BIG doings in our house this weekend! My older son is taking a big trip – he’s going to Europe TOMORROW for Spring Break with a school group. This mama is excited and nervous and… did I already say nervous? I did, didn’t I?
Earlier this week I had asked myself what I should write about this weekend. Since my guy will be on the road I thought I would write about ways to stay healthy while traveling. It’s not easy to keep your routines up while on vacation! Getting OUT of your normal routine is a stressor, and as you know stress lowers your immune system and makes you more prone to pick up germs.
So how do you keep your immune system strong while traveling? There are 3 major ways to stay healthy while traveling.
Get enough rest
Yep. We tend to burn the candle at both ends while traveling. Especially when we’re on a sightseeing trip, trying to cram as much as possible into a short time, we skimp on the downtime. This is normal and natural, but you have to make sure to leave enough time for healthy rest.
You should ideally try to stay on your normal sleep schedule while traveling. For those with kids, that means doing your best to stick to their normal wake-up times, naptimes and bedtimes. You know your kids, and you know how flexible they are. My own kids can sleep anywhere, anytime. (They are related to their Aunt Becky who once slept through the whole car ride from Cincinnati to Hilton Head, only emerging for meals and rest stops.)
Traveling to Europe makes me think a little about jetlag. Europe is too far to try to stay on home time, especially with tour activities. After arriving home, getting extra sleep is very important to catch up.
Eat and drink healthy
When you’re traveling it’s easy to eat crap. Fast food, junk food and unhealthy restaurant fare are quick and convenient. Some of us overindulge in alcohol if we don’t have to drive or get up for work the next day. (Not a problem for Chris and his fellow teenage tour mates!) And often if you’re going to be trapped in an airplane seat you don’t want to drink as much water as you should. Trust me, I get it! Airplane lavatories are NOT where I want to spend my whole plane flight.
If you’re honest with yourself, you have to admit that you don’t FEEL well when you don’t EAT well. And it’s not hard nowadays to find healthy alternatives. Even at airports it is possible to find healthy foods to eat. Salads, fruit, whole-grain breads, and unprocessed foods are not too hard to find, you just have to look for them, and ask if you don’t see them.
Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, make sure to adjust your water intake accordingly. If I were going on a hike, walking a lot or doing something physically challenging I would be sure to drink more water. Dehydration contributes to fatigue, can make motion sickness (like seasickness on cruise ships) worse, and can make you prone to mistakes. Making avoidable errors while in a foreign country with unfamiliar customs and language is NOT ideal!
This is not nearly as important as the other two! However, even though it is a distant third I felt I should mention it because it. This can definitely contribute to feeling well and keeping your immune system strong.
You should pack and take your high-quality multivitamins, of course. You wouldn’t leave home without your prescription medication, right? Well you should bring along your normal supplement regimen too. Vitamin C and echinacea are two supplements that help to support the immune system.
There are a number of supplements I use to stay healthy while traveling, and will send along with Chris. Of course he will take his Vitalizer daily, and Vitalized Immunity will help support his immune system.
It’s easy to get out of your routine when traveling. Burning the candle at both ends with fun activities, not sleeping enough, eating the wrong foods, overindulging in alcohol, skimping on water, and forgetting your supplements are common enough and can put you and your family at risk of getting sick. With a little discipline and foresight, though, you can arrive back home after your trip with only great memories and WITHOUT any unwanted souvenirs!
Fun fact – “souvenir” is the French word for memory. I’m praying hard for Chris to only bring home GOOD memories of his first trip to Europe!
QUESTION: Is there anything else you do to stay healthy while traveling?