Healthy Travel Tips
What we’re talking about here today is by all means not meant to induce paranoia or obsessive compulsive behavior in any way. It’s simply meant to create some awareness about some issues that we typically tend to overlook, and to help boost and improve your overall travel experience.
Many of us will be traveling this year at one point or another to destinations all around the world, both urban and exotic ones. And even though most of these journeys will become amazing and exciting adventures, putting yourself out there, reaching out to, and getting in contact with so many people in hostels, airplanes, buses and tours can put your immune system at risk. All this coupled with decreased sleep do to jetlag and an overly active nightlife with less than healthy sleeping habits can leave you vulnerable and prone to some illnesses and diseases turning that exciting experience into an annoying one. I mean let’s face it; nobody wants to be stuck in a hostel bed for days on end suffering from a high fever or general fatigue (which is incidentally a situation which I’ve been in a couple of times).
There are several things that you can do to maximize healthy travel so you not only arrive healthy and ready to go all out, but to return home healthy as well. Let me share them with you below:
- Increase your antioxidants: Vitamins C, D3, selenium and others will help boost your immune system to ward off bacteria or viruses that you may encounter while getting in contact with other people and fellow passengers.
- Stay Hydrated: Be sure to drink enough water on a daily basis during your trip, especially during air travel on commercial carriers. Dehydration can leave you open to infections, blood clots and severe jetlag.
- Nasal saline sprays: A few squirts from this baby in your nasal passages during travel will help wash out viruses and bacteria before they have a chance to get into your lungs.
- Get enough sleep: Be sure to sleep well before and even during your travels as this helps your immune system to function properly. Always try to take naps during air or bus travel. And besides, this will certainly help pass travel time quicker.
- Anti-bacterial hand gel: a must during travel. Keep a small carry-on size of this essential hygiene tool and use regularly after touching hand rails and bars especially on public transport, as well as airplane seats and TV touch screens, etc…After all, you never know how well these things are actually being cleaned.
- Get up and move: Staying seated for long periods or time in one position can impair blood circulation back to your heart and can put you at increased risk for blood clots. If you’re traveling for more than a couple of hours, make sure you get up every once in a while and walk around to the bathroom and lounge car a few times. Also do some leg exercises and shift your position.
- Equalize you ears: Barotraumas or middle ear pressure damage, can occur while traveling, notably in airplanes where altitude changes occur. Protect your ears by chewing gum, yawning or even swallowing when the plane is taking off and/or landing.
- Immunizations: Get them around 4 to 6 weeks before your planned departure. In many countries especially tropical ones you may encounter specific diseases such as yellow fever etc.- and even in certain parts of the developed world, Hepatitis A is prominent as maybe measles or influenza, which all are vaccine preventable.
Prepare sooner than later for healthy travel to make the most out of your new adventure, but most importantly, remember that health is also a state of mind, so make sure to have fun and keep traveling!