Now that travel is back on the cards after our gradual step down from the long shadows of the pandemic, it’s thrilling to think about exploring places that were not accessible for so long. You can catch up with long-distance family and friends again or soak in the sun on a tropical beach. We all have our reasons to start travelling again.
However, it’s easy to forget the lesson COVID-19 taught us: Maintain good health! Staying healthy on your travels isn’t merely about dodging sickness. It’s about ensuring you have the vitality and vigour to enjoy every moment.
After all, no one wants to waste precious vacation days unwell, right? And considering that healthcare services may be stretched thin or work differently than you’re used to backing home, it highlights staying healthy while travelling even more.
Let’s discuss some tips on enjoying your trip while maintaining good health.
1. Prepare for Emergencies
Despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance you might get sick while travelling. Hence, it’s always worth researching the medical facilities near your accommodation so you’re prepared in case of an emergency.
For instance, you’re vacationing in the beautiful Volunteer State, Tennessee, known for its vibrant music scene and rich history. Now, while enjoying the famous Nashville hot chicken or hiking in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains, if you need medical supplies or an unexpected prescription refill, it can be incredibly comforting to know that many pharmacies are equipped to handle such situations.
Look for a local Tennessee pharmacy that offers a range of healthcare products and supplements, ensuring your health needs are met even when you’re away from home. It’s also wise to have travel insurance that covers any necessary medical treatment.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
Good hygiene can go a long way in preventing illness. Make it a habit to wash your hands regularly, especially before meals and after using the restroom. While travelling, you’ll likely touch various surfaces – from elevator buttons to handrails. Cleaning your hands after such contacts can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick. If washing your hands isn’t possible immediately, carrying a hand sanitiser can be a good alternative.
3. Stay Updated on Vaccinations
Getting the necessary vaccinations can protect you from a myriad of diseases. Depending on your destination, you might be exposed to different health risks.
That’s why you should consult with your healthcare provider or check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn about the recommended vaccinations for the places you plan to visit—getting vaccinated at least four to six weeks before your journey is best. This timeframe allows any potential side effects to subside before you embark on your vacation.
4. Bring Along Nutritious Snacks
You’ll likely be on the move often during your vacation, and packing non-perishable snacks is a good idea. Nutritious options like nuts, freeze-dried edamame, roasted chickpeas, protein bars, and jerky can make excellent travel companions.
They’re portable and packed with protein and healthy fats, which can help maintain your blood sugar levels and keep you full and alert.
As tempting as it may be to reach for an energy drink, it’s worth noting that these often contain over 30 grams of sugar and can lead to a sudden surge and crash in blood sugar levels. Sure, they might provide an initial burst of energy, but fatigue usually follows this.
Staying hydrated with plenty of water or green tea is much healthier. And if you’re a coffee drinker, stick to one to two cups earlier in the day and limit the added sugars.
5. Keep Moving
Finding ways to stay active during your vacation can improve your overall health. Simple actions like choosing the stairs over the elevator, using the restroom furthest from you on the plane, or doing an extra lap before heading to your gate or at a rest stop can add up over time.
For instance, if you happen to be visiting Tennessee, known for having some of the most scenic trails in the U.S., why not seize the opportunity to explore the nature around you?
Once you’ve reached your destination, keep the momentum going. Walk, bike, swim, or find other ways to stay active. Every bit of physical activity contributes to your health.
6. Start Your Day with a Balanced Breakfast
Your usual routine might take a backseat while you’re on vacation, but breakfast is one thing you’ll want to keep consistent. Trying local foods is undoubtedly part of the travel experience, but starting your day with a balanced breakfast is a good idea.
Try to get 20-30 grams of protein, a source of complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats in the morning. This approach sets you up for a strong start, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and gives you a sense of normalcy. An excellent way to incorporate these nutrients is by having avocado on whole-grain bread with scrambled eggs.
7. Always Carry Essential Medication
When exploring new places, you may need something else. Therefore, packing a few basic over-the-counter medications can be a lifesaver. Items such as ibuprofen for any unexpected aches and pains, antihistamines for allergies, decongestants for sudden colds, and motion sickness meds for those winding road trips can be useful.
Remember your prescribed medications, if any. It’s essential to carry them in original containers with the doctor’s prescription clearly labelled. It’ll ensure you’re well-equipped to handle any health hiccups along your journey.
8. Stay Clear of Unhealthy Food
Vacations are often an excuse to indulge but avoid foods high in refined carbs or added sugars. It’s not that you can’t have a candy bar or a chocolate chip cookie, but remember that these sugary treats can cause glucose spikes, which aren’t great for your health. So, while indulgence is part of the holiday fun, remember to balance it with healthy choices.
As we conclude this blog, remember that every journey you take introduces you to new environments, different foods, and a new world of microbes.
It’s a staggering fact that according to research by the AAFP foundation, nearly one-third of travellers deal with health problems during or following their journeys, with respiratory and digestive issues being the most common. So remember these tips to ensure you remain healthy while travelling and make the best of your days.