28 Healthy Travel Tips

If you have been planning a trip, but are concerned about staying healthy or on track with your health goals, there is no need to worry! It is possible to enjoy your vacation or business travel and stay on track the entire time.

The goal is to create a balance between enjoying yourself but also taking care of your health and wellness, especially if you are going on vacation.

Here are 28 tips from our functional medicine Los Angeles providers that will help you and your family stay healthy while you travel:

  1. Try to Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep should be a priority when you’re traveling. People often underestimate the power of good sleep, but when you are traveling and are in different time zones, it can do a number on your physical and mental health.

Try to sleep according to the new time zone as soon as you can. This might mean having to sleep at what feels like odd hours, but your body will thank you.

Make sure to bring different aides that will help you get good sleep, including apps on your phone that offer soothing sounds for sleeping, a sleep mask, natural sleep aides, or maybe even your own pillow if you’re taking a road trip or can bring it on the plane.

  1. Eat in Your Hotel Room or Airbnb at Least Once a Day

As experts in functional medicine digestion in Los Angeles, we suggest you eat one meal at “home” or wherever you are staying during your trip. This can help you have control over the ingredients and choose a more nutrient-dense meal. You never know what food will be available once you start exploring the city or town you’re visiting, so it helps to know that at least one meal a day is going to be healthy for you and your family.

  1. Start Your Day With a Healthy Breakfast

The easiest way to have this healthy meal is to start with breakfast. Try to make a habit of eating a healthy breakfast, whether it is in your hotel room or a local café. Focus on nutritious foods like whole grains, fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, and low-sugar coffee.

With a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning, you will have a lot more energy for exploring during your travels, and be able to reduce how often you splurge on treats and extra snacks while traveling.

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Make sure you hydrate! Drink plenty of water as often as you can. Have bottled water or access to fresh water where you are staying, and always bring water with you. This tends to be one of those things people fall behind on when they travel since they are busy and might not have room to bring it with them.

But if you can, get a reusable water bottle for your walking and hiking, when going to a theme park, or anywhere you travel to, and fill it up whenever you get the opportunity.

Of course, you want to be aware of the water quality where you are going! If the tap water is not safe to drink, have extra bottled water with you.

  1. Walk When it’s a Safe, Available Option

The more you get outside and walk, the more you will get some daily exercise and physical activity. This is great for your physical health, especially if you are trying to

As an added bonus, walking is a great way to explore a new place and offers opportunities to see more of the city or village than you might have otherwise noticed.

  1. Research the Conditions Before You Go

The more research you do about where you are visiting, the better off you will be. Our functional medicine Burbank experts at Functional Medicine Los Angeles propose to research the weather and climate so you know what to bring with you in order to maintain your health and avoid illness. Know the area as far as safety measures to be taken, and look into the quality of food and water.

  1. Know Where the Health Clinics Are

If someone happens to get ill on your trip or have an injury, you need to know exactly where to go and how you will get there. Whether you are on a road trip or you went on an intentional flight, you should know where the health clinics are and how to handle your health insurance situation.

  1. Bring a First Aid Kit With You

You should always have a travel-size First Aid kit with you, no matter how you plan to travel. There are many kits already put together that include emergency supplies, like bottled water, bandages, ointments, and creams, over-the-counter pain relief medications, bug spray, and other items.

You can also put it together yourself if you have unique health concerns or medical conditions, with different medications and emergency supplies.

  1. Drink Your Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential for avoiding illness, reducing inflammation, and even helping with chronic health conditions. You can increase antioxidants on your trip by drinking beverages like cold-pressed juice, herbal tea, pomegranate juice, and matcha.

  1. Use Apps for Meditation to Reduce Anxiety

If you struggle with travel anxiety or tend to have a lot of emotional stress when you are not at home, download some apps on your phone that will help with meditation. Popular apps like Calm and Headspace offer meditations that are short and easy to listen to and come in handy during a panic attack or an especially stressful time.

  1. Bring Sanitizing Wipes for the Plane

Sanitize everything to avoid illness! If you plan to fly to where you’re going, there are going to be germs everywhere. The last thing you want to do is come down with something contagious before you board a plane with hundreds of people and then plan to enjoy a vacation.

Sanitizing wipes are easy to bring in your purse or carry-on, and can help reduce the germs around you. You can wipe your own items like your phone or computer, the tray in front of you, and anything you touch while in the airport or on the plane. Wipe your own hands with them as needed.

  1. Visit Your Doctor Before an International Trip

For any type of international trip, our functional medicine Studio City doctors believe it is a good idea to visit your general practitioner first. Let them know where you plan to travel to and for how long, and they will let you know if any vaccinations are necessary. They can also assess your health in general, and make sure you are physically prepared for the trip.

