For us enjoying life means two things. First, getting out into nature and second, reframing our thoughts about everything we see and experience along the way. That’s why we love to explore the world as much as possible.
We all know that travelling is an incredible experience and we’ve all heard about the benefits of hitting the road. From broadening our horizons to getting real-life education, exploring the globe provides plenty of opportunities to become better human beings.
But there’s nothing worse than booking flights, making accommodation reservations, shopping for that perfect swimsuit and finally going on your long-awaited adventure and not feeling your best because your body and mind are tired due to a long flight or a lack of proper nutrition.
Yes, we know, that staying healthy without sacrificing travel experiences, especially for those travellers who are big food enthusiasts and even bigger wine lovers, isn’t that easy to practice.
Even if you are living out of the backpack halfway across the world or enjoying an all-inclusive holiday in a resort, where freshly baked pancakes drenched in maple syrup are a click of a button away, establishing healthy habits will only let you make the most of your time away.
10 Fantastic and easy tips on how to stay healthy while travelling
It doesn’t matter where are you going; your body needs time to adjust to the new schedule, so don’t attempt to jump on public transport to find your way around a new city all while taking in different accents, foods and ways of living.
If you are travelling to an unfamiliar place, either the high mountains of New Mexico or the icy terrain of Alaska, being exposed to a different climate can take a toll on your body and mind. Take it slow and let your body and mind adjust to a new environment.
There are a few things we learned from exploring the world for the past 18 years, and we are sharing them with our readers in today’s posts.
#1. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is extremely vital for your overall health and especially important if you are travelling during the summer month or heading for a higher altitude. During hot and humid weather conditions, you lose more water by sweating.
And by going on a hiking adventure in the mountains, where oxygen levels are lower, your body responds by breathing in and out deeper and faster, in a process causing you to lose water through reputation.
Always carry a reusable and refillable water bottle or a quality filtered water bottle with you at all times. Not drinking enough water can often cause headaches and even lethargy.
In addition to drinking lots of water, you can also supplement your diet by eating a variety of water-rich foods. Cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach and broccoli are among the veggies that contain the highest water content. You can also eat heaps of watermelons, strawberries and cantaloupe throughout the day.
#2. Get a good night’s sleep
Whether you are travelling full-time or part-time, anyone knows what effects lack of sleep can have on your body and mind. It makes you foggy and grumpy. Lack of sleep makes you forgetful and impairs judgments.
Having a good night’s sleep is vital for anyone who travels, it’s how your body can perform throughout the day. Just thinking about all the physical activities from carrying luggage to crossing timezones and walking around to see famous tourist attractions, can leave you exhausted.
Listen to your body and nap for an hour or two if you feel like it. Let your body repair itself. Try to stick to a similar sleep routine to what you had at home. Of course, you are on holiday and don’t have to get up at 5.30 if that’s what you did during your working week, but stay relatively close to it.
#3. Eat breakfast
Travelling is fun, but changes in routine can easily upset your digestive system, so make sure you don’t skip breakfast and then hungrily wait for lunch or make bad food choices. Eating breakfast and fueling your body with proper nutrition is the best way to begin your day, especially when you are travelling.
If you are staying in a hostel or Airbnb, cook your breakfast. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, get fresh bread from a local bakery, add eggs and fresh fruit; breakfast gives you the energy to start your day right.
If you are planning on sleeping in a hotel, make sure they serve a good breakfast. Some hotels offer complimentary breakfast, and sometimes you have to settle an additional bill.
Either way, most hotels serve continental breakfast, and this gives you an opportunity to fill up on Whole grain toast with nut butter, a plain yoghurt with berries or oatmeal. These foods will provide much-needed energy burst and keep you full for hours all while letting you explore a new city with ease.
#4. Bring lots of healthy snacks
Sometimes when we travel, we end up eating and drinking more than usual, but exploring new countries doesn’t have to compromise your healthy lifestyle. Whether you are travelling in a car or on a plane, bring lots of healthy snacks on your trip, this way you’ll avoid buying unhealthy snacks at the gas station or overpriced airport shops.
In addition to protein bars, healthy crackers, rice cakes, nuts, kale chips, popcorn and dried fruit to keep you going in between meals you can also bring homemade sandwiches or veggie wraps. Just make sure you avoid smelly stuff like fish, cooked onions, fermented foods and strong-smelling cheeses.
Solid foods can be transported in checked bags and in a carry-on, and we always bring along a bag of almonds as they are very nutritious and keep us feeling good. Before you pack any food items in your bag, make sure you check the rules for travelling with food. While you can take pretty much anything on the plane, the requirements and restrictions are mostly due to the size, especially if it’s something you can pour, spread or spill.
