With everything that is going on in the world today, the most important thing we want to remember is to be healthy and safe while we travel. With so many travel bans in effect at this moment (March 2020). No one will be doing any travel for the next couple of weeks or months.
But what happens when everything quiets down? We all will put on our hiking boots, backpacks, magic bands and get out there to explore this brave new world (Post Covid-19). Of course, we want to stay healthy and not get sick from this bug or the next. But how can we? Is it even possible?
Yes, yes it is. We’ve done it before and we will do it again. Here are some tips that should’ve been followed before and followed now. Nothing has changed… (well more people are washing their hands). Here are some tips for staying healthy while traveling.
It’s not the most important meal of the day for no reason. Breakfast helps get your metabolism into high gear so you can burn calories throughout the day. Which helps keep you at a healthy weight and helps avoid the body’s need to snack on high fat, high sugar foods.
Breakfast also helps give you energy. The energy you need while traveling. You don’t want to be hungry and feeling drained while you have all those fun activities planned.
Get Plenty of Sleep
I know what you are thinking, “Hey Koz, there are only so many hours in the day for me to pack all of this stuff I have planned”. While that is true. It’s still important to get the recommended amount of sleep.
For adults, that’s between 7-9 hours and for children, it can be anywhere from 8 hours up to 13 hours depending on their age. It seems like a lot but it is something we all need to function at our best.
You don’t want to have to skip something you planned on doing because you are tired. Or because the kids are cranky. You don’t want to injure yourself or someone else while zip-lining, snorkeling, diving or any other activity you planned.
Just plan on getting that well needed rest. If you don’t think you’ll have enough time to do everything. Just add an extra day or plan on going back. You can’t see all of Walt Disney World or New York City in one weekend. You have to go longer or go more often.
Water is the most important thing we put into our bodies. Many of us don’t get enough of it in our daily lives. Let alone while on vacation. Staying hydrated by drinking water has many benefits while traveling.
If traveling to a hot place like the desert or Florida in mid-summer. Water helps keep your body temperature where it needs to be so you don’t overheat. Not getting enough water can also affect your mood. Who wants to be in a bad mood on vacation anyway? Not me and I’m sure not you.
Staying hydrated by drinking water also helps prevent constipation. Like sleep, it gives you a boost in energy. By not staying hydrated it can negatively impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory. I don’t know about you but those are three things I want to be working correctly while I am exploring new places or revisiting old ones.
It’s important to pace yourself. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day which means you can’t see it all in a day. With a little planning and google searching, you can see the average amount of time people spend at one location.
Maybe plan on adding an extra day or doing something on another trip. If you plan a trip to Washington, DC you should already know that you won’t be seeing everything the Smithsonian Museums have to offer in one day. Heck, it might even take you a week to see everything just along the National Mall.
Sure you could visit all the National Mall museums in one day. But you will be in and out so quick you will forget just about everything you have seen. Kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me. So just pace yourself and your group. Plan on adding extra time to each place you go to.
Wash your hands often
We all know to wash our hands after we use the restroom and before we eat. But how often were you washing your hands before the most recent outbreak? Probably not as much as we should have been.
I know very few people who would wash their hands after shopping at the store. Guess what now they do and they use up all the hand sanitizer too. When you are out and about in a different city, museum, theme park, etc. Remember to wash your hands often.
AND STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE. I know it’s hard and chances are you just touched your face. After all, they say we touch our face on average 16 times an hour. If you can’t wash your hands. Remember to use hand sanitizer.
Not only should you be washing your hands often. Every night you should be getting a shower or bath. It’s common sense but sometimes we lack that. Proper hygiene helps prevent you from getting sick and those around you from getting sick.
Wash up every night when possible. Some places like campgrounds might limit the amount of water you use. Just remember to practice proper hygiene. Brush your teeth, wash your hair, trim fingernails. All of that will help keep you healthy and in tip-top shape.
Choose Water over Soda
I know, I know, you are on vacation and what to have a good time. Who wants to just drink water the whole time? You should also try to drink a little less alcohol too.
Water is important for so many reasons which we already listed. But it is super important and that’s why it is listed twice. You want to stay healthy while you travel after all. Drinking tons of soda and alcohol will defeat that purpose.
Protect your skin
You hear it all the time about using sunscreen. You should even put some on in the winter if you will be spending a lot of time outdoors. The sun is still the sun in the winter. It’s just not as hot.
Have a first aid Kit
You never know when you might need a bandaid, cold medication, anti-itch cream and more. Having a small first aid kit on hand can help save you tons of money (not visiting urgent care, ER) for minor things like upset stomach, small cuts, and many other minor issues. Of course, for major issues or if you are not sure what’s going on a small first aid kit will not help you. You will need/want to go to the ER.
Your first aid kit should include things like:
- Bandages of varying sizes
- An antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin
- A fever and pain reducer
- A motion sickness remedy
- Stomach ache Medicine
- Feminine products
- Medicine for allergic reactions
- Cold and flu relief medication
- Anti-itch cream
- Rehydration tablets in case of diarrhea
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer
Make your meals
This isn’t always so easy to do. Of course, we aren’t talking about making steak and potatoes for dinner. This is more for breakfast or lunch. Pack some easy to make things like oatmeal for breakfast or a bagel.
Putting together a picnic-style lunch together to eat at the park with some sandwiches and a salad. The last thing you want to do (for your health, cause lets face it we want to) is eat out for every meal. Not only will this help keep you a little healthier on vacation. It will help keep your wallet a little fatter. Who doesn’t want a fatter wallet?
Walk, Walk, Walk
Today we drive just about everywhere. Walking 5 minutes up to Wawa or 7-Eleven is out of the question when we can hop in our cars and take a minute to drive there. While it will be tempting to hop on a bus or train to get around.
Instead, try to walk. I rarely take the subway when I am in NYC. I just walk from Penn Station to wherever I am going for the day. No need to hit the gym if you are walking 10 plus miles a day while traveling.
Just relax. Try not to stress over things. Depending on where and when you go somewhere lines could be long. People will walk slow. Restaurants will be busy.
Just relax and slow down. After all, you are trying to enjoy yourself when you are traveling and on vacation. Over stressing isn’t good for you or those around you. Relax and enjoy where you are at. You might miss that bus or train. Look down… see those feet. Get to walking and slow down and relax. It’s important for your overall health while traveling and at home.
See your Doctor
It’s a good idea to see your doctor before you travel. If you are going overseas it is very important to see your doctor. You might need some shots. I remember getting all kinds of vaccines while in the Military for when I got deployed over to Spain and the Middle East.
Vaccines help prevent and spread certain viruses and diseases. Plus it’s always a good idea to get your overall health checked out. You never know what might be lurking waiting to rear its ugly head at the wrong time.
Use Common Sense
Always remember to use common sense when you are out traveling. You aren’t going around licking handrails or swimming in sewage plants. You’re not picking up fruit from a market that has been kicked around and stepped on.
Always listen to your inner voice. It’s telling you that for a reason. It wants you to be healthy and not get sick. No one wants to be sick while traveling and if you are trying to move your dates or cancel.
Staying healthy while traveling is more than just washing your hands. Of course, that is one thing that can help everyone out. Getting the right amount of sleep, drinking plenty of water, walking more are just some of the other things that help keep you healthy while traveling stateside and abroad.
Any other tips you would like to add? Let us know in the comments below. If we all follow these tips we can help prevent a lot. Your tips too can help prevent things and keep other travelers healthy. So post your tips in the comments.
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