask, asked to be moved, or just grin and bear it!
3. Stay Active When You’re On Vacation
You’ve made it – you’re at the hotel and you can’t wait to go down to the beach and soak up some sun.
While vacation is a time to relax and take breather, if you don’t want to put on a couple pounds while you’re away, you might want to consider exercising and eating healthy during your stay.
Some easy ways to get your exercise for the day is to:
- Try running around the neighborhood
- Enjoy the outdoors with some low cost fun activities like paddle boarding or yoga
- Do some simple sit-ups, bicep curls and crunches in your hotel room
- Do some resistance band exercises. These are lightweight and easy to pack
- Instead of sightseeing on a bus, opt for the active sightseeing tours. Hikes and walks will help keep the weight from packing on
Along with exercising while on vacation, go for healthy food items instead of highly-processed fast food or takeout
Here are some tips for eating healthy while traveling:
- Try to get a hotel room with a fridge. Preparing your own meals often means they are healthier. Yogurt, oatmeal and salads are all healthy meals you can make yourself.
- Plan ahead. Stock up on nutritious food to snack on during the day. Nuts, fruit and seeds will keep you full in-between meals.
- Choose your restaurants wisely. Do a little research on the local pubs and places to eat. A good app to use is the AroundMe available for iOS and Android. It can find healthier places near you.
Have Fun and Stay Healthy
Enjoy your time away from work or school. Take this break to have fun and meet new people. But, make sure to stay on your diet and do a little exercise while you’re in paradise.
Now it’s your turn – how do you stay healthy when you travel?