As you pack your suitcase and head to the airport with excitement and anticipation of a fun or relaxing getaway, the last thing you want is to get sick. Travel can be stressful and leave you with less rest, making your immune system weaker. When you couple that with being confined to a small space with hundreds of others during a few hours of flight, your chances of catching a cold or other virus have just increased. Here are my best tips on staying healthy when you travel.
Prevention is the best medicine
In the weeks before your travel date, take immune boosting vitamins like Vitamin C as well as probiotics to promote a healthy gut to prepare you for new foods and dining out when traveling. Get plenty of rest and don’t try to cram too much in before traveling. I like to bring Airborne or Emergency C vitamin and mineral packets with me to add to my bottled water while I am traveling along with a sleep mask to catch few z’s on the plane.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking more water than normal. Drink caffeinated beverages, like coffee and soda, as well as alcoholic drinks sparingly as they are dehydrating and affect natural sleep patterns.
What to pack in your carry on to stay healthy
Short of wearing a protective mask to ward of germs, there are a few things you can bring onto the airplane with you to help prevent viruses. If you wear contact lenses, opt for glasses on board as the plane’s air will be dryer causing your eyes discomfort which might prompt you rubbing or touching your eyes more. Reduce the temptation to touch your eyes and transfer germs which could cause eye infections and wear your glasses instead. Pack your contact lenses in your carry on so you can put them in after you land.
Bring hand sanitizer in a bottle of three ounces or less and apply after every hand washing. Some travelers like to bring sanitizing wipes as well to wipe down arm rests and tray tables as they take their seat. Wear socks while going through security to avoid a foot fungus!
Stay healthy as you explore
Get rest. You’ll be tempted to pack in as much as you can during your vacation. I suggest identifying a smaller number of quality, memorable activities and preserving yourself with rest and relaxation to fully enjoy your vacation. Getting a good amount of rest during your vacation will also help you when you transition back to everyday life, especially if you are heading back to work or school with a full schedule.
If you are traveling to a foreign country, be careful of what you eat and drink. Many travelers want to eat and drink like the locals, but your stomach is not prepared for all of the regions delicacies. Be especially careful of water consumption in less developed countries. Purchase and consume bottled water only, avoid ice in your drinks and opt for cooked rather than raw vegetables they have likely been washed with water from the tap. There is nothing as uncomfortable as traveler’s diarrhea. Carry an antidiarrheal with you at all times as a precaution.
Everything in life comes with a little risk, but the chances of getting sick while you travel should not hold you back from exploring. With a little common sense and precaution you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest without getting sick.