It’s flu season, and Covid is still making the rounds, and there’s now some new terrible respiratory thing (respiratory syncytial virus) out there. All of those things, including just a regular cold, suck. If you’re traveling, there’s a good chance of getting sick, so you may want to stay vigilant.
I used to get sick any time I went on vacation, but I’ve since learned how to stay healthy on all my trips, including while flying. If you’re worried about getting ill and ruining your whole vacation, you probably need some of these tips:Bring antibacterial gel
Purell is a staple of my travel bag. A lot of airplane water tanks are dirty and full of bacteria, because they’re super hard and annoying to clean. Because of that, avoid drinking water from the drink cart unless you get your own unopened bottle, and also don’t wash your hands in the bathroom sink, as they come from the same tanks and you’d just be adding extra bacteria on top of bacteria. Just thoroughly coat your hands in gel, or use antibacterial wipes. (Tip: Make sure to let your hands air dry to properly sanitize your hands.)
Wash your hands often
I know I just said that you shouldn’t wash your hands in the airplane bathroom, but make sure everywhere else you go, you wash your hands as much as possible. This will help with any gross germs you pick up from places where people have just touched or coughed on surfaces.
Don’t touch your face
People touch their faces an average of three times an hour, which means if you haven’t washed your hands or used Purell, there’s a good chance those germs on your hands are getting in your nose, eyes or mouth. Gross, right? Try to consciously keep your hands from your face, especially on the plane.
Wear a mask
This is another way to keep from touching your face, and also from keeping germs out of your nose and mouth. You can wear a regular medical mask (just make sure it’s the right kind and you’re wearing it correctly and you dispose of it properly). I, personally, like something a little more fun, and I highly recommend the winged mask from The Barrier Method, or the neckie for something less fussy. I also have on their Just The Mask in the title pic.
Drink a ton of water
I bring along a reusable water bottle, mostly because we drink a lot of water when we travel, but also because buying a bunch of bottles is not economical and it’s not environmentally-friendly. Once we arrive at the airport, I buy a cold water to fill up, and then when we get to our destination, we usually purchase a big gallon of water to put in the fridge, so we don’t have to drink tap water and we have a good supply of clean water. My reusable bottle is a thermos and keeps our drinks hot or cold, so you aren’t drinking awful lukewarm water in the middle of the day.
I also love to order a tomato juice while flying, because the altitude takes away some of the wonky flavor and it’s also packed with vitamins, which are nice to have while flying.
Eat your veggies
When you travel, it can be hard to eat well, especially if you’re eating out a majority of the time. I always make sure to get my allotment of fruits and vegetables, so I’m not losing nutrients that I desperately need, especially when I’m doing more activity than normal. I try to actually order extra veggies (that aren’t deep fried) at least a few times when I’m out, or I get a good stash of fruits for breakfasts from the farmers’ market or a nearby grocery store when we arrive.
Take extra vitamins
With all the new foods and extra activity you’re going to be faced with, it’s easy to get a little lax with your health, so pack a box of immunity tabs, chewable tablets, or Emergen-C. I make sure we take one in the morning and one in the evening.
Get enough sleep
When I don’t get enough sleep, I can be cranky and uncool. Nobody wants to be around me. In fact, *I* don’t want to be around me. I make sure I give myself some downtime on my trips, because being go go go all the time is exhausting, and packing my days means I don’t get to sleep as much as I need. A good night of sleep can do a world of good, plus you wake up feeling refreshed, plus you don’t get sick from not allowing your body to recharge.
Avoid excess alcohol
I love a tasty drink as much as the next person, but I try to limit my booze intake while traveling and I definitely avoid it while flying to keep from getting dehydrating. I may have a drink with dinner or while out at happy hour, but I also try not to drink much before it’s time for bed, because it doesn’t help me sleep better. In fact, I sleep really badly when I drink too much. You know your body better than anyone, so you can make sure you stay within your limits.
Staying healthy while you travel can really help you make the most of the time you have and avoid being miserable while trying to have a good time sightseeing. When you’ve got limited time in a place, you don’t want to feel like you wasted money to go there.
Do you have a favorite way to stay healthy on vacation?
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