How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Staying Healthy is usually not our top priority when we plan a trip. We think of what to pack, what to see, the activities we’ll do. There’s more of a focus on planning our day-to-day. Keeping our physical, emotional, and mental health in check is very rarely thought of. But it should be at the top of our list of priorities.

How are you going to enjoy your trip to the fullest if you don’t feel your best?

You want to be energized and healthy enough to do ANYTHING your heart desires. Not only in the physical sense, the mental as well. If you’re feeling down or disconnected from yourself, you’ll hardly be as present as you could be. 

Also, traveling can take a serious toll on your body’s health. The changes in your routine and the time difference can be exhausting. You need to be prepared for that to enjoy your trip to the max. 

Since we want you to be as healthy & happy as possible during your trip. We’ve made a list for you of the best ways to stay healthy while traveling. Taking into account the health of the mind, body, and spirit.  

Staying healthy while traveling doesn’t have to be difficult

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PHYSICAL WELLBEING

Choose the healthiest meal option most times

When traveling, it’s hard to keep up with your usual routine. Including your eating habits. You’re usually eating out since it’s harder to cook in a hotel. 

We tend to go for the cheapest meal option to save money. Without a second thought given to its nutritional value. It’s understandable, priorities change while traveling. You’re not at home, your routine has completely changed. DON’T expect to be able to eat the exact same way you did at home. Don’t pressure yourself to do so. 

Be kind to yourself

It’s not about perfection, you should enjoy food. Especially in a new place. It’s okay to try all the local delicacies available. You actually SHOULD. Food is a big part of the culture. 

But, if you’re traveling for a longer period. Having not-so-healthy food be the foundation of your diet is not a good idea. In the long run, it WILL take a toll on your health. And even on your energy levels during your trip. 

You want to be as healthy & energized as possible to take advantage of your trip. Our advice would be to enjoy food, try all the local meals you want to. But make most of your diet healthy foods. 

It's all about balance

When you know you’re gonna have a more unhealthy lunch. Try to make your breakfast extra packed with vitamins. 

When eating out, go for the healthiest meal option possible. Most menus have at least a few healthy meal options. If they don’t, a great tip is to make your own. I love doing this by ordering side dishes, which tend to be healthier. You can create a full meal of side dishes. 

If you want to go hard. The best option would be to go to a local supermarket and make a few of your daily meals homemade (or hostel-made). This way, you’ll have a few meals you can be sure are healthy.

Choose water

I know you’re sick of hearing this but DRINK WATER. There’s a reason people say it. Our bodies run on water. If you want to feel your best, staying hydrated is a necessity. 

When I say stay hydrated, sodas and packaged juice do not count. Not to say you can’t ever drink these, you absolutely can. But try making water your preferred beverage.

If you choose water at least 8 out of 10 times, you’ll be good to go. 

This may sound silly, but even if you have a McDonald’s burger. Have it with water instead of Sprite.

Walk as much as possible & take the stairs

I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling, it’s hard to find the motivation to do a full workout every day. I usually wanna seize the day & not waste time doing anything other than seeing the place I’m in. And that’s totally valid. You are only there for a vacation. You don’t have all the time in the world to sightsee. 

That’s why walking & taking the stairs will be your best friend. You can do those while sightseeing. You won’t miss a second of fun. 

Plus, walking is a great way to get movement in. And best of all, it’s free. You won’t have to pay extra for a gym while on the move. 

When I travel, I love walking EVERYWHERE. Unless I truly can’t go somewhere on foot or I’m too exhausted from the day, I’ll take public transport. But, I try to use the least possible. 

Not only do you get a ton of movement in, but it’s also the BEST way to see a city. If you walk everywhere, you’ll stumble to places you otherwise wouldn’t have seen. 

Taking the stairs is also a sneaky way to get movement in. It’s the small things that make a difference. Especially when you’re not working out, any movement you add will make a difference.

Get enough sleep

Sleep, sleep, sleep. We wouldn’t function without it. You could have the healthiest diet, or be an exercise champ. But if you don’t get enough quality sleep, you’re screwed. 

Sleep is when our body recharges. If you’re exhausted, there’s no way you are at 100% well-being. Especially while traveling, we tend to get exhausted. All the walking and the change in routine can be hard on our bodies. Sometimes it feels like you need to rest from your vacation. 

That’s why, even more so while traveling, you should prioritize your sleep.

Apply your sunscreen

Protecting your skin should be one of the most important steps in a healthy routine. Our skin is our largest organ and we kind of need it to survive. 

