From the airport to cruise ships to hotels, travel can wreak havoc on the immune system! But being sick is the last thing anyone wants to deal with while on vacation. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple precautions to keep you checking in at exotic destinations instead of checking into a local clinic. Here are some tips to stay healthy while traveling:
Begin drinking plenty of water before your trip. Long flights can be dehydrating, so keep drinking water throughout your journey. Try to moderate intake of sugary drinks and alcohol, which can disrupt sleep. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up when you’re on the go. In some countries, it may be best to opt for bottled water and avoid ice or tap water.
Wash Your Hands
Airplanes, cruise ships, trains and popular tourist attractions can be a breeding ground for germs. Wash your hands often and try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. Pack hand sanitizer for use in a pinch if soap isn’t available.
Remember to Move
Long distance travelers may be at elevated risk for blood clots, especially people who smoke or take certain medications. Sitting for a long time on an airplane, bus, train or car can potentially slow blood flow in the veins, allowing a clot to form. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends moving your legs frequently and taking short walks every couple of hours to help prevent blood clots.
Get Enough Sleep
It may be tempting to plan a full itinerary or try to see as many sights as possible while on vacation, but it’s important to pace yourself. In general, we need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to stay healthy. When traveling, say no to FOMO and make getting a good night’s sleep a priority.
See Your Doctor Before You Go
The CDC recommends seeing your health care provider 4 to 6 weeks before traveling. Talk about where you will go, discuss any existing medical issues and make sure you’re up to date on vaccinations. Visit cdc.gov/travel before your trip to learn about specific health information and vaccine recommendations for your destination.
Traveling helps us create lasting memories and experience new cultures, but it can also compromise our health. Following these tips on your next vacation will help you avoid illness and travel well.