Travel can be stressful, and now more than ever people are worried about their health while traveling. Here are seven travel health tips for work and vacation.
1. Stay Active
Whether you play sports, have a regular workout routine or just like to take walks occasionally, it's important to stay active while traveling. It may be difficult to schedule time at the gym if you're traveling for work and you may just want to relax while on vacation, but staying active can loosen you up after a long flight and help you de-stress. You don't need to set aside time for an hour of cardio, either. You can walk during layovers or instead of using public transportation, pack light equipment such as resistance bands or a yoga mat, use hotel accommodations such as pools or just follow online fitness videos in your room in your spare time.
2. Prepare Mentally
While preparing physically for your trip by packing, scheduling activities and booking tickets is fairly straightforward, there are mental aspects to preparing, too. Plenty of people worry about whether they've left the stove on after leaving the house. Some people experience anxiety about themselves and their travels. Parents and pet owners may worry about children or animals if they travel without them. These feelings are normal, and there are ways to deal with them. Have someone else double check your appliances and locks for you before you leave. If you're a nervous flyer, you can practice meditation and mindfulness techniques, gather some calming music to listen to or if you have severe anxiety, discuss further options with your doctor. If you go over your children's itinerary and dietary needs and your contact information before you go, or if you make sure your pet has the things they need such as a favorite toy or favorite food like Dr. Marty Nature's Feast ingredients, you'll be encouraging your own peace of mind while you travel.
3. Hydrate and Rest
Travel, particularly lengthy travel, can disrupt many of your body's natural rhythms, so it's imperative you do your best to counteract that. The most important ways to combat jet lag and travel exhaustion are hydration and rest. You should try to have some water with you while traveling, especially on an airplane since the air in the cabin can get very dry and dehydrate you. You should also try not to nap as soon as you get to your hotel room. Wait until nightfall to go to sleep so you're more likely to sleep through the night and be refreshed in the morning. This is even more important if you're traveling across time zones so you can quickly acclimate yourself to the time change.
4. Practice Preventive Medicine
Pack all your medications to last you the length of your trip, plus a few extra days. Make sure you bring over-the-counter medications like tylenol, too. If you're going to the tropics, stock up on bugspray, and if you're traveling by plane it's a good idea to bring disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean after touching the seat or using the restroom. Remember to keep all these supplies in your carryon luggage to minimize the risk of losing them.
5. Pack Practically
This may seem obvious, but check the weather and climate of your destination. If you're heading somewhere tropical, pack light but protective clothes, a light rain jacket and sunblock. This also applies to your method of travel. Check air travel restrictions and pack accordingly.
6. Talk to Your Doctor
Whatever your reasons for traveling for, it's a good idea to touch base with your doctor before you go. Some destinations may require vaccinations uncommon in your home country, such as Typhoid and Yellow Fever vaccines in tropical countries. If you're pregnant or have a chronic health condition, or if you're planning to participate in activities such as scuba diving, check with your doctor about travel considerations, especially airfare, and certain medications to bring.
7. Keep a Go Bag
If you're traveling frequently for work, you may have an easier time being consistently prepared. While your travel wardrobe and free time activities like books may change depending on the season and your destination, your work supplies are unlikely to vary as much. If you spend most of your time on the job traveling, it may be a good idea to keep all of your materials together in one place or in one bag so you have one less thing to worry about when you're packing. If you split your hours between travel and the office or at home, it may be better to have two sets of office supplies, notes and device chargers so you don't forget something important in the office when you leave for a flight.
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, do your best to stay healthy. No one can entirely prevent illness or injury, but working to minimize the risk can help make your trip more enjoyable.