#5. Avoid stress by planning ahead
From the moment you book your flight, getting ready to set out on a dream holiday can stir up stress and anxiety. From packing your suitcase and getting organised to getting to the airport on time, there are lots to be done before you can even leave the house. Not to mention all of the unexpected situations you need to be prepared for. Such as getting stuck in traffic, and awful long lanes at security checkpoints at the airport.
Nothing causes stress like waiting until the last minute to pack the essentials or finding your departure gate. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be prepared. To ease your travel experience and the screening process, you need to know what you are allowed to pack in your carry-on. From baby food to bottled water, several items require additional screening and can cause unexpected delays.
If airports and flying cause you stress and anxiety, arrive earlier and give yourself enough time to go through security. You can even sign up for the TSA Pre-Check program to ease your way through and then find a quiet spot somewhere in the airport before you get going again.
#6. Move and be active
Just because you are going on a holiday and taking a break from your usual routine, doesn’t mean you can’t stay active or exercise. Make a rule to do something productive every day.
You can start your day by swimming in the ocean or pool. You can do a gym workout at the resort you are staying at or be more adventurous and try surfing and paddleboarding. You can take part in beach volleyball or go skiing. Your options are limitless.
This way, you can have heaps of fun learn new things and burn the extra calories you are consuming. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing you can be active in. If you are staying near the mountains, bring hiking shoes with a good grip and if you are spending time near the ocean, bring your swimsuit.
#7. Treat yourself once in a while
Remember how Anthony Bourdain once said, “Your body isn’t a temple, it’s an amusement park, enjoy the ride.”
Achieving a healthy and balanced life while on the go can be challenging, because trying new foods and eating your body weight in Belgian waffles, is one of the most fantastic travelling experiences ever. Who would want to miss out on Frances’s famous wines and cheeses or traditional Portuguese pastries? You can’t go to Italy and not try pizzas and binge on different flavours of gelatos.
If you find yourself devouring five freshly baked croissants followed by more pastries at your all-you-can-eat resort breakfast, make sure you rent a bike or go for a walk after.
#8. Do a mental check-in
Travelling and engaging in exciting and new activities day after day can quickly take a toll on your body mentally, physically and emotionally. While most travel experiences involve high levels of excitement, some of them can also trigger anxiety and fear. Being away from home can also make some travellers homesick.
Only have a day to see Paris or 24 hours to explore New York? Many people are often very excited to stuff in as many must-see sights as possible, and leave no room for relaxation and downtime. If you are a creature of habit, running around without a set routine from one restaurant to another can leave you stressed and tired.
Pay attention to how you feel and don’t hesitate to take some time off from sightseeing. Go for a gentle walk, take a bath and unwind with herbal tea. Get in touch with your family and let them know how you feel.
#9. Protect your skin
Wearing sun protection with an SPF and replying to it frequently to avoid over-exposure to too strong sunlight is significant while on holiday. Sunburns are painful, and sunstroke doesn’t feel nice at all; that’s why taking precautions and protecting yourself, and your family ( especially little ones) should be your second nature.
The closer you get to the educator, the more sun protection you need. In addition to sunscreen, you can wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved lightweight clothing and UV protective sunglasses. Make sure you pack ocean-friendly and coral reef-safe sunscreen. This way, you’ll protect marine life and your skin too; you wouldn’t want to put harsh chemicals on your or your kids’ skin.
If you are travelling to an exotic destination, you need to pack insect repellant too. To avoid bug bites and mosquito-borne illnesses, malaria and dengue among the few, be a smart traveller and consider packing insect-repellent clothing or spray. This way you’ll avoid itchy bites.
#10. Learn about food safety
Once you leave home and travel outside of your country, you need to keep in mind a few essential food safety tips. Exploring a new place and eating exotic foods are all very exciting yet coming in contact with bacteria your bodies are unfamiliar with, can make you ill very fast. Before you go, research your destination about food safety and clean water supply, ice including.
Your best defence against foodborne illnesses is to use common sense and to stick to the “Cook it, wash it, peel it or forget it” mantra. Make sure you avoid raw foods and consume dishes that are piping hot. Don’t drink tap water and always peel your fruits. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and don’t buy food from street stalls, especially if it doesn’t look clean and well-kept.
Practise good personal hygiene – wash your hands with hot water and soap, wipe down tables and try to make smart choices about drinks and food to keep yourself well and avoid traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning.
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
Now, over to you!
What are your tips for staying healthy on the road?
Let us know in the comments below!