Stay Healthy, Travel Happily
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Travelling means you’ll have to spend time at airports, transits and other public places where many other travellers may gather, increasing your risk of contracting a virus. The hectic pace of getting from one tourist attraction to the next can sometimes take a toll on you physically, even though you’ve planned a relaxing vacation. So how do you ensure you stay fit and healthy throughout your holiday? Fortunately, we have some useful travel tips that will help you stay well and happy during your travels.
1. Get the Important Vaccines
Getting the flu shot is absolutely the best way to reduce your chances of catching and spreading the flu. The flu vaccine boosts your immune system to help your body fight off viruses that cause influenza. And of course with the Covid-19 virus still prevalent, you probably should consider getting the right vaccine to help you prevent the strenuous symptoms, should you contract it. This has certainly changed the way we will travel for good, but don’t worry! We have some added tips you could practice in view of the pandemic.
Besides these obvious vaccinations, you should also consider getting a Tuberculosis (TB) shot, especially if you’re visiting countries that are prevalent with this disease. TB, like other viruses, can spread through sneezing, coughing or close contact with respiratory secretions from an infected individual and can affect any part of the body. Just like the coronavirus and other airborne viruses, TB is especially hard to avoid in busy areas, which you are likely to find yourself at, when travelling. So prevention from the get-go is the best practice.
2. Stay away from Germs
Most contagious viruses and bacteria are transmitted when you touch a contaminated surface. Simply grabbing the doorknob of the airplane bathroom and then touching your eye, nose or mouth is enough to get you sick. Here’s how to avoid that from happening:
- Wash your hands, including your fingernails, regularly with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Use a paper towel or tissue to open door handles or turn off water faucets.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes before cleaning your hands.
- Use disinfecting wipes to swab armrests, tray tables and other surfaces.
- Stay at least six feet away from anyone who appears ill or who is coughing or sneezing.
Also, don’t forget to wear a mask and keep to Covid-19 SOPs at all times. Read more about that here.
3. Drink Lots of Water
This is a crucial tip if you want to stay healthy and happy while travelling. Whether you’re visiting a hot country or a place with a cooler climate, it is crucial to ensure your body has enough water to function properly. Water does not only help hydrate your body and boost your energy, but it also helps with digestion and removing toxins from your kidneys.
On top of that, low humidity or closed areas like the cabin of an airplane can cause your body to get dehydrated and be less effective in sweeping out viruses and bacteria, causing you to be more susceptible to illness. So be sure to avoid too much caffeine or alcohol-based drinks and carry along a water bottle when travelling. By doing this, you’ll not only be doing your body a favour but the environment too!
4. Get Enough Sleep!
Getting enough sleep during a holiday should be a no-brainer. But with so many sites to see and things to do, it’s easy to forgo this important rule.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.
If you know your first day of travel is going to be hectic, then ensure you get a good night’s sleep the day before and maintain a regular sleep schedule as much as possible while on your trip. Here are a few tips to help you get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night:
- Keep your room cool at night.
- Minimise your caffeine and alcohol consumption just before bedtime.
- Avoid electronic devices such as smartphones and e-readers for at least an hour before hitting the sack.
- Travel with an eye mask, earplugs and neck pillow for a comfortable rest while in transit.
5. Eat Consciously
Besides drinking plenty of water, you should always keep to a good diet all year round, but especially while you’re travelling. Eating immune-boosting foods and maintaining a healthy diet goes a long way towards supporting your immune system and fighting off infection.
If you’re travelling to a less developed country, be sure to consume foods that are prepared properly. For example: Only eat meat that is thoroughly cooked and served steaming hot, steer clear of raw vegetables, and dairy products that may have been left out in the sun, as this can be breeding grounds for bacteria. Also be aware that in some countries, tap water may not be safe to drink, so bottled water is a safer bet. Ice cubes are often a hidden culprit, so avoid those too.
While you may want to try every dish when you’re on vacation – especially in a new locality with different cuisines – overindulging is harmful to your overall fitness as it can cause sluggishness and waste valuable vacation time. So, please do enjoy yourself, but in moderation while practicing conscious eating.
6. Bring along a First Aid Kit
We all know the saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” But in the event that you do feel a little under the weather, it’s always a good idea to have some medication on hand. Practice travelling with a first aid kit, no matter if you’re on a short or long get-away. Your first aid kit should include:
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen for headaches, pain, hangovers, fevers or any injuries
- Cold & flu relief medicine
- Motion sickness tablets
- Anti-diarrhea medicine
- Adhesive bandages of various sizes
- An antibiotic ointment
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
Conclusion: Stay Healthy, Travel Happily!
By following these simple travel tips, you are sure to stay healthy and happy throughout your trip. Of course, it also pays if you keep active while you’re taking in the sights by opting for walking whenever possible. If you want to step it up, opt to take the stairs at your hotel, instead of the lift. Check if your hotel has a gym and start the day with a few pumps. Or you can look out for yoga classes, swimming pools or just go for a relaxing morning jog. The added bonus is, exercise will also keep you alert and mentally happy as you trek along.
Finally, ensure to take out travel insurance before every trip and keep the details on you. If there is an emergency, the last thing you want is to worry about costs. We can’t recommend travel insurance strongly enough and so we’ve made it easy for you to get a quick quote and apply for any additional options you may require. Keep healthy and stay happy, globetrotter!