Take body & face sunscreen with you. Apply it as indicated by each brand. Especially if you’re going on a beach vacation, you don’t want to have your trip ruined by a painful sunburn. But, even when visiting a cold destination, TAKE SUNSCREEN with you. Remember, the UV rays come through even when it’s cold and cloudy.

Drink as little alcohol as possible

This may seem like too much to ask. But bear with me. I’m not saying don’t ever enjoy drinks with friends. If that’s your cup of tea, go ahead. But, all in moderation. Anything in excess is detrimental. Especially alcohol 

If you really want to stay as healthy as possible during your trip. If you want to feel your best. Alcohol won’t be your best friend.

Try to avoid it as much as possible, but don’t limit yourself too much. Having alcohol every once in a while won’t have a serious impact on your health or how you feel. Except maybe the morning after, but that won’t last long. 

Stay sanitary (wash your hands)

I can’t stress this enough: WASH YOUR HANDS. Planes, public transportation, and the streets are all filled with bacteria. I’m not trying to sound alarming, but it’s the truth. 

In public places, there are thousands of people touching things every day. You don’t want to catch a virus when you could avoid it by being clean. 

Wash your hands a lot & apply hand sanitizer as needed.

Wear a face mask on the plane (and everywhere in public now)

Particularly during this time, face masks are non-negotiable. If you want to stay healthy, you HAVE to wear your facemask in public spaces. 

Even before, or if a certain global virus didn’t exist, there are so many viruses flying around planes. Wearing a face mask in planes and buses will help reduce your chances of catching a random virus. 

No one wants to be sick during a trip. It’s the actual worst. If you can avoid it by something as simple as wearing a face mask, doing so seems like the obvious choice. 

Take your vitamins

We recommend that you start taking the vitamins you need before your trip. A few weeks or even months beforehand. That way, when your trip comes, your body will already be healthier & more protected. 

Have a talk with your doctor about the vitamins you may need. But, I recommend you give special attention to strengthening your immune system. Things like Vitamin C & echinacea are great for immune health. 

Although starting to take your vitamins beforehand is great. Don’t completely abandon your vitamins during your trip. If possible, take some with you & keep taking them while traveling. I know the last thing we want is to carry more things. But, if you have some extra space, do it. Narrow down to the must-haves vitamins & take those. There’s no need to take your whole vitamin cabinet on vacation.

Be prepared for anything

A prepared man is worth two, as they say. You don’t want to get a killer headache and have no medicine to combat it. 

In some countries, many European ones, for example, getting on-the-counter medication is hard. Being prepared for any possible scenario is the best way to avoid issues. 

Take a bag with you packed with anything you could need in case of a medical emergency.

INNER HEALTH

5-10 minute meditation

It’s hard to take an hour to meditate when traveling. We’re usually on the run and wasting no time. 

But if you have time to check Instagram, you have time to meditate. 

You don’t need to do it for long. Take as much time as you can. Five to ten minutes is enough to ground yourself. 

Taking time to connect with your inner self will make a world of difference. You’ll find yourself being more mindful during the day. It’s one of the best tools out there. 

Take time to reflect

Being self-aware is everything. The difference between a mindful trip and one that isn’t is astonishing. You’ll see. The experience is so much more enjoyable and deep if you’re completely present for it.

The key to mindful traveling is reflection. Thinking deeply about the emotions & experiences you’re having helps you be more aware. You’ll feel more connected to your surroundings. 

It’s always a way to figure out what you’re liking about your trip. And what you could change to make it even better.

We can help you with that!

If you want to reflect on your trip & stay mindful through it. We have the PERFECT thing for you. Our introspective travel journal is a must-have for those who desire meaningful traveling. 

It has different introspective questionnaires, affirmations, amongst other tools. These will help you reflect & stay present. 

Just like meditation. You don’t need to do it for long. It won’t take long to fill out.

Keep up at least 1 spiritual practice if possible

Whether it’s praying, meditation or mantras, any spiritual practice you have. Try to keep up with at least one of your spiritual practices during your trip. 

Do it as much as you can. The point is to enjoy your trip as much as possible. Don’t feel pressured to do everything you do at home.

Take time to relax

Traveling can be a rollercoaster. Emotions are high and you’re busy trying to see & do as much as possible. That’s all good, but you need to stay on top of your mental health, too. 

It may seem like mental health doesn’t need to be a priority when traveling. But you won’t enjoy anything to the max if your inner being isn’t calm & content. For that to happen, you need to take care of yourself.

Our issues don’t stay at home when we leave, unfortunately, they come with us. Therefore, you can’t neglect your emotional or mental state when you travel.

