Getting sick when you travel is the worst. Imagine mid-cruise coming down with the crud! We have some tips to help prevent getting sick while you travel.
We just got back from one of the best vacations I've ever taken. We jumped on The Rock Boat and sailed on a beautiful Norwegian Cruise ship to Belize and Honduras. This cruise is unlike most other cruises, because it is a rock music festival on the ship!
There are thousands of people on this ship and even though the cruise staff tries to make sure people are washing their hands and keeping the ship clean, if you want to avoid getting sick when you travel, you need to take steps on your own to make sure you are doing everything you can to avoid the crud.
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Immunizations are your friend and mine!
Every year there is a new strain of flu that plagues the planet. But we have a great way to defend ourselves and others from the flu, it's called GET YOUR FLU SHOT!
This is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent getting sick when you travel. And not only does it protect you, it also helps people who can't get the shot themselves. People like myself who have immune system issues, the elderly, and babies are unable to fight off the flu as easily as others. So when you help yourself, you are actually helping prevent the spread of the flu to those who can actually get very sick.
Also, depending on where you are traveling, some countries require you to get immunizations or vaccinations before you can enter the country.
Check out the CDC's travelers' Health Page for more on that.
Maintain a healthy diet
I know it’s a vacation, and that means no dieting. But your body needs healthy food choices to defend off illnesses. Alcohol and too much indulging on the all you can eat ice cream can leave your body feeling gross and weaker.
Try to make one meal a day a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, and good proteins.
Get some sleep!
Depending on where you are going and what type of trip you are taking, sleep can seem like that last thing you want to do. But sleep actually helps the body to heal and fight off illness. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep can help your body reboot and give you more energy for all of the fun you want to have.
On our last trip, many of the shows we wanted to see were late at night. So we closed the curtains tight so we could sleep in later in the morning without the sun waking us up. But I like to wake with the sunlight, so I preferred to get a mid-day nap and try to get to bed reasonably early. I know that my body needs to recharge and keeping a regular sleep routine is a healthier option than trying to go too hard.
Workout or Stay Active
I will admit when I’m on vacation, I love to find a cozy beach chair and relax to the sound of the ocean waves. But it’s pretty easy to stay active while on vacation. In fact, I find that when I travel my activity level goes up according to my fitness tracker.
Plan a few activities that get you moving. Go on a hike, walk on the beach, or go dancing! Getting your heart rate up helps your body boost your immune system.
Try something new, check out a local yoga class, head to the gym, or just put on your walking shoes and explore. Getting a workout doesn't have to be boring, especially when you are on vacation!
I have two things that I know help me to fight off the bugs when I travel. I always take Airborne a few days before, during and after travel. If I am flying, it’s in my backpack and I take it once I get into my seat.
Coke kills Travel Tummy!
The other thing that I SWEAR works is drinking a cup of Coke every morning when I travel. I heard this tip a few years ago before I was about to travel out of the country. Before that, I always got a case of “Travel Tummy” that would leave me feeling gross. I don’t know why it works, I just know that drinking a cup of Coke every day always helps me to avoid needing to find a clean bathroom and leaving my travel partners wondering if they should go on without me.
Bring your own Meds!
I travel a lot and it’s so frustrating to find yourself with a headache or upset stomach and not have anything to help you with that. And local stores can be expensive or not open when you need them. This is why I always suggest bringing pain relief meds, antacids, and allergy drugs with you. I even like to pack cold meds just in case.
Don’t forget a First Aid Kit!
Put together a small first aid kit with staples like band-aids, tweezers, and bug bite relief. It’s easy to toss together these things in your backpack so you aren’t let stranded if you need them.
Sanitized Wipes help you to stay healthy while traveling.
When I fly, I like to wipe down the armrests, and the tray table before we take off. Those areas aren’t often wiped down and many travelers before you have passed through. Be prepared and wipe them down!
Squeeze out the hand sanitizer before you eat!
I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag and use it before eating anything. It’s so easy to transfer germs from your hands to the food you are eating. So keep your hands clean.
On our last ship, they sprayed everyone’s hands before entering the dining areas to help keep the germs and disease down.
Keep your hands away from your mouth and face.
Your mouth and face provide a direct link to your body, and it’s the easiest way for germs to enter your body. So try to avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
A simple saline rinse can help flush out your sinuses and reduce your risk of sinus infections.
I love to travel and I know that staying healthy while traveling isn't easy. If you want to keep healthy while traveling, you need to put some thought into prevention.
Do you have any tips you can share with other readers for how to stay healthy while traveling? We would love to hear them!