Studies show that traveling once in a while is good for your health. But even if you enjoy travel, traveling constantly will take its toll on anyone.
In addition to the added stress of travel, constant travel can worsen certain physical health conditions. Or, the lack of familiar routine and time demands of travel can simply make you forget to take care of yourself.
That’s why we’ve written you this guide. The following tips will help you plan better and ensure your health and wellness during periods of long-term travel. For healthy travel, make these wellness essentials part of your trip.
1. Take Vitamins and Immune-Boosting Supplements
When you travel to new locations, you’ll be exposed to new germs your body hasn’t learned to defend against. That’s especially true in airports and hotel lobbies. There, people bring their illnesses from all over the world and deposit them on everything they touch.
In short, lots of traveling plus a weak immune system equals a bad trip.
Keep your immune system strong by taking multivitamins daily and take extra vitamin C before a trip. If you prefer more traditional remedies, boost your immune system with ginger, echinacea, and Airborne.
2. A Healthy Travel Diet
When you’re not traveling, what’s your normal diet like? Do you eat nothing but high-calorie restaurant food? Or do you consider yourself lucky if you can fit even a single protein bar into your busy day?
Chances are, that’s not how your typical diet looks at all. So if that’s how you eat when you travel, your body’s in for quite a shock.
It’s one thing to splurge on restaurants while on vacation. But if you travel often or for long periods of time, it’s hard on your body to keep flip-flopping your diet.
Instead, come up with a less extreme dietary routine to employ while traveling. Make this a permanent part of your long-term traveling routine.
Even better, use travel to get healthier than normal! If you already struggle with bad eating habits, use traveling as an excuse to go on a diet. If you are to plan your eating habits anyway, make it a healthy plan.
Local markets are a good resource for this. When you arrive at your destination, stock up on farm-fresh local produce and snack away. Then you’ll have less room for unhealthy restaurant food, anyway.
Living without exercise is bad for you whether you’re traveling or not. But often, even fitness junkies will skip their typical exercise routine while traveling.
That’s a bad idea for long-term travelers. Spending half your year traveling shouldn’t mean you get half as much exercise as you need.
The best thing you can do is to make room exercises part of your daily routine. Find some exercises you can do in your room and start doing them every day.
First thing in the morning or last thing before bed are the best times. This way, you won’t have to change your routine whether you’re in your bedroom or a hotel room.
Otherwise, if you work out regularly at a gym, plan to stay at hotels that provide exercise equipment. Then, continue your normal workout routine in the hotel fitness room.
4. Put Toiletries in Your Carry-On Bag
When flying, your luggage is sometimes delayed. Make sure your bathroom and hygiene products are not delayed with them.
Always bring a carry-on bag, and always put allowable toiletries in that bag. Be sure to check TSA guidelines when packing these items.
Liquid or gel items (including toothpaste) must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces each. You can bring as many of these items as will fit in a single, quart-sized, zip-top bag.
The only razors allowed are disposable razors and cartridges or electric razors. Batteries are also acceptable. Nail clippers with blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed.
Don’t forget any earplugs, Dramamine, neck pillows, or anything else you’ll need for the plane.
5. Always Be Packed
Speaking of toiletries, why unpack them at all? You know you’re always going to bring the same items on every trip.
Instead of constantly packing and unpacking, stay packed all the time. Always keep your carry-on bag fully stocked with bathroom items.
In fact, do this with any items you can stock duplicates of. Power banks and phone chargers are a good example.
This will greatly reduce the stress of travel. It not only saves time but prevents you from forgetting anything. It’s a terrible thing when you’re hit with a sudden case of food poisoning and only then realize you forgot stomach medicine.
6. Don’t Neglect Treatment of Existing Conditions
Heavy traveling can worsen certain health problems. Changes in elevation or cabin pressure changes on a plane, for example, can cause harmful complications to some conditions.
Do you have any existing medical conditions that require special care? If so, talk to your doctor about precautions to take while traveling.
Aside from this, don’t let the interruption of traveling cause you to neglect your known healthcare needs. Even minor conditions like eczema or athlete’s foot can get quite unpleasant if they go untreated.
And if you think your condition is too complicated to treat while traveling, think again. And do your research.
Chances are, you aren’t the first long-term traveler with this condition. Someone, somewhere, has already made a product to meet your on-the-go medical needs. For example, this website has a baseball cap that treats hair loss!
7. That Includes Anxiety
Travel in and of itself is stressful for most people. But many people already struggle with excess stress and anxiety on a regular basis.
As with other health conditions, those who suffer from emotional or mental health issues should discuss traveling with their doctor. Additionally, any required medication for these conditions should remain prepacked in your bathroom bag.
And plan to include any meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness exercises, or other techniques you normally practice. Add these to your morning/nightly exercise routine so you’ll never forget.
8. Take Some Time Off
If your trip is a long one, like one or more months, take it easy sometimes. Don’t feel like you have to spend every day seeing every sight and doing every activity.
It’s not normal to live life that way and soon enough you’ll start to feel it. You’ll burn yourself out before your trip’s half over. Since you have plenty of time, take a breather once in a while.
Sleep in for a change. Have a pizza delivered to your hotel and spend the day watching Netflix in bed. Get a massage at your hotel.
And call home. Talking to friends or family for a couple hours will make you feel “normal” again.
Wellness Essentials For Long-Term Travel
Next time you travel, don’t leave your health at home. Remember to include these wellness essentials.
Need more health and wellness tips? You got it! Check out these Observations On My Time With The Healthiest People On Earth (Okinawans).