5 Key Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

5 Key Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

As the school year winds down, you may be looking forward to a family vacation this summer. Or, perhaps you’re a road warrior who travels throughout the year. Whatever the case, travel can be tricky, especially when it comes to maintaining your health away from home.

At AccuHealth Urgent Care, we want to make sure our patients remain in the pink of health when they’re out exploring the world. To that end, we’ve pulled together five tips to help you and your family get the most out of your vacation. And if you count yourself among the more seasoned travelers, there may be a good reminder or two to help you arrive at your next conference ready to do business.

1. Stay smart up close and personal

If airline travel is on the docket, a little protection goes a long way toward avoiding the myriad viruses and bacteria that are rife in close quarters. Contact with your seatmates is unavoidable, and you’re all breathing the same recycled air throughout the cabin.

When you’re flying, take extra care to protect yourself from communicable diseases common in crowded areas. Wash your hands often, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you, and, above all else, keep your hands away from your mouth and eyes.

If you’re traveling with kids, be vigilant. It’s difficult to control what they touch, which sometimes feels like everything. Be sure to have some wipes in your bag, and use them often on little hands and faces.

2. Be cautious about foreign food and water

If you’re traveling to other countries, there are a few rules of thumb about eating and drinking abroad. Your body is accustomed to the bacteria in American foods and water, but different water filtration systems and different bacteria can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal system, leaving you in the bathroom instead of out enjoying your destination.

Drink only bottled water while you travel abroad, and ensure that your hotel or restaurant uses bottled or filtered water. Most large hotels and restaurants aren’t in the business of getting their customers sick, so they’re usually pretty good about serving filtered water.

All too often, however, people forget that a vegetable or piece of fruit may have been washed by unfiltered water or that the water you shower in isn’t filtered. Stick to cooked veggies and fruits with skins you can peel, and be mindful of the water you shower and brush your teeth with.

3. Relax and eat what you want, to a point

Travel is a great excuse to leave the running shoes behind and simply relax. While we encourage you to truly enjoy your time away, don’t throw out your fitness routine and diet completely.

Food on the go typically offers little in the way of good nutrition, but don’t waste your “cheat” meal on it. You can find healthy snacks if you look hard enough. Save yourself for something really special, like a New York cheesecake or Italian pastry.

As for exercise, if you want nothing more than to just relax, try and at least move around a little so you don’t undo all of your great work at home. Go for walks and explore. Climb the stairs at the airport instead of riding the escalator. Anytime you see an opportunity to stretch your legs and muscles, you’re doing your body a favor.

4. Get your zzzs

Sleeping away from your own bed is tough enough in a hotel room, never mind trying to sleep during long journeys. Still, it’s important that you’re well-rested. Pack a neck pillow, a mask for your eyes, ear plugs, and anything else that might help you shut out the world around you and get some sleep.

For travel that crosses time zones, set your phone or watch to your destination’s time as soon as you board the plane, and try and get the sleep you need while en route. The earlier you accustom yourself to the new time, the better. Your circadian rhythms may be off for a day or two, but they catch up if you go to bed at your usual hour in the new time zone.

5. Have a back-up plan

For travel in America, your health insurance should cover you wherever you go, especially in an emergency. If you’re traveling abroad, especially with your family, call your health insurance company before you leave to find out whether you should buy supplemental insurance.

The peace of mind knowing that you’re covered for any emergency situation, including getting you back to the States, can be well worth the nominal fee.

We wish you safe and happy travels. And if you do bring home more than a souvenir, our doors are open seven days a week.

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