One question I am always asked is, how I stay healthy while traveling. I’m constantly in and out of airports and on crowded public transportation, yet I haven’t gotten sick from traveling in more years than I can count! So here is 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling.
17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling
There’s no better place for germs to thrive than in the small confines of an airplane, train, or bus. In that small capsule you lose count of how many times people sneeze, cough, and go back and forth to the bathroom touching the seats as they go.
How many of them actually cover their mouths or wash their hands? Despite the trillions of swarming germs living on every surface and in every breath that I take, I stay healthy while traveling.
Along with planning for my adventures, I have an ongoing plan on staying healthy so I can enjoy all the destinations I travel to.
Here’s my advice on how to stay healthy while traveling
Before You Travel
1. I always try to eat healthy, lots of vegetables, fruits, low fat meats, and nuts, but I make sure to concentrate on what I put into my body even more a few weeks before I travel.
Boosting your immunity is important to staying healthy while traveling, as the act of travel itself is stressful. Eating right is not always possible when you’re running from destination to destination so have your body in the best possible condition before you go.
2. Consider probiotics. Although a lot of doctors will say there is no proof that probiotics help traveler’s diarrhea, I swear by them. Phyllis Kozarsky, M.D., the Centers for Disease Control’s travelers’ health consultant says she favors probiotics to boost gut health.
Probiotics are one of the main items in my 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling and can help prevent colds, flu, and allergies. They improve the health of the digestive system and are great at maintaining healthy colonies of bacteria, which in turn can help you to stay healthy while traveling.
3. Staying active with daily exercise is another important item in 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling and is imperative to your health. Exercise increases the immune system, discharges endorphins (the chemical in your brain that makes you feel good), and keeps you sharp minded.
On the day you travel
4. In my carry-on I have a baggie with 2 containers of hand sanitizer. I buy the kind that has at least 50% alcohol. Two packages of disinfectant wipes, a package of bathroom wipes, a 3oz (100ml) tube of lotion, and a 1/2oz bottle of eye drops, and nose spry. Yes, all that fits in the quart size zip baggie!
I also pack my own blanket or shawl and travel pillow. I discuss why a few tips down.
5. It’s not always possible, but at the airport/train station/bus terminal -try to keep your distance from strangers (at least 4-6 feet). Why 4-6 feet? Because that’s how far those microscopic infected droplets of spittle can travel when someone coughs or sneezes!
The little suckers can live for hours on most surfaces as well, hence why I carry that liquid backup and keep my distance from people that look unwell!
6. No matter how clean you think it is never wash your hands in a public bathroom. Wait, what?! Yes, you read correctly.
If you want to stay healthy while traveling it will be much easier if you STOP washing your hands after you use the bathroom. Seems crazy, right? WRONG!
Think about it…accidents happen, you’re in a hurry, you stop to use the toilet, in your haste, bodily fluids get “touched”. I don’t need to paint a picture for you, right?
The announcement is made that your flight/train/bus is boarding and up comes the underwear, you turn the handle to the door, run to the sink, touch the soap dispenser, the handle for the water, and you’ve single handedly contaminated the bathroom.
The next person comes in and touches those same things and the germs spread. There’s no way to avoid it. There are ways to prevent yourself from most of it, though.
I pull a disinfected wipe out before entering and use it while opening the main and stall doors. I do what I need to do and use a fresh towel when I leave.
And please don’t put your bags on the floor! Hang them on that hook on the back of the stall door or around your neck if you have to for obvious reasons.
Once I’m out of the restroom, I use liquid disinfectant to wash away any germs I may have picked up.
Sounds like too much work? Here’s where I’ll remind you that these tips help me to stay healthy while traveling and…I haven’t gotten sick from traveling in more years than I can count!
7. When it’s time to clear customs and you have to remove your shoes, either wear socks to the airport/bus station/train station or pop some on before going through. This will prevent anything nasty from passing from your feet to your hands when you put your shoes back on.
8. We’re halfway through 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling and another piece of advice is before boarding, buy a few bottles of water. Although the laws have changed and water on transportation is much better than it was years ago, samplings of water tested randomly still pick up the presence of fecal bacteria. Disgusting, right?
9. My biggest tip to stay healthy while traveling is to prepare your seating area before you even sit down. This means you’ll need to avoid the mad dash to board first. If you’re in first or business class the prep is much easier.
The seats on planes/trains/buses are teaming with germs just waiting to wreak havoc with your immune system. It’s been proven that the armrests, seat belts, tray tables, blankets, and pillows all contain small amounts of E.coli and fecal matter!
I start by breaking out my disinfectant wipes and going over every conceivable surface. Think of everywhere you touch when you’re seated and wipe those areas – seat back, tray table, magazines, seat belt, arm rests, head rest, call button, air vents, TV screen, the handles on the overhead baggage bins, and the seats themselves.
