How To Stay Healthy While Traveling

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Written By: Shannon Sweeney

‘Tis the season where airports are packed to the brim with travelers and highways are lit up like a string of Christmas lights with headlights lining up for miles. Yup, holiday travel time.

Another gift? Cold and flu season. When you’re stuck on a plane for 3-plus hours next to someone coughing and sneezing, what do you do? No one wants to spend the holiday season stuck in bed at their parents’ house. Traveling also causes a lot of stress, and stress can take a toll on your physical health.

So how do you stay healthy while traveling? Here are 8 tips to follow when you’re packing your bags for a holiday getaway.

1. Up your Vitamin C intake

A few days before you start traveling, up your Vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps you fight off sickness, so it’s a natural barrier to being surrounded by sick people in the airport or train station. You can do this by buying foods like oranges or mangos, or buying a supplement.  

2. Take vitamins

There are tons of different vitamins you can buy at your local grocery store to keep your body happy and healthy while you’re traveling. Traveling throws off your sleep schedule, stresses you out, and takes away from your regular routine — and your body gets thrown off, too. Here’s what you should take:

  • Vitamin B: This gives your immune system a boost and amps up your energy (and if you’re expecting to drink alcohol with your family this holiday season, it’ll help you, too).

  • Probiotics: Probiotics help with upset stomachs and help with your digestive system, which can be extremely thrown off from traveling. This helps promote a healthy gut and helps prevent food poisoning.

  • Adaptogens: Adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola or Ashwagandha help you from being stressed. It’s recommended to take these 2-3 weeks before you travel to keep your system in balance.

  • Vitamin D: Even if you’re going somewhere warm when you travel, extra Vitamin D is a boost to your immune system.

  • Zinc: Take Zicam with you when you travel — it contains zinc, which helps shorten cold symptoms. So if you start feeling stuffy, take Zicam to prevent it from getting worse.


3. Carry hand sanitizer

If you’re taking public transportation to travel, you’re literally going to be surrounded by millions of germs. Take a travel-size hand sanitizer with you to use after the bathroom, after you get off the plane or train, or when you come into contact with anything that a bunch of people are touching. Airports are gross no matter how much they clean.

4. Sleep!

Listen to your body and sleep when you’re tired! It’s exciting to see family and to explore the area where you’re traveling, but listen to signs that your body needs sleep. This is especially important if you’re traveling across time zones.

5. Stay hydrated

Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, especially if you’re flying. Airplanes have a lower humidity than normal, which causes dry skin, eyes, throat, and nose. Flying makes us feel groggy and sick because it makes us extremely dehydrated — and dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, nausea, and more. To prevent this, drink as much water as possible!

This goes for your whole trip, too. Make sure to always have water with you, especially if you’re consuming alcohol or eating a lot of high-sodium foods.

6. Eat lots of veggies

Vegetables are an obvious source of nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and more that you can lose during travel. Try to fill your diet with broccoli, spinach, and other greens to give your body the daily nutrients it needs.

7. Keep an exercise routine in place

Whether this is taking a walk every day or buying a pass for a local gym, keep an exercise routine in place. This will keep your energy levels up and will prevent you from getting tired, and it’s a great way to de-stress after a long day of travel. It’s especially important to keep up your exercise routine if that’s something you do regularly at home — it’ll keep your body in check!

8. Meditate

Meditating during take off, while driving, or waiting in a station or airport makes the rush of traveling less stressful. Apps like Simple Habit have personalized meditation routines for tons of different situations. It’ll take you through breathing exercises and more to keep your stress levels down while you travel.

Following these few simple steps will keep your body happy and healthy while you travel, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy time with family.