For the majority of people, traveling is associated with tradeoffs, particularly when it comes to health and advantageous daily routines. Leaving your home tends to involve eating out at unhealthy restaurants, getting less sleep, and replacing water with alcohol. Doing any of these things puts a huge strain on your immune system, but who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Here are 25 (and probably many more) science-backed health benefits of traveling, in general, and when combined with the following healthy travel tips, you can be sure to enjoy your travels while keeping your body happy and healthy.
1. Get some sleep
You can never get enough rest. Sleep allows us to be wide-awake during our travels so that we can take in all the sights and sounds. Unless you’re Sleeping Beauty, it is hard to avoid jet lag. The best way to count sheep on a plane is to choose a window seat so that you’re able to lean against the window and not be disturbed. While melatonin supplementation is not good for a long stretch of time, taking melatonin for a day or two to reset your sleeping patterns is safe.
2. Don’t forget your medicine
Packing your medication seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised what people forget during the stress of preparing to leave. This goes for supplements and contacts as well. Regardless of whether you are traveling at home or abroad, your specific medication or supplement may not be accessible and if you do find these items, they may be even more expensive than you can imagine. Take extra measures to remember to actually swallow the pills or utilize the health as needed. Many of us have this routinely built into our days at home but, when our hours and environment look entirely different, it’s easy to let this habit escape your attention. Consider either leaving a written reminder somewhere you won’t be able to ignore it, or even setting an alarm. This is especially difficult to adhere to a calendar or schedule that informs you when it’s time to toss overused contact lenses, so consider switching to 1-day versions like the Acuvue TruEye. Not only are they affordably discounted here, but also they eliminate the need to nightly clean the contact lenses and carry a case.
3. Drink Water
Even when you’re abroad, water is still going to be your life force. Water is crucial to maintain all of your bodily functions and good spirits. Unfortunately it will not be safe to drink everywhere you go, so be sure to drink bottled or filtered water when in developing countries. Even if you’re in cold weather and don’t seem to be thirsty, drink the same volume as normal. To make sure you’re putting enough liquids into your body, consider purchasing a larger water bottle to ensure your hydration.
4. Take time to exercise
If you don’t have access to a gym, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid working out. When traveling, getting exercise can easily become a fun activity with nature hikes, rock climbing, or sightseeing via a bicycle. These undertakings are fun things that you can do with your family, and can be done while maintaining a budget.
5. Eat like a local
Eating at big fancy restaurants can take a toll on your body and wallet. Typically, meals prepared in large restaurants have taste, not nutrients, in mind. Experience the culture of the city you are staying in. Ask the locals the best places to eat in town. They will know what is the most authentic food that also comes with a fair price they themselves can afford. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask for leftovers to be packed up; not only will this provide you with more reasonable portions, but you’ll be able to save money by having tomorrows lunch already prepaid. Another tactic you can utilize is to ask around for any nearby grocery stores; by occasionally preparing meals or buying easy-to-eat snacks like granola bars, you’ll be able to actively ensure that your body receives the vitamins it needs. Snack bars are especially practical, and may prevent you from unnecessarily consuming hundreds of calories because you simply need to nosh on something small.
Just because you’re in a different city or country doesn’t mean you can’t continue your normal routine. By following these easy steps, you can rest assured that your travel plans will be memorable.
This is a guest post by David Sutter.