You have been waiting for what feels like forever, to go away on an adventure. Or maybe you travel a lot for work and find yourself needing some fresh ideas on how to stay healthier while you are traveling.
Read on for simple ways to improve your health while on the go.
1) Bring a water bottle
The Transportation Security Administration won’t let you bring liquids across that barrier of security in the airport but you can bring a bottle to refill once you cross. Carrying a water bottle in the car will encourage you to drink water more frequently.
Opt for an insulated stainless steel one to keep water cooler longer.
2) Wash your hands
Hard to remember but easy to do, once you develop the habit. According to Medical Associates.com, “about 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by unclean hands touching contaminated surfaces.
Since “some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on tables, doorknobs, and telephones,” that means with regular hand washing you may decrease your likelihood of getting sick.
3) Pack a first-aid kit
Invariably, you end up needing bandages or acetaminophen exactly when you cannot find an easy way to get some. Keep a first-aid kit in your car and create a personalized one for travel to throw in your bag. You don’t have to spend a lot of money.
Here is a list of items you might find at your local dollar store.
4) Bring enough medicine
It is pretty easy to remember to bring the regular medicine you use daily. But what about those medicines you only need occasionally? If you know you have a tendency towards GI problems or fungal rashes, bring what you typically use along.
Talk to your doctor about bringing prescriptions for other problems you know you are susceptible to, such as urinary tract or yeast infections. It may be hard to find your usual brands if you are out of the country.
5) Move your body
Regardless of whether you are on an eight-hour plane ride or eight-hour car ride, your body does not want to stay seated all of those hours. Plan to get up on the plane or get out of the car every couple of hours to stretch and allow muscles to move and blood to circulate in your legs.
The World Health Organization says, “research has shown that DVT (deep vein thrombosis) can occur as a result of prolonged immobility, for instance during long-distance travel, whether by car, bus, train or air.”
If you have other risk factors they list here, you may be at a greater risk of developing blood clots.
6) Pre-plan for a medical problem
No one wants to have a health issue when traveling. Unfortunately, things do happen. Make sure you have your health insurance card with you. Check into whether you need any vaccinations if you are traveling overseas.
The CDC has a vaccination checker listed here.
If you will be in the same location for a while, you may want to find out how far the closest hospital is located. If you have an ongoing health problem, find out a local doctor’s name that specializes in that area if you have a problem.
If you are traveling in a foreign country, this handy translation website can help you describe what is wrong to those who do not speak or read English.
It does not take much advance planning to have a healthier travel experience. Tell us about other health tips you've found that have helped you.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s health care and quality of care issues.
Edited by Jody Smith
Tips for Healthy, Happy Travels. Rick Steve’s Europe. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
10 Tips For Healthy Travel. Tripit. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
Hand Hygiene = Healthier Workplace. Medical Health Associates. Retrieved July 24, 2016.