It is all too common to fall ill while travelling, whether due to the extra stress of the trip, exposure to new diseases (like the Novel Coronavirus), or simply being around so many new people all the time. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and help to stay healthy while travelling, so you can get the most out of your vacation!
There has been a lot of attention recently about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that originated in China and has spread globally due to international travel. This certainly doesn’t mean that it is not safe to travel anymore, but it is a timely reminder to protect ourselves from viruses and other infections.
When we travel, we come into contact with a large amount of viruses and bacteria, and particularly foreign germs that our immune system is not accustomed to. You can protect yourself from these germs through impeccable hygiene: wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with antibacterial hand wash, and carry hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes with you everywhere you go. Use them to sanitize your seat whenever on a plane, train, or bus.
If you’re worried about an airborne infection like the Corona virus, invest in a face mask and wear this when in places where there are a lot of people around, such as at the airport. Also make sure to see a doctor straight away if you feel unwell.
Travel can play havoc with your sleep, because of jet lag, early morning flights, noisy sleep environments, and more. This shouldn’t be taken as a given, however, because not getting enough good quality sleep is very bad for you. It can weaken your immune system, meaning you are more likely to get sick, and also will take longer to recover when you do. It is therefore critical that you get enough sleep not just during your trip, but also before and afterwards. Packing handy items like earplugs, an eye mask, and a travel pillow will help with this.
Dehydration is another common problem during travel. Air travel can cause dehydration because of the dry air inside the plane, and the longer your flight the worse the effect. Make sure to pack a water bottle with you: you can bring an empty bottle in your carry-on and then fill it up at the airport once you’ve made it through security. In addition to your normal daily intake, you should make sure to drink an extra 8 ounces of water for each hour you fly. Also be aware that if you drink on the plane, you’ll need to drink more water on top of this to compensate, as alcohol is dehydrating.
Another unhealthy aspect of travel is that we fall out of our normal fitness routine while on vacation. Physical activity is critical to keeping fit and making sure illness stays at bay, so make sure to integrate lots of physical activity into your time away. Hitting the gym may not be your idea of vacation, but there are plenty of other ways to stay active and you can even integrate these into your vacation activities. Walking is a great form of exercise, so why not do a walking tour of your destination? You can also look for other physically-active tourism activities, like kayaking, snorkelling, rock climbing, and so on.
One of the main reasons people get sick while travelling is the large amount of germs they come into contact with, and particularly foreign germs that their immune system is not accustomed to. You can protect yourself from these germs through impeccable hygiene: wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with antibacterial hand wash, and carry hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes with you everywhere you go. Use them to sanitize your seat whenever on a plane, train, or bus.
Another great way to protect yourself from infections and illness is by strengthening your immune system, meaning you’ll be less likely to get sick. Strengthen your immune system before and during your trip by eating lots of healthy food, and taking vitamin supplements if necessary. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet while traveling can be a challenge, but you can combat this by packing plenty of healthy snacks like fruit and vegetable sticks, as well as dried fruit and nuts.