Wellness Travel Tips
Along with all the excitement and benefit of visiting new places and spending time with family and friends, travel can also be somewhat of a physical challenge on the body. With long days, busy schedules, irregular meals and exposure to new microbes, traveling often includes some form of digestive distress, bloating, illness or trouble sleeping.
But don’t worry, there are a few simple ways you can limit these physical effects of travel:
How to stay healthy while traveling
Staying properly hydrated is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can ward off the physical stress of travel. Proper hydration aids digestion, reduces bloating and keeps your immune system healthy. While traveling, aim to drink more water than you usually would each day. A general rule of thumb is to multiply your bodyweight (in pounds) by 0.67—so if you weigh 120 pounds, you would aim for 80 ounces of water per day. Travel with a large reusable bottle (we like this one) or, if you’re somewhere tap water is not an option, stock up on bottled water whenever you have the chance.
Boost gut health with a daily probiotic
Probiotic supplements are helpful when traveling for several reasons: they boost your immunity (your gut is your immune system’s first line of defense!), and keep your digestive system healthy and happy—which is helpful when detouring from your usual eating habits and exposing your digestive system to new foods and microbes. Learn more about the importance of probiotics here and shop our favorite probiotic supplement here.
Keep your hands clean with natural hand sanitizer
Travel to new areas (and especially travel on public transportation) exposes us to new germs we may not yet have immunity to, so our chances of getting sick increase. However, common airborne pathogens (the common cold and flu) are viral, not bacterial, so traditional anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers don’t really protect against them. Still, keeping your hands clean (especially before eating) is even more important when traveling, so try our recommended natural hand sanitizers that have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Pack healthy snacks
Travel days tend to mean limited food options and processed snacks. Plan ahead to keep your digestive (and immune) system happy by preparing travel-friendly healthy snacks in advance. Think: high protein (curbs hunger and holds you over between meals) and fiber (keeps your digestion and elimination regular). Some of our favorite options are:
Trail mix (create your own with your favorite combination of walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
Raw fruit like apples, pears, oranges and grapefruit
Raw veggies like sliced cucumber, carrot sticks, bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
Homemade energy balls (lots of recipe ideas on our Healthy Snacks Pinterest board!)
Set yourself up for good sleep
We’ve shared before how essential sleep is to overall physical and mental health. Proper sleep will help keep your immunity and digestion healthy, while lack of sleep will contribute to their distress. Travel is not known for being very kind to our sleep patterns—from jet lag to busy schedules to unfamiliar sounds, lights and distractions, there are many ways sleep can be disturbed while traveling. Melatonin supplements can help overcome jet lag—ask your doctor about the appropriate dose for your needs. Traveling with an eye mask, ear plugs and/or sound machine can help if you’re a light sleeper. For long haul flights or bus/train/car rides, packing a good quality travel pillow can help you catch some much needed zzzs. Be mindful of caffeine and alcohol consumption if you’re having trouble sleeping while traveling—both are significant sleep disruptors.
Bring a travel blanket
Fluctuating temperate is a bit of a physical stress in that it forces your body to expend energy keeping your internal temperature constant (it does incredible unseen work keeping you a constant 98-ish degrees!). Airplanes are notoriously cold (yet also stifling hot before take-off), so it’s helpful to travel with a travel blanket to stay warm on long flights.
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