How to Support Health While Traveling
Samvida Patel, IIN Content Editor, Class of February 2015
Exploring a new place, discovering local food specialties, meandering through different scenery… The rush of going on vacation is like no other. But stepping away from your workout routine and healthy meal prep groove can feel challenging.
Luckily, there are many creative ways to support your well-being without taking away from your travel experience. Here are six of our favorite wellness hacks.
Pack some vitamins.
When traveling, your mealtimes are likely to be a little off. Plus, you may be eating foods you don’t normally eat. For example, you might not be eating as much fiber or you might not be as focused on including vegetables in every meal. That’s why it can help to bring a few supplements with you – i.e., a multivitamin, probiotic, or fish oil. Put the tablets you’ll need in a small container or vial so you’re not filling up precious carry-on space with bottles.
Essential oils like Frankincense are also great to pack, given their less-than-100 mL size and calming, immunity-boosting, and skin-healing properties. Plus, there’s no need to lug your diffuser around as you can inhale the oil or apply it topically.
Go on airplane mode.
Keep your phone in airplane mode for the duration of your flight and the duration of your trip, if possible! Set an out-of-office message so you can fully enjoy your time away without email distraction. Likewise, as tempting as it may be to post pictures on your Instagram story in real time, try to save that for when you’ve turned in for the night. Or better yet, post some photos on social media after your trip! Try to stay present and enjoy the sights firsthand. Photos will always be there afterward!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Ever notice that your skin, nasal passage, and throat feel drier after a flight? That’s because half of the air circulating in the aircraft cabin comes from outside – and at that altitude, there’s almost no moisture, which can lead to more dehydration.
Solution? Bring an empty water bottle with you through security and fill it before and during the flight. The temptation to unwind with a glass or two of wine only dehydrates you more. So if you want to have a glass, be sure to drink plenty of water with it.
During your trip, having a water bottle while out and about will help keep headaches, heat exhaustion, and other dehydration-related symptoms at bay.
You don’t need a gym, yoga studio, or barre class to fit in a good workout. Navigating a city on foot is effective exercise, so focus on that rather than spending time scouting for a gym and experiencing FOMO due to lack of time sightseeing. Plus, you’ll likely rack up way more than the recommended 10,000 steps/day. A simple way to kick it up a notch is to engage your abs as you walk! This also helps keep you mindful of posture.
Want to really immerse yourself in the local culture? Consider a dance class specific to the region! The point is to get creative about movement in ways that help you make the most of your special time away.
Check out the local farmers’ market.
Many countries have food markets where people shop for fruits and vegetables almost daily. Checking them out will not only give you a glimpse of fresh produce and some unique fruit and vegetable varieties, it will also allow you to experience local culture.
Sure, cooking might be the last of your priorities while on vacay, but if your accommodation has a kitchen, give it a try! If nothing else, purchase some ginger and lemon to use as preventive remedies. Ginger is incredibly effective for digestion, nausea, and headaches, and squeezing lemon into your water can help alkalize your body and kick your metabolism up a notch.
By the way, Airbnbs often have basic pantry items, like olive oil and salt. Add in some lemon, and you’ve got yourself a moisturizing face and body scrub! That’s one less thing you have to pack for the trip!
Spend some time in a greenspace.
Traveling can be exhausting if you’re constantly on your feet and not carving out enough time for rest. Take some time to slow down with a stroll in a nearby park or garden. You can people watch, check off a sight on your map, and give yourself some downtime. Surrounding yourself with greenery has demonstrated mental health benefits, making this an easy way to build in some self-care.
What are your go-to tips for staying healthy while traveling? Share with us below!