Regardless of whether we’re travelling for pleasure, or business, there’s something about travel that can derail our common sense, and encourage us to disregard our needs in regards to health, hygiene, and safety. Though ensuring that you get enough exercise and sleep during your international conference, or family vacation, might not be the first thing on your mind, it’s worth noting that healthy travel, is often happy travel. After all, the last thing you want when you’re jetting around the world – is to deal with a stomach bug, cold, or the repercussions of poor nutrition.
From ensuring you pack the right first-aid supplies, to helping you prepare for almost every cause of travel-based illness out there, we’ve put together a list of our most helpful healthy travel tips for business and pleasure – for you to use a checklist before your next adventure. Remember, something as simple taking a windproof travel umbrella with you on your trip to help you avoid a cold during a sudden torrential downpour, could be the difference between a successful travel experience, and a health-based nightmare.
Step 1: Packing Tips
The first step in ensuring healthy travel, is taking steps to prepare for potential problems. While you might not be able to avoid coming in contact with another person on your travels who passes their illness on to you, you can make some careful choices with your packing that make illness less distressing – should it occur. For instance:
- Remember to pack a windproof travel umbrella to keep you protected from the elements if the weather suddenly changes. Usually, these devices are lightweight, and compact – making them easy to carry around.
- If you’re in need of any prescription medication, make sure you bring enough to last the entire duration of your trip. Be sure that you keep these essential medications in your carry-on luggage – on the off-chance that your suitcase goes missing.
- If you suffer from chronic health conditions or special needs, ensure you have a medical alert necklace or bracelet handy to inform people around you.
A standard first-aid kit for travel should include antibiotic ointment, medication for an upset stomach, standard pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen, allergy medication, hand sanitizer, antacids and bandages.
Step 2: Get in Some Extra Fitness
If you’re currently in the middle of a health and fitness routine designed to improve your overall wellbeing, or simple assist you in dropping some extra pounds, it may be worth banking some additional workouts or exercise before your vacation or business trip. The chances are that if you’re going away, you’ll want some leeway when it comes to diet and exercise, which means that you’re going to need to find a way to make up for the lax nature of your journey.
A few days before you head to your destination, try to get in a few big workouts – even if that means spending an extra half an hour at the gym every session for a week before your vacation. If you have cheat meals in your diet, try avoiding them the week before to make sure that you don’t go over your allowance when being away from home tempts you into trying something new.
Step 3: Do Some Food-Based Research
One of the biggest health threats you’ll face when heading to an unfamiliar destination and ensuring healthy travel- is the possibility of poorly cooked food, or strange cuisines leaving you with an upset stomach or gastrointestinal disease. The more you investigate your destination before your trip, the easier it will be to stay away from meals that might cause problems, and thus stay healthy.
At the same time, you can always find out whether there’s any local grocery stores near your hotel that you can use to stock up on healthy items essential to your current diet. Health food stores are preferable, but anywhere that sells fresh fruit and vegetables can be a good bet. Just make sure that you wash each item with bottled water if you’re concerned about where it might have come from.
Step 4: Plan Ahead for Special Dietary Needs
Speaking of food, when it comes to preparing for healthy travel, it’s important to take further steps if you’re celiac, gluten-intolerant, or suffer from particular food allergies that might limit what you can eat when you’re in a new destination. If you want to show extra caution, you might consider printing a card that lists your specific dietary needs in the local language, so you can show it to a restaurant or café owner if you’re feeling unsure about a specific meal or menu item.
Most healthy travel tips for business or pleasure will recommend taking special precautions when you have dietary needs, as in the service industry, it is possible for staff members to be so eager to please that they assure you something is possible without actually understanding the implications of what you need.
Step 5: Stay Hydrated
When on vacation, travelling for business, or even if you’re at home, it’s worth noting that staying hydrated is crucial when you want to feel your best. When flying, pack an empty water bottle that you can fill once you’ve passed security to stay ahead of the threat of dehydration. When you arrive at your chosen destination, make sure that you stock up on plenty of bottled water, and learn as much as you can about whether the liquids available in your chosen country are safe for consumption.
If you’re worried about the safety of the tap water at your hotel, remember that you can always boil it to help get rid of any lingering germs.
Look After Yourself, When Travelling for Business, or Pleasure
Regardless of the reason behind your journey, healthy travel tips for business or pleasure center around making sure that you take all the necessary steps required to take care of yourself – from making time for plenty of rest, relaxation, and sleep, to ensuring that you take the time to walk and explore the new environment around you.