Stay Healthy: 6 Summer Travel Tips
Summer is here, which normally means it’s time to take a vacation! In the age of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many plans are being changed or curtailed. No matter where you’re going, if you’re not prepared, a potentially amazing holiday can turn out to be the worst. Here are our summer health tips to make sure everything goes smoothly and as safely as possible.
Wash your hands regularly
It might seem obvious, but this is your best and easiest way to stay healthy while you're traveling. Regular handwashing can help prevent COVID-19 transmission as well as more routine illnesses like diarrhea and respiratory infections. Washing up can also help you avoid bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, which can cause major gastrointestinal issues (or even something worse). You’ll also remove germs left from a sneeze or other factors that can cause colds and other illnesses that can ruin your trip.
And consider the health and habits of the people around you. Take antibacterial wipes to deal with germy surfaces, such as a gas pump, door handles, or hotel room surfaces.
Eat and drink in moderation
There’s no shame in indulging when you’re on vacation, but try to keep a balance between occasional splurges and nutritious food. For example, if you're planning a big dinner, try eating light vegetables during the day.
Also, try to eat vegetables at least once daily while traveling. Dark, leafy greens are especially a good choice: They can improve your mood and energy.
To further protect your health, try to eat outdoors whenever possible and avoid smaller, older restaurants. Getting to-go orders is a smart alternative as well and provide the opportunity for a fun family picnic.
It can be challenging to drink enough water when you’re busy enjoying the summer and sightseeing. However, dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and even serious health problems.
Here are some useful tips:
- Bring an empty bottle to the airport and fill it at the terminal.
- Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go — and make sure you bring extra water for any children traveling with you.
- Download an app to track your water intake and get notifications.
Get enough sleep
Vacation is a time for both play and rest. If you get less than six hours of sleep per night, even for just a week, you’re more likely to get a common cold than people who sleep more. If your body is thrown off from jet-lag, try taking a melatonin pill on the first night or two in your new environment. This will prepare your body to relax at your new bedtime.
Get some exercise
Even if you need a relaxing vacation where rest is the only thing you've planned, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Exercising on vacation can help you recover from any stiffness from sleeping in a new bed, and it improves your overall energy level. Consider exercising outdoors and avoiding enclosed gyms and studios.
Use your sunscreen
Days spent at the pool or the beach mean more exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and apply it every couple of hours or when you’re sweaty and/or wet. This will reduce your risk for skin cancer. Hats are great extra protection for you and your kids.