Travelling can be amazing, but it can also be stressful and detrimental to our health when we’re constantly on the go. When you’re a frequent traveller, constantly on the road, always on and off planes, in and out of air-conditioning, changing climates constantly, it can be difficult to take care of yourself properly.
Here are 10 ways to stay healthy during travels
1. Stay Hydrated
You’ve probably heard it a million times over, but it’s really important to stay hydrated in life generally and particularly on the road. Too much sun and insufficient water can cause sunstroke or dehydration which is NASTY. Aircraft cabins and long flights are therefore highly dehydrated so make sure to drink plenty of water on flights. I’m really bad at remembering to drink water when I’m staying in hotels so try to recall getting a few litres a day.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is the most important thing you can do while you are travelling. The body needs rest while you are moving physically, crossing time zones, carrying luggage to and from destinations, walking all day, and so on. Travelling is already hard on your body so make sure that you get plenty of rest.
3. Prepare ahead for Cold Climates
When you are visiting severely cold climates then you will have to be prepared for a whole new range of possible health problems. To avoid hypothermia or frostbite, you need to wear the right fabrics. Good base layers still matter. In Finland, you’ll be told not to use a water-based moisturizer before going outside because it could freeze on our faces and crack the skin. You’ll need good wool socks, a Buff, hat, gloves, waterproof snow boots and a very warm coat.
4. Stay active and work out
Putting on weight when travelling over the long term is very easy, all you need to do is stay all day at home and eat conveniently. There are things you can do, such as going for a run every morning or looking up local fitness courses, or even workout workouts on Youtube in your hotel room.
5. If possible, make your own meals
Of course, you did not come to eat your own food halfway around the world. But if you’re on a long trip or want to eat healthy, it’s certainly not a bad idea because eating out every day might not be the healthiest one. Hunt around the grocery store for supplies. Checking out the local produce is enjoyable too. Ask the hotel staff for plates and utensils. You can easily make sandwiches and salads without a kitchen. Enjoy a nice picnic in the park!
6. Do research
Make sure to read up on the health information to do with the area you’re in or travelling to. You may need to buy bottled water or avoid leafy greens such as some vegetables etc. Maybe you’re looking for tips from other travellers when it comes to street food, you don’t want to go to the dodgy one that leaves you in the bathroom for days. Be sure to keep an eye out for pharmacies and local health facilities while visiting a new city/area, you never know when you may need them. And always make sure you know wherever you are in the world, the number for emergency services.
7. Carry a first aid kit along with you
What you need in the kit for first aid depends on where you’re headed. Many nations will have plenty of drugs on the counter, some will be stringent like the United Kingdom and the USA. You could have stuff for headaches/pain, stomach upsets, rehydration sachets, blister plasters (from all the walking), antihistamines for rashes/insect bites, some sterile dressings (just in case), some antibacterial wipes and any prescription medicine you’re on. Hopefully, you won’t need anything from your first aid kit, but when you need it you usually really need it and wouldn’t want to be without it. This could hold you bound until you get to a nearby doctor in the end.
8. Using wetnaps and hand sanitizer
This comes in handy when there is no water and soap available, which can happen very often on the way. You walked the whole day and got in touch with people, objects, doors, etc. and the last thing you want to do is eat with dirty hands. Prevent germ and bacteria from spreading by washing your hands particularly before and/or after a meal.
9. Get help when needed
If you feel unwell while travelling and are unable to access a local doctor or are uncertain whether you need a doctor, you can find that something like the Online Dr App which will help you determine what you should do. Anything that is available when you’re constantly on the go might be the best solution for both your wellbeing and peace of mind. Then if that doesn’t work make sure you see a pharmacist or doctor in the city. You also get support from the staff in your hostel or hotel. I once had a bad case of food poisoning or something like that in the Philippines and the workers at the hostel gave me ice buckets to relieve my fever and let me know where the doctor is.
10. Practice “Hara Hachi Bu”
Hara Hachi Bu is a Japanese term which means eating until you are 80 per cent finished. The Japanese may be on something given that the nation has an unquestionable high number of centenarians. How do you know when 80 per cent of you hit? Ok, just don’t eat enough or overeat to get too full. Enjoy smaller meals all day long or break your meal and save leftovers for dinner or lunch the next day.