Simple Tips To Help Keep You Traveling Healthy

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Traveling Healthy

Travel related stress is a common cause of injury and illness that can ruin a vacation. But travel doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these simple suggestions for healthy travel to get the most out of your next getaway. 

DRESS FOR SUCCESS 

Many vacationers dress for the beach when they should dress for the plane. Sandals don’t generally have as much support as casual shoes. Your feet need support weaving through crowded airports. Wear comfortable casual shoes. Remember that if you are in an aisle seat, cold air will be blowing right on your feet. Enclosed shoes are best.

Onboard the plane, prepare for changing temperatures. That aluminum tube parked on the tarmac can get unbearably hot. Once in the air, it can get chilly. Wear layers that you can shed or put back on to stay comfortable.

The biggest drop in cabin temperature happens when the plane is climbing to altitude. This is also when the captain has the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign illuminated. Keep an extra sweater or fleece top with your carryon bag at your feet. That way you won’t have to wait until you are free to move about the cabin to warm up again.

TRAVEL LIGHT 

Have you ever been waiting for your luggage and noticed some little old lady running sideways struggling to wrestle a huge suitcase off a moving carousel? Heavy bags can easily strain your back. Bring as little as necessary. Use the hotel laundry service and you won’t have to bring a full week of outfits.

If your suitcase feels heavy when you lift it in your bedroom, it is going to be much worse when you are trying to extract it from the circling pile of luggage surrounded by a crowd of travelers. Split the load into two suitcases. It is worth the additional bag fee to travel pain-free.

EATING ON THE GO 

An unhealthy travel diet is one of the most avoidable stressors to your immune system. The overpriced fast food choices in the airport are packed with immune sapping preservatives. The snacks on the plane are just as bad.

Eat a healthy meal right before you leave home. Avoid the airport food court altogether. Pack snacks in your carry-on bag. Bring a healthy sandwich, fresh fruit or energy bar. That way you’ll be able to wait until you can enjoy a good meal at your final destination.

Stay hydrated! The decreased cabin pressure in an airplane accelerates dehydration. Drink eight ounces of water every hour on the plane to fight dehydration. You’ll feel more energetic and your immune system will be strong when you land.

REST RIGHT 

Get plenty of sleep the week before you go. Don’t stay up late packing the night before your departure. Be organized and pack a day ahead. Get to bed early so you can start the vacation with as much energy as possible.

Try to rest during flight. A travel blindfold can help you sleep if the person next to you wants to enjoy the view with the window shade raised. Just don’t expect a bouncy cat nap in an airline seat to substitute for a good night’s rest.

The goal of your vacation is to enjoy as much of the destination as possible. Whether you are snow skiing, lounging at the beach or strolling through cafes and museums, you need sleep. Don’t wreck your days by staying up late watching B-rated movies in the hotel room.

BE PREPARED 

If you get sick or have an allergy attack, don’t spend precious vacation time in a crowded doctor’s waiting room or hunting for medications. Bring all of your prescription medication and an extra couple of days worth. If a flight gets cancelled or you decide to stay an extra day, you won’t need refills.

Bring emergency medications like over-the-counter pain relievers (ibuprofen or tylenol) and something for allergies or a running nose like benadryl (which can also help you sleep). Pack anti-itch hydrocortisone cream. With these items, you’ll be prepared for the majority of minor travel health problems. Ask your doctor which medications would be best for you.

If its something more serious, ask the concierge if the resort offers on-site medical services. If not, do a quick internet search to find a doctor who makes urgent house calls to hotels. Considering the hourly cost of a vacation, these options are more cost effective than heading into town to a doc-in-the-box.

A little planning can go a long way to making the most of your vacation. Follow these tips and you’ll get the most out of your next trip, wherever your final destination may take you.

by: Dr Christopher Segler

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