Now that winter’s in the rearview mirror and spring is almost over, it’s only a matter of time before vacation season is upon us. Is your body ready for some R & R? To make the most of your time with family and friends in faraway places, you’ll need to hit the road in good health and keep immunity strong throughout your trip. How to do it? Try these wellness travel tips to help you maintain good travel health and minimize your exposure to ills that can interrupt (or even ruin) your getaway fun:
Avoid Pre-travel Burnout
When we’re headed out on vacation, most of us find ourselves scrambling to try to finish everything that needs to be done before we go. To make time to do it all when there seemingly aren’t enough hours in the day, we’ll often shortchange ourselves on exercise or sleep and maybe get a little lazy with our diets. In a word: Don’t—that is, if you plan to enjoy your vacation and not be sick while you’re on it. If anything, you should up your wellness game before you go. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Maintain your exercise routine…but consider downshifting the intensity or shortening your workout by 10 or 15 minutes for a few days before you go. For now, think maintenance rather than build-up. When you get to your destination, give yourself a day to recover from the journey, then return to your usual routine.
- Boost pre-travel immunity with lots of good, clean, healthy food—and no processed stuff or sugar bombs, which wreak havoc on your immune system.
- Get soaked…Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and lay off the sugar-bomb sodas, juices, and “diet” drinks. If you plan to drink alcohol, pick low-sugar and juice-free cocktails—and alternate with water, particularly when temps start to rise.
- Stuff yourself…with lots of veggies! Summer travel often means outdoor barbecues and less control over what you’ll be eating, so when salads, greens, or veggies are available, dive in (metaphorically) and pile your bunless burger high!
- Be good to your gut by supporting it with the terrific twosome: 1) a daily probiotic to support gut health by seeding your gut with good bacteria that can help repel the microorganisms that can make you sick and 2) digestive enzymes at mealtimes to help keep digestion (and elimination!) on track and help your body break down and extract more nutrients from the foods you eat.
Hit the Road Well-armed
One of the refreshing things about going somewhere else is that it’s not just like home, but that also means that it may be tough to get hold of certain health-supportive items when you need them. To attend to minor health discomforts along the way, take a tip from the Boy Scouts and be prepared, as in, bring along your own drug-free “medicine” kit. Here’s what’s always in mine:
- Energy: Powdered greens packets, for energy and to help combat jet lag.
- Immunity: Bitters, to help soothe upset stomachs and aid digestion.
- Stress: Adaptogens and Stress Support, to help ease travel stress and anxiety.
- Headaches: Inflammaway instead of ibuprofen, to take the edge off aches, pains, and headaches.
- Cold Fighter: Elderberry extract, a naturally anti-viral herb, to fend off sniffles from colds or allergies.
- Sleep: Magnesium, to help fall asleep a little faster in the new time zone.
Pack a Lunch
When you’re en route to somewhere wonderful, most of the food options along the way won’t be. Instead of grabbing whatever you can scrounge up at the airport or at the next highway exit, pack your own edibles, which will be better, healthier, and fresher than road food. If you’re not particularly skilled in the culinary arts or just don’t have time to prep healthy eats for your journey, toss a few of these good-for-you, grab-and-go items into your carry-on so there’s always something healthy (and nonperishable) within easy reach:
- Organic nut butter packets
- Raw, organic nuts and seeds
- Organic, grass-fed beef jerky
- Sustain Protein Shakes, a great on-the-go meal replacement—just add water!
- Organic, fair-trade dark chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher)
Summertime, and the Living Is Screen-free
Vacation travel is all about stepping out of the normal, everyday routine, seeing and doing new things, and savoring life. It’s also a great time to disconnect from the workaday patterns that foster tech addiction. While you’re away, support the health of your brain, body, and spirit by withdrawing as much as possible from the glowing screens of your desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. Need a little help on how to tame the tech cravings? Try these 10 tips to help you digitally detox. The mission: Recharge yourself—not your devices!
Cleaning House at 30,000 Feet
Before you get too comfy in your seat, do a little DIY housekeeping of the area that will be your sky-high home for the next few hours. Again, this is all about cutting exposure to bacteria and viruses, so you can enjoy your time away, symptom-free. To start, grab a few wipes—preferably ones that are biodegradable and are made with essential oils and without triclosan—and clean your headrest, armrests, tray table, seat-back screen, and any other surface you’re likely to touch frequently. Will you remove all the germs? Not entirely, but you will get rid of a number of them (the “cootie topsoil,” as it were), and that’s a good start. Among the low-toxin wipes to consider are those made with naturally antibacterial essential oils, vinegar, and/or citrus, like Herban Essentials’ Lemon Towelettes or EO’s Lavender Hand Cleansing Wipes. Or make your own wipes.
Here’s to traveling—and being—well, no matter where you roam this season!