Health is on everyone's mind these days and travel is always on ours. We're combining the two for those of you, like us, who are daydreaming of the time when you can get out of your house again and stretch those wander muscles. These four tips will keep you healthy no matter what state of "normal" our world is in.
When you're amped on adrenaline and jetlag, sleep can be an elusive friend. Get your circadian rhythm back on track quickly by adjusting your watch to your destination's time when you board the airplane. Try to keep your body in sync with what you'd be doing if you were already there. If it's daytime there, stay awake, and if it's nighttime, don a sleep mask, put in earplugs and ask the airline steward not to wake you up.
Light and dark are big cues to your body about when it's time to be awake and when it's time to sleep. Luckily you have some control over this. When you should be awake, get out in the sunshine or keep interior lights on; and when it's time for bed, make use of that sleep mask to keep your world dark as night.
Plan flight arrivals for late afternoon or evening. Try to stay awake at least until 10pm and if you do arrive earlier, resist the urge to nap as this will make it harder for you to sleep overnight.
Being well-rested is essential to helping your body ward off infections and is even more important when you're spending time in crowded airports and eating unfamiliar foods. A lack of sleep not only makes you more sluggish but impacts your mood and digestive system, which are two things you want to be at their best when you travel!
Pack a reusable water bottle and keep it full. Grab a handful of rubber bands and put them on your bottle. Take one off every time you refill it and aim to have them all removed by the end of the day. Keep germs away by making sure your water bottle has a top that closes to cover the entire mouthpiece.
As for alcohol, consume it in moderation, especially in your first couple of days when your body is trying to acclimate to a new time zone and routine. Be especially vigilant about alternating each alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic drink like water or juice.
It's easy to forget to drink as much water as we need, but staying well hydrated is also one of the simplest ways to keep your body running in tip top shape.
No one wants to pack an elaborate amount of workout gear on vacation, let alone spend time in a hotel gym when you could be out sightseeing. But with a little planning you can save space in your suitcase and still sneak in activities that'll keep you feeling energized and sleeping better.
Good, comfortable shoes should be on your packing list anyway, so bring a versatile pair of sneakers and take in the lay of the land on a morning run. If yoga is more your style, throw on a bathing suit or a lightweight outfit to practice a bit of yoga in your room before going out - or better yet, incorporate it into your day by yoga-ing on the beach or any other place with a view.
Sightseeing doesn't need to be sedentary. Make at least a few of your outings active ones: choose a bike tour or plan a day of hiking or even make a point of walking to all of your sights one day. An added benefit is that you'll get to explore more, and maybe find a hidden gem that you would have passed while zooming in a cab from point A to point B.
Apps and devices like a Fitbit or Apple Watch make it easy to track your activity and with so much extra time on your hands, there's no excuse not to get all your steps in.
You'd be surprised at how often you touch your face. This in itself is not a big deal, but problems arise when your hands are also touching surfaces that many, many others have touched as well.
Although it's good to keep your hands away from your face, a more surefire way to safeguard against getting sick is to wash your hands and wash them frequently. Be cognizant of washing thoroughly with soap when you use the restroom and before eating.
Travel with hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands on the go. If you're worried about liquid spilling in your bag, bring along individual wet wipes, which are also good for cleaning areas before you use them, like airplane trays and touch screens.
Did you know that the handrail on an escalator is one of the most germ infested places in an airport? Traces of blood, mucus, and urine, not to mention E. coli, have been found there. Ew, gross!
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