Taking a vacation often means long plane flights, heavily trafficked public areas, and dining out every day. But with a few simple practices, you can make health-conscious decisions on vacation with these healthy travel tips.
8 Healthy Travel Tips
1. Carry hand sanitizer and soap — The easiest way to stay germ-free on vacation is by cleaning your hands as often as possible. At the airport, use hand sanitizer after passing through security (those X-ray bins are hardly ever washed). On a tour like the Road To Hana, there will sometime be public restrooms in state parks that have running water but no soap. Be sure to carry a small bottle of hand soap.
2. Bring (or buy) a pillow and blanket — On an airplane, a pillow and blanket are essential for comfort and rest. But even if the airlines wash them after each use, it is a healthy choice to bring your own set. Some airlines sell pillows and blankets that you keep after the flight.
3. Sleep well — The number one healthy travel tip is: get enough sleep. Resting is important to build up your energy, especially if you’re jetlagged. Skipping on Zzz’s will have a negative effect on your health while traveling. Keep in mind, you don’t have to do everything on your vacation, it will wear you out. Besides, you’ll have reasons to return for another vacation!
4. Eat well — Want to eat local? Some of the local favorites are carb-heavy or sugary. Shave ice, malasadas, plate lunch—these popular foods aren’t very healthy. Instead, try sharing one serving with another person. Or, take “eating local” to the next step and shop for fresh, locally grown produce at a Hawaii farmer’s market. Be mindful of what you eat on vacation, and always try to eat a well-rounded diet.
5. Get your shots — If you’re traveling internationally, consider getting the appropriate shots to protect against unfamiliar diseases and sickness. If you’re traveling domestically, it is still a great idea to get a flu shot during flu season. Airports and tourist destinations host people from around the world, and those people can unknowingly transfer diseases to you. Be prepared before your travel begins.
6. Protect yourself from sun — Hawaii, we love your warm sun! But those UV rays can be harmful to one’s health. That’s why it’s smart to protect yourself from the sun: wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when outdoors. If you’re at the beach for long periods of time, remember to reapply sunscreen often.
7. Bring medicine, supplements — If you have prescription medicines, remember to bring them on vacation. If you’re conscious about getting the right vitamins and minerals, pack multivitamin supplements when you travel. It’s an easy, affordable way to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
8. Drink lots of water — Drinking plenty of water is key to staying healthy while traveling. The Harvard Medical School recommends staying hydrated to minimize jet lag. Drinking water instead of soda or juice also reduces sugar consumption, a major health concern for any health-minded person.