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how to stay healthy while traveling

I’m pretty sure we’ve all looked at a chocolatey slice of cake or an extra croissant while on vacation and said, “When’s the next time I’ll be here? I might as well stop for x…!”

Whether you travel often or infrequently, going on vacation is an excellent excuse to forget normally healthy eating habits, throwing moderation to the wind and indulging in food. That, often combined with a lack of exercise, can wreak havoc on our waistlines and potentially cause our immune systems to temporarily weaken. But going on vacation doesn’t mean you need to throw typical cautions to the wind, nor does it mean you can’t treat yourself.

Keep these ten simple things in mind and you’ll be able to have an excellent vacation with your health and wellness in check.

1.  Check the CDC for important information

Okay, this may sound scary, but it absolutely isn’t. When traveling to a different country, different diseases may be present that are either mosquito, food, or water borne that our bodies aren’t familiar with.

Checking the CDC website for information regarding the country you are visiting can help you ensure that you get any appropriate vaccinations if necessary, and avoid other things that could make you sick.

The CDC webpage does err on the overcautious side, so if you have further questions, turning to long-term expats in the country either via their blogs or via expat specific Facebook pages can provide additional more relevant information.

2.  Pack appropriately

Are you traveling to somewhere hot or cold, wet or dry? Though it sounds super straight forward, packing for the weather can ensure that you stay comfortable no matter the weather. Overheating in too warm clothes or underdressing in rainy weather can contribute to illnesses, especially if your immune system is already impacted by late nights and too few vegetables.

3.  Check the water quality

In the U.S., safe drinking water is something many of us take for granted. But the water isn’t safe to drink everywhere, and in some cases must be boiled, treated, or simply avoided to prevent illness. This also means that you must take into consideration uncooked vegetables and fruits that are washed in water; produce should either be peeled and not washed or washed and cooked prior to consumption. Also, don’t forget about using treated water to brush your teeth.

4.  Bring basic first aid from home

We all have our favorite brand of painkiller or stomach settler — bring these from home as pharmacies around the world carry different medications. A basic first aid kit is always a good idea to keep on-hand when traveling.

5.  Eat fruit and veggies

Whether you are eating out or cooking at your accommodation, try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into at least two of your daily meals or snacks. Even if your diet isn’t quite as healthy as at home, at least you are getting some of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs.

Related: 7 Easy Ways To Squeeze In A Workout While Traveling

6.  Stay hydrated

Dehydration can cause crankiness, upset stomach, headaches, and severe health issues. Bringing along a bottle of water throughout your day can insure you stay hydrated and strong.

7.  Sleep and rest

While you might be tempted to have a jam-packed itinerary with late nights, early mornings, and days crammed with sightseeing, never pausing for a break can really take its toll. Remember that vacations are also meant to be a rest from your daily grind — you shouldn’t need a vacation from your vacation.

8.  Limit your alcohol intake

Though you might be tempted to try every aperol spritz or frosé you can find during vacation, alcohol, mixed with late nights, and a poor diet can cause a whopping hangover, putting a damper on the next day’s plans. Not to mention that over indulging in alcohol can be unsafe in cities you are unfamiliar with, particularly if you are a woman traveling solo.

9.  Walk

Rather than taking a cab or public transportation, staying fit while on holiday could be a simple as getting in your 10,000 (or more) steps while strolling through picturesque cobblestone streets or along pristine, white sand beaches.

10.  Try some active sightseeing

Seeing as many sights as you can squeeze into a day might be your priority while on vacation. How about seeing those sights in a unique way by hiking, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, or biking throughout your destination? Even walking tours, which many cities offer, can have you exploring different parts of a destination in a healthy, active way.

Related: 6 Ways To Avoid Overspending While On Vacation


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