After several months of isolation and little to no travel, there finally are many exciting vacations to plan and trips to take. With changes to an established routine, it can be easy to forget what to do when traveling, in order to keep your health and wellbeing in check. Below are some helpful ideas to consider before you embark on your next trip.
Pack your own healthy snacks and meals
This is the best starting point to any travel, however short, even if it’s just a day trip. The accessibility of relatively healthy snacks and balanced food options can be very limited on the road, or in touristy areas. Be sure to pack plenty of healthy snack options so when hunger strikes, you are not reaching for the first available options such as chips, cookies and soda. Healthy snacks include: fresh fruits, granola, nuts, popcorn, jerky or string cheese.
If you are planning prolonged travel such as a long flight or road trip, consider bringing a small insulated cooler bag packed with more substantial meals such as home-prepared sandwiches, wraps or grain bowls. Not only is this far more economical than purchasing convenience food on the go, it’s all far healthier and more nutritious.
Consuming sufficient amounts of water every day is very important for multiple bodily functions and general overall health. When you are out of your daily routine, this may slip your mind more easily. Pack large flasks filled with cool water and keep them accessible at all times. We often mistake thirst for hunger, so before grabbing for a snack, it’s always good practice to drink water first and wait to see how it feels after quenching your thirst.
When dining out at your destination, always try to drink lots of water, eat lots of vegetables, some protein, some grains or starch and limited amounts of sweets, sugary beverages and alcohol. By applying these general guidelines, you can enjoy local treats and specialties and you won’t have to worry about your health, because you are still practicing overall good habits.
Excessive quantities of unhealthy foods, sweets and alcohol can leave you feeling lethargic, tired, dehydrated and even artificially hungry. They are also packed with calories. Enjoy a little bit as part of an overall balanced diet and you will feel refreshed, energized and ready to explore each day.
Get rest and pace yourself
Try not to over plan or over commit to activities when you are visiting a new place. Make a list of options of what you may want to see, and each day pick a realistic number of spots based on your energy and fitness level. You don’t want to feel like you “have to see and do” everything. You will build yourself up for disappointment and feel exhausted each evening. Vacations are meant to be enjoyable. Make time to explore, but equally make time for rest and relaxation.
Pack important documents and items
When you pack for any trip, start with the most important and essential items, the “must haves” that you cannot forget. This may include medications, medical devices, local currency, insurance card, vaccination record, passport and/or face masks. It’s much easier to get a pair of flip flops at your destination than medically necessary and doctor prescribed medications.
Additionally, now more than ever before, do research about any health and safety risks at the destination. There may be additional restrictions, limitations or travel requirements where you are going. For example, added quarantining or social distancing measures.
It’s always good practice to be prepared for adverse weather and various different activities that you intend on participating in. However, an overpacked suitcase is heavy, cumbersome and a waste of valuable space for souvenirs or vacation shopping. For example, if you plan on swimming, of course pack a couple of bathing suites and perhaps a light rain coat if the weather turns. If you know you’re mostly planning hiking and outdoor activities, you probably won’t require many formal clothing options.
By practicing these helpful tips, you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind. Remember to take plenty of pictures, make memories, enjoy and get plenty of rest on your time off!