Although every single one of the 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling list is important one of my favorite is hand sanitizer. I go through an entire package of wipes and get crazy looks from the other passengers but guess what, these tips help me to stay healthy while traveling and… I haven’t gotten sick from traveling in more years than I can count!
10. Throughout the flight, use your hand sanitizer often, every time you touch a surface. Don’t forget the magazines, they can harbor germs along with the great duty free shopping.
11. It’s a pain in the butt to have to get up and go to the bathroom every hour, especially when you have a window or middle seat and you have to disturb the person next to you to let you out. For that reason, I always book the aisle seat (btw – that’s the most contaminated seat because people touch them back and forth going to the bathroom!).
Drink lots of water anyway. Staying hydrated is another great tip to stay healthy while traveling. Your lips are a good way to tell if you’re hydrated enough. If they’re dry and cracked then you need to drink more water!
Remember those bottles of extra water I told you to buy after security check-in? Her is where they come in handy. Try to avoid drinking sparkling or fizzy water, it can give you gas, making you uncomfortable; your seatmate will appreciate that as well!
Also, use the bottled water to brush your teeth…remember the random water test results!
12. Nose spray is another way to stay healthy while traveling. Our bodies require around 30% humidity to remain functioning sufficiently, at 30,000 to 35,000 feet the humidity is less than half. This lack of moistness interrupts the body’s ability to move bacteria and viruses to the stomach to be taken away naturally. By using the nasal spray often the mucus membranes of the nose are kept healthy and in turn you’re less likely to get sick.
14. On long flights/rides I get up every hour and take a walk up and down the aisle. This gets your blood circulating and stretches your legs helping to prevent possible blood clots.
I often tuck myself into the little hallway near the bathroom and do a few stretches and squats, it may look funny but it helps with leg cramps. Remember to never walk around barefoot; those rugs are riddles with germs as well.
15. To help stay healthy while traveling use your own travel pillow and blanket. Just because the blankets are in those little plastic bags does not mean they have been sanitized. And the pillows are rarely cleaned; they are picked up by the cleaning crew and put back in the overhead baggage compartment. Imagine how many germs your exposing yourself to!
At your destination
16. With all the excitement surrounded around getting to a new destination we often forget to be diligent about our health. However, to enjoy your vacation, you should try to remember these tips to stay healthy while traveling.
Keep in mind all the people that handled your suitcase, from taxi drivers, to luggage handlers, your bags pass through a lot of un-sanitized hands. Take a minute to use one of those disinfectant wipes to clean every inch of your bag before you open it. This will decrease the chances of transferring germs to your clean clothes.
17. My final tip of 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling is a simple one – get enough rest. Exploring new destinations can be so exciting. Most people have a limited amount of time and therefore try to get in as much sightseeing and exploration as possible, often leaving us needing a vacation from our vacation.
Getting enough rest is vital to staving off illnesses. A lack of sleep for even one night can hinder your body’s immune system allowing the introduction of germs and giving you a higher chance of getting ill.
A test on 153 people was conducted in which they were exposed to a common cold. Those in the group who had gotten less than 7 hours of sleep in the two weeks prior to the test were almost 3 times more likely to get sick than the people in the group who had 8 hours or more. Either get to sleep early or enjoy your room and sleep in
IBD (irritable bowel syndrome) and inflammatory bowel syndrome affect 10-15% of Americans and can be linked to regular sleep deprivation. With the introduction of new foods, particularly street food from underdeveloped countries, why add to the chance you’ll be in the bathroom for most of your trip?
I’m miserable when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m clumsy, cranky, and forgetful, my brain feels foggy and I just can’t enjoy myself, no matter where I am. To stay healthy while traveling, I will often ask my doctor for a light sleeping tablet so I can ensure I won’t miss out on anything or worse, get sick easily.
The immune system can’t work properly without the required down time your body gets from a good night’s sleep. I can’t stress good sleep enough and doing so has kept me healthily and enjoying my adventures for years. Remember…I haven’t gotten sick from traveling in more years than I can count!
I’m sure there are dozens of other things you can do to stay healthy while traveling but these tips are the ones I live by and the ones that have helped me travel healthy for the past several years. That’s why I chose and created this 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling. I follow it to the letter.
Each step is simple but often forgotten in our haste to get on with our travels. At the beginning of my travels it took me a while to get into a routine, however it was important enough for me to stay healthy so I could enjoy every minute of my travels.
By taking the time and following these tips you can stay healthy while traveling as well.
I hope my tips help you to stay healthy while traveling and inspire you to feel free to travel longer and farther!
I hope you enjoyed and took something away from 17 Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling. Do you have a routine before, during, and after your travels that keep you healthy? Do you find one tip that works more than the others? Share your experiences with us!