Traveling can take a toll on your body and staying healthy while traveling is always at the top of my mind. I certainly feel completely wiped out after a trip. You know how the saying goes, “you need a vacation after your vacation.” Changing time zones, not getting enough rest, and indulging in rich foods can leave you feeling run down. Here are some of the ways I stay healthy while traveling.
1 – Hand Sanitizing Wipes
This is secret most frequent travelers swear by. You can use them to wash your hands, wipe down your armrests and tray table on a flight, and they’re useful for a quick refreshment while touring in warm climates. I even use mine to wipe down the outside of my bags when I get home. Call me a germaphobe, but they clean up a bag pretty well.
Plus, antibacterial gels take up precious space for liquisds in your quart sized carry on ziplock bag. And a squirt of gel is just not the same having a moistened cloth to wipe down with. There are two brands that I love, one is Giovanni Organic Mixed Towelettes with essential oils that are great for your face and body. The other is just the classic Wet Ones Antibacterial Travel Wipes that I buy in bulk so I always have a pack ready to-go whether it’s in my car or on a plane.
2 – Take Vitamin B
This is my secret tip for anyone trying to combat jet lag as it’s saved me more times than I can count while traveling. There are tons of benefits to Vitamin B complex, the biggest of which that it wakes me up without the crash of sugar or caffeine. Vitamin B is the key ingredient to most major energy drinks, but taking vitamins in pill form with you while traveling is a lot more practical than trying to get liquids through security. Plus, you don’t have all the added sugar that you would get in the energy drinks. Be forewarned though, you will pee neon fluorescent yellow.
3 – Don’t Touch Your Face
Another great tip to stay healthy while traveling is to not touch your face. Especially while at airports. This is an important one that my husband is constantly reminding me of since I have a habit of touching my lips with my index finger when I’m thinking about something. But being mindful of not touching your face, especially during cold and flu season, will help prevent you from catching a bug.
Be especially mindful about scratching your eye, the tip of your nose, or touching your lips. We do this things unconsciously all the time. Just be mindful and try and catch yourself in these habits when you’re not traveling so you can change them.
4 – Don’t Count Calories, Instead Make The Calories Count
Diet plays a big part in how you feel and how much energy you have. Yet it’s hard to say no to all the tempting and delicious meals offered when traveling. Especially when it’s three courses of local awesomeness all paired with wine. But if you travel frequently either for business or pleasure, you have to create your own “normal” diet routine.
I recommend skipping the boring foods at breakfast buffets. But when that homemade one-of-a-kind only-made-here cake comes around — go for it. In addition, I have a “Three Bites” rule when it comes to dessert. Typically, the first bite of anything tastes the best. The second bite confirms your oral euphoria. But then the pow of flavor starts to fade. That’s when you stop. Savor those first three bites.
5 – Sleep
Getting enough sleep will definitely help you stay healthy while traveling and combat jet lag too. Often, when leaping into a full schedule after changing time zones, it’s easy to get run down, tired, and irritable. Your immune system is vulnerable. So, on your first day visiting a new city, don’t take a nap. I know that sounds contrary to getting enough sleep, but follow me here. Stay awake until your normal bedtime in this new time zone and THEN get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Skip the temptation to go out for drinks or see just one more thing. Getting a good night’s rest will help you reset your internal clock, get on your current location’s time zone, and set the bar for the rest of your trip.
6 – Make Your Own Medicine Cabinet To-Go
Even if you take all the precautions above, you still might wake up one morning with a scratchy throat and the first signs of a head cold. Be prepared. Pack your own travel medicine kit with cold and flu meds, allergy meds, ibuprofen, throat lozenges, and some chamomile tea for good measure. I also swear by Zicam tablets for zinc as it nips it in the bud before a cold has a chance to take hold. It’s better to pack these and have them on hand just in case than it is to try and locate a pharmacy if you feel run down.
Do you have any good tips to add? Comment below and let us know.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links within this article, however, I would not recommend anything I don’t personally buy and use.
Want to save these tips? Pin it! 🙂
Originally posted in 2018. Updated 2020.