10 Tips to Stay Healthy on Vacation
Nothing can spoil a vacation like getting sick.
Unfortunately, people often fall ill during or after a holiday. This can be due to many factors such as eating the wrong foods and stress due to jet lag. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy so you can enjoy your vacation.
1. Pack Medications and Remedies
Make sure you pack the following on your trip: Any medications you or your family members require.
Sunscreen and sunburn reliever.
Hand sanitizer for airports and any public places.
Remember to have your kids use it when they play and explore!
Vitamins and supplements. If you take any supplements, bring them along.
Depending on your destination, it may be easier to buy or replenish supplies when you arrive rather than packing them. The point is, don’t forget them or any other specialized remedies you may need.
2. Research Health Risks
If you’re taking a long journey, make sure you know about any health risks. Some countries require or recommend certain vaccinations. If there’s any question about water safety, make sure you only drink bottled water. Mosquitoes are a danger in some parts of the world. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a website and newsletter that discusses recent health risks.
3. Manage Your Internal Clock
This tip is mainly for when you’re traveling to a different time zone. However, even a long drive can interfere with your internal clock.
Change your schedule ahead of time. Pretend you’re in your destination time zone at least three days before you leave.
Limit alcohol and caffeine. These can both disrupt your sleep pattern. On the other hand, it’s good to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Fly overnight. If you can sleep on the plane, it’s easier to adjust to time differences.
4. Pack Healthy Food
whether your driving or flying, it’s tempting to fill up on junk food if you aren’t packing healthy snacks. Airports and highways are full of fast food while healthier options are scarce. Hotels often have limited options. Pack healthy sandwiches made from whole grain bread and butter, fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt, and other nutritious options.
5. Do Your Own Cooking
It’s common for people to eat all of their meals out while on vacation, but more are discovering that it’s both healthier and more convenient to have access to a kitchen.
If you stay at a rental house or apartment or extended stay hotel, you can do your shopping and cooking.
Of course, eating out is part of the fun of going on vacation. However, when you can buy your own groceries and cook you have much more control over your diet. You can then eat out selectively and stick to the best restaurants rather than being compelled to eat out regularly. You can also explore local farmer’s markets and stores rather than being stuck eating at touristy restaurants.
6. Maintain Your Workouts
Don’t use vacation as an excuse to skip workouts. You may need to adjust your exercise regimen to fit the holiday, but you always have some choices. Research your options and figure out the best way to move around. If you’re close to nature, you can hike, bike, kayak, or zip line. If you’re exploring cities, opt for walking or a bike tour rather than driving or buses. Choose a hotel or resort with yoga classes and a workout room.
7. Get Enough Sleep
You go on vacation to explore new places and have fun, not sleep. It’s easy to bum the candle at both ends when travelling. You want to start early to cram in as much as possible. You may also be reluctant to go to bed and end your precious vacation days earlier than necessary.
However, lack of sleep compromises your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to sickness.
Make sure you schedule sleep into your itinerary. If you’re going on a tour that starts early in the morning, don’t stay out late drinking and dancing. If you can’t avoid starting early and ending late, then at least schedule in an afternoon nap in between.
8. Keep Your Special Needs in Mind
If you or anyone you’re travelling with has any special dietary or other needs, make sure you plan so you don’t end up doing something that causes a problem. For example, if you have an allergy or cannot tolerate wheat, you don’t want to make yourself sick by eating the wrong item.
If you’re eating on the plane, arrange your meal online ahead of time. Research local restaurants in the areas you’re visiting. If you’re traveling to a place with unfamiliar dishes, learn the ingredients they typically use in this region. Then you can avoid mistakenly ingesting something that may cause you regrets.
9· Limit Your Portions
How much you eat is almost as important as what you eat.
It’s tempting to overeat on vacation as you want to sample as much as possible. If you can’t pass a food truck or concession stand without trying something and you’re also eating large regular meals, it’s going to put a strain on your body. If you want to try as much as possible, focus on eating smaller portions with each meal or snack.
10. Relax and Pace Yourself
People often fantasise about relaxing on their vacations.
In practice, however, travelling to a new place can be frantic and even stressful. If you fly, you have to worry about making your flights. Driving has its own set of hassles such as dealing with traffic and finding parking. One of the most common mistakes is to try to fit in too many destinations and activities on one trip.
If you’re visiting Europe, don’t try to see every capital city in a week. If you’re going to Walt Disney World (which has four distinct theme parks and two waterparks) for the weekend, don’t expect to get on every ride. You’ll enjoy your vacation more if it isn’t a constant whirlwind.
These tips will help you enjoy your vacation while minimizing the risk of illness. As a rule, the more you can practice your regular dietary, sleeping, and exercise routines, the more likely you’ll stay healthy. Of course, part of the excitement of travel is to try new things. You can, however, find a right balance, so you don’t put your health at risk.