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How to Stay Healthy While Traveling: 6 Tips

ways to stay healthy while traveling
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Most of these tips apply whether you are traveling or not. It is when we are traveling, however, that they become more important. New germs, new food, and an itinerary that might not lend itself to rest and relaxation are all factors that can derail our efforts to stay healthy.

Eat well

A good diet is fundamental to your health. We often choose options that are quick and inexpensive, because we are on a budget and we are on the move. Check out this article for some specific tips on how to eat well while traveling: 5 Ways to Eat Healthy on the Road.

Stay clean

This starts with washing your hands. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands is the single most important way of preventing the spread of infections and disease. If you are traveling in a place where washing your hands is not convenient, bring an alcohol based hand sanitizer with you. Bathe frequently, wash your clothes, and brush your teeth. This is partly to rid yourself of germs, but it’s also a psychological boost. Feeling clean will help you to feel healthy and to feel good about yourself in general.

Take a multivitamin

There is conflicting information about the overall effectiveness of vitamins. What’s clear is that it is best to eat vitamins naturally, in whole, unprocessed foods. That said, multivitamins are not prohibitively expensive and even if you are not getting the same amount of vitamin C that you would from, say, an orange, what you are getting is better than nothing. Easy to carry, take one a day, simple.

Exercise

Depending on your itinerary, you may be getting plenty of exercise already. Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay active and it’s typically something that you do a lot of when you are traveling. If you’re not staying active, however, it’s important to get some exercise. Early morning jogs are a great way to scope out where you are staying. Playing sports with locals is a great way to stay active and meet people (hint: head to parks). There are also simple activities you can do in your hotel room like jumping jacks, sit ups and push ups.

Hydrate

Staying hydrated is harder to do when you are on the move. Make it a priority. Carry a water bottle. Consider buying something like the SteriPEN Classic Handheld Water Purifier if you are in a place where you can’t drink the tap water. Also check out this article: 4 Ways to Treat Water While Traveling. Dehydration is one of the easiest ways to start feeling like you are sick and it can easily snowball if you are also not getting enough rest or proper nutrition.

Don’t do too much

You may be inclined to to cover as much ground as you can and to see as many sights as possible. Might not be a good idea. For one, it’s hard to enjoy something when you are already thinking about the next destination. In addition, it’s easy to become exhausted and worn out. If you are not sleeping enough and your itinerary is actually causing you stress, there is a problem and you need to slow down. Take your time. Enjoy where you’re at. Related: don’t party too much.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Matt April 26, 2011, 5:37 pm

    Great advice! I’d add take a probiotic to the list as well. Keeping my stomach happy has been important for me while traveling.

    Any advice for showering if the water is not potable? We’ve stayed at places where you can’t or shouldn’t drink the water but we still bathed in it. What’s the best way to wash your hair if the water is questionable? Obviously you wouldn’t want to get any in your mouth or eyes.

    • admin April 27, 2011, 10:46 am

      Hey Matt, good tip with the probiotics. Stomach ailments seem to be the number one problem faced by travelers to developing world areas. As far as showering, I just keep my mouth closed as much as possible. Would be nice to bathe in potable water, but usually not possible. I find that a lot of times I’m using bucket showers and this at least allows you to control the water more 🙂

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