Travelling is an exhilarating experience, but it can also take a toll on your health if you’re not careful. To stay healthy while on the move, it’s important to prioritize your well-being. Here are my 9 tips for staying healthy while travelling.
1. Packing food for the bus/train/plane trip
When embarking on a holiday or backpacking adventure, it is common to begin with a lengthy train, bus, or plane journey. To ensure your well-being during travel, it is advisable to bring along nutritious snacks. A wise choice is to pack a compact lunch box containing your preferred foods, offering a healthier alternative to in-flight meals.
When preparing for long layovers in airports, it’s helpful to pack a variety of snacks to keep you satisfied. Consider bringing a salad wrap, fruit, apple slices with almond butter, nuts, and homemade granola bars. These snacks will not only provide nourishment but also offer a tasty and healthy option while waiting for your next flight.
2. Skip the X-ray at the airports
When going through airport security, you have the option to choose between a body scanner or a pat-down search. Some airports use body scanners that emit ionising radiation, which can be a concern for some individuals. If you are not comfortable with this, you can opt for a pat-down search conducted by a security officer.
3. Stay hydrated
It is important to stay hydrated throughout your travel journey. Make sure to drink plenty of water before your flight, during the flight, and after you land. Remember to also stay hydrated during bus trips, treks, beach visits, and when exploring new cities. It is crucial to prioritize hydration throughout your entire trip.
4. Choose healthy foods
Exploring the local cuisine by dining at restaurants and sampling street food from vendors can be a delightful experience. However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential impact on your health and overall well-being.
If you find yourself eating out frequently, a practical alternative is to visit local supermarkets and fresh produce markets to prepare your own meals. It’s worth checking if your accommodation, whether it’s a hostel, guesthouse, or hotel, offers a kitchen facility for guests to utilize. Additionally, you can purchase oats and fruits for breakfast, as well as snacks to have throughout the day.
When it comes to making healthier food choices, opting for fresh fruit, nuts, and vegetables is a better alternative to packaged noodles or fried foods. Supermarkets offer a wide variety of options, such as fresh wholemeal bread and salads, which can be used to create your own sandwiches. This is a healthier choice compared to going to McDonald’s, for example.
5. Keep active
While on vacation, it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle. If your usual exercise routine is not feasible or if you don’t have access to a gym, swimming pool, or group classes, there are still plenty of ways to stay active. Instead of taking a cab, consider walking around cities to explore. Look for cycling routes and consider renting a bicycle. Additionally, participating in a trekking tour can be a great way to incorporate exercise into your holiday.
6. Create your own equipment-free workout circuit
If you’re looking to maintain your weight resistance exercises without the cost of gym memberships or hotel gyms, bodyweight resistance exercises are an excellent alternative. By creating and documenting a workout routine, you can easily find a suitable space, such as your hotel room, to complete your daily workout. Some examples of bodyweight exercises include star jumps, leg raises, calf raises, push-ups, sumo squats, lunges, and numerous others.
7. Limit alcohol
When choosing alcoholic beverages, it is recommended to opt for light beer or mixed drinks such as vodka with soda water and fresh limes. These options are preferable over heavy cocktails and pre-mixed drinks that contain high amounts of sugar. It is also important to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol by having a glass of water for every glass of alcohol consumed.
In addition to aerobic and anaerobic exercise, it’s important to prioritize flexibility and stretching for overall health. Luckily, you don’t need much to get started – just find a comfortable spot like a beach, hotel room floor, or common area in a hostel, and make some time for stretching. Yoga is an excellent practice for increasing flexibility, so consider attending a yoga class or practising on your own. After a tiring day of exploring a new city, be sure to incorporate simple leg stretches to help relax and unwind.
These exciting days are packed with a variety of activities like beach trips, scuba diving, hiking, exploring cities on foot for hours, and meeting new people. It also involves the tasks of finding hotels, packing and unpacking, catching trains, and sometimes missing buses. There is often waiting around in airports, early mornings, and long nights. Additionally, socializing at the hostel bar includes enjoying endless drinks.
Maintaining a consistent sleeping routine and getting enough sleep is crucial for preserving your energy and overall health during travel, even though it can be challenging to establish a routine while on the road.
It is recommended to establish a consistent bedtime routine, including going to bed at similar times each night. If you anticipate encountering noise or brightness that could disrupt your sleep, it is helpful to pack earplugs and an eye mask, especially for long-haul flights or staying in noisy hostels. If you struggle to fall asleep in unfamiliar surroundings, consider trying relaxation techniques such as drinking chamomile tea. It is advisable to avoid consuming caffeine or processed sugar before bedtime, as they can interfere with sleep.
When travelling for a short vacation, it’s acceptable to prioritize relaxation and indulgence, such as spending the day by the pool or trying local cuisine and drinks. However, if you’re on a long-term journey, like a year-long gap year or indefinite vagabonding, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and fitness, making them a determining factor in 80% of your choices.