There was a two-year stretch when I would come home sick after every trip. After countless visits to the doctor, I went on the defense regarding my health while traveling. To help you prepare for the travel season, Being Abroad is writing holiday travel posts over the next two months to make sure you stay organized, calm, and healthy. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy while traveling during the holiday season.
My plan for staying healthy while traveling is quite simple and involves packing the right things. The first thing being a reusable plastic water bottle. A lot of common colds can be flushed out of your system quickly if you are staying hydrated, and it is hard to stay healthy when you are dehydrated. Check out this list of 32 reusable, BPA-free water bottles from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute for a good option.
I’m not a huge fan of taking vitamins and prefer to eat fruits and vegetables. But that isn’t always easy when traveling – especially during the holidays. Cookies, cakes, and festive cocktails easily overload our bodies with sugar and calories. The two vitamins I turn to when I’m traveling or when I’ve gotten a cold are vitamin C and vitamin B-12. The chewable vitamin C pills are great, and the timed release B-12 ones give you extra energy without the shaky feeling you can get from drinking too much coffee.
Have you seen those people who wear masks every time they are outside or at an airport? I would be too nervous that people were looking at me to don the mask daily, which is why I always pack a scarf. It is much less noticeable when I wrap my pashmina around the lower half of my face, but it still helps to keep strangers’ germs from me. Plus, it doubles as a great sleep mask for a quick nap.
The hand sanitizer
First health experts were recommending hand sanitizer. Then they were saying, “well, don’t use too much of it.” I play it safe by packing it but by not always using it. You don’t want to overdo it and weaken your immune system. But it is a great essential to have when traveling. You never know when the bathroom line will be too long before a connecting flight or when a stranger’s sneeze partially lands on your hands and a bathroom isn’t nearby. This is a good one.
I don’t carry an entire arsenal of medications when traveling, but I do pack the essentials. Ibuprofen is my essential medicine for headaches, cramps, and various other ailments. It took me years to learn that my sinuses can’t handle particular pollen infested environments. Now I travel with allergy medicine for when I start sneezing or have a full allergy attack. It is best to pack your essential medicines instead of having to find a store that sells them while traveling.
How do you stay healthy while traveling during the holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.