Deep breathing

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or out of touch, deep breathing is super helpful. Especially when you’re out, it can be hard to do a full meditation. You can close your eyes for a few seconds and practice deep, mindful breathing. 

Breath in and out as many times as you need, staying very aware of your breathing. I guarantee it helps if you feel stressed or anxious. 

Even better, you can incorporate it as a habit. You don’t have to do it only when you’re feeling off. If you do it every once in a while, when you remember, every day, it could help you stay grounded in general.

Prepare yourself, but try to stay positive

It’s important to be as prepared as possible for any situation that may arise. 

Traveling is full of endless possibilities. You’re in a new place, a different environment & people. Who knows what could happen. 

Being prepared for unlikely situations may seem unnecessary now. But, trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it. It will give you peace of mind to know you’re ready in case of an emergency. This will help you stay in a more calm state of mind. 

However, try not to dwell on the “bad” things that could happen. Being prepared doesn’t mean you have to focus on the worst-case scenario. In fact, do anything but that. 

Try to stay positive. Be in the state of mind that everything will be okay, that things will turn out for the best. Keeping a positive mindset will attract even more positive things your way.

Give yourself time & space to be spontaneous

I know we tend to idealize traveling. We like to think all our problems will go away and life will be perfect. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Your inner struggles travel with you. And external situations always arise.

Traveling is a serious step out of your comfort zone. There is no way a few problems won’t come up. They will. But, in the long run, you’ll be thankful for them. Getting through hardships shows us our inner strength.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

I won’t tell you not to have expectations, that would be impossible. But, do try to manage them. It’s okay to romanticize the idea of traveling. To an extent. Don’t romanticize it to the point of thinking everything will be perfect. Because trust me, you’ll be disappointed. 

Don’t get such a planned-out idea of what your trip will be like. That will only lead to stress if it doesn’t go as planned.

Give yourself time & space to go outside the box. To be spontaneous.

Our mistakes & unexpected situations make for the best stories, anyway. They’re usually the moments we laugh about & remember fondly when we look back.

Be thankful

Gratitude is so important that it should be taught as a skill. Being grateful for what you have is so powerful. It helps you have a way more positive mindset. If you’re truly aware of how many incredible things you have, it’ll be harder to drown in the negatives. 

If you’re always thinking about how horrible life is and focusing on all your “lacks”. It will be hard to truly enjoy your trip. 

Remember, you’re TRAVELING. I’m sure you’ve been waiting for this trip for a while. It may even be one of your lifelong dreams. Well, you’ve made it. 

Practice thankfulness every day. Try it and I guarantee your travel experience will be so special. You can do it by listing 5 things you’re grateful for every morning or night. You could do it in your head or even write a list down if you have time.

Keep in touch with your loved ones

The people we love are like our anchors. They keep us grounded & in touch with ourselves. 

You may be super busy while traveling. But try to contact your loved ones as much as you can. Send a quick text or a 5-minute call to catch up. You’ll be glad you did it.

CONCLUSION

Staying healthy while traveling doesn’t have to be a burden. Make small changes. Incorporate easy habits. You don’t have to do anything crazy to help yourself be in the best state possible. 

You don’t have to incorporate all the tips we shared. Check which ones you think you need most. And which ones you’d actually be able to maintain. The point is to make your travel experience healthy and as stress-free as possible. Not to stress you more because you feel like you need to maintain a ton of healthy habits. 

Everyone is different. Figure out which healthy habits will work best for you. 

We want to hear from you. Tell us, what things do YOU do to stay healthy when you travel? We’re sure you have some great tips to share.

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15 Comments

  1. Such a great article and so many good tips. Two of the easiest things we can do while traveling is drink heaps of water and walk… walking is also good because you save money on transport haha

  2. I like your point about limiting alcohol. Alcohol actually causes a lot more damage to the body than, say, marijuana. Many people don’t realize the negative effects of alcohol when it comes to how alcohol negatively affects your judgment, even if you drink it in small samples. Meditation is a great point to; super important for calming the mind down. Great points.

    • We agree. Sometimes we take the negative effects for granted since we just want to have fun during our trips! But it’s important to be aware and responsible in order to fully enjoy every moment. Thank you for your comment!

  3. Very good post on how to stay healthy while traveling. Highly informative for travellers and nicely written. Keep up the good work.

  4. I loved reading this article it’s filled with many great advice. I’ll be taking a sabbatical and will be travelling for a year starting next month so it came at the perfect time. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This was so thoughtful!! I love that you really addressed every aspect of health and gave practical tips on how to nurture each individual part of our overall health. Thanks!!

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