  1. Take Your Probiotics

If you take no other supplements with you, at least bring your probiotics. Start taking them before you go on your trip to improve your gut health and balance your gut microbiome, then bring them with you and continue taking them throughout your trip.

Probiotics are in inexpensive way to improve your gut health and prepare it for the different types of cuisine you might be enjoying while on your trip.

  1. Bring Healthy Snacks Wherever You Go

Healthy snacks help in so many ways while you’re traveling. They provide a more nutritious meal option when you are on a flight, are easy to grab when on a road trip, and can help tremendously if you are exploring a new city or going on a hike and aren’t sure where to get a healthy meal.

Here are some healthy snack options that you can bring just about anywhere:

  • Trail mix
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Meat sticks
  • Packets of nut butter
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cakes
  • Protein bars
  • Granola bars
  • Energy balls
  • Dried fruit
  1. Prepare for the Worst if You Have IBS

Traveling can cause a lot of stress and anxiety if you have irritable bowel syndrome, but that doesn’t mean you can never enjoy yourself! You just need to be prepared for anything, and unfortunately, be extra careful about what you eat.

Since food is probably your biggest trigger for your IBS, understand what food is available where you plan to visit. Know the restaurants and cafes, find the grocery stores to make your own food and bring your own healthy snacks.

In addition to that, always have a change of clothes with you, any medication you take, and know where the nearest bathroom is just in case.

  1. Always Wear Sunscreen

It doesn’t matter where you are going or what the weather is like; you need to protect your skin! Those overcast, cloudy days can trick you into thinking the sun isn’t going to burn your skin. It is vital that any time you are outdoors, you have sunscreen on. Get the highest SPF you can, even if that means getting makeup or moisturizer that has sunblock in it.

Reapply after you have been in the water, such as going swimming in the pool or ocean. If you are planning on being outside for most of the day, reapply your sunscreen every few hours. 

  1. Find Hikes and Other Outdoor Activities

To stay fit and healthy while on your trip, think about outdoor activities that will be available. Maybe your hotel has a pool that you can go swimming in every morning, or you can walk along the beach to get in a good workout.

You might find activities like hiking, walking tours, or kayaking, or maybe it is the winter and you want to go skiing or snowboarding.

It is easy to combine fun with exercise when you’re on vacation.

  1. Take it Easy With Your Itinerary

It can be tempting to try to fill up every minute of your day with something fun if you’re on vacation, but it is a test to take it easy when it comes to your itinerary. Have empty spots during the day to rest and relax, and just enjoy yourself. This helps both your physical and mental health when you are traveling.

  1. Limit Alcohol Consumption

We get it, drinking is fun–! While you don’t need to have a sober vacation (unless you want to of course), it is a good idea to take it easy on drinking. Here are a few reasons this helps with your health:

  • Alcohol disrupts your sleep– Sleep is really important when you’re traveling, so the last thing you want to do is make it even harder to get good sleep by drinking too close to bedtime.
  • It can make you hotter than necessary in the summer– When you drink alcohol, it tends to raise your body temperature. You might start feeling ill if you are traveling somewhere hot in the summertime.
  • Alcohol causes dehydration– Alcohol will also make you really dehydrated, and if you are enjoying yourself, you might not think to drink more water.
  • Most mixed drinks are filled with sugar– This is a big one if you are trying to stay on track with your health goals while traveling. Mixed drinks with alcohol are usually loaded with sugar, so it is best to reduce how often you consume them. Plus, sugar can also make you feel ill and worsen your hangover.
  1. Know Where the Grocery Stores and Markets Are

While you can probably find many restaurants with healthy food options on your trip, it helps to also know where the markets are if you’re making your own food. It can be as simple as getting some eggs and veggies for a healthy breakfast in your AirBnB or maybe getting ingredients to have a salad for dinner instead of ordering pizza.

Plus, the closer the grocery store is to where you are, the more inclined you will be to make extra visits there to ensure you are as healthy as possible. This also tells you whether or not you should be bringing more healthy non-perishable snacks if you are in a hotel room without a mini fridge.

  1. Plan For Hotel Room Workouts

Aside from outdoor physical activities on your trip, you can also get in some great workouts right in your hotel room. Prepare before your trip by looking for home workouts that don’t require any special equipment. There are many bodyweight workouts like calisthenics, aerobics, yoga, kickboxing, and so many more than you do from anywhere.

All you will need is a tablet or smartphone and internet access to do these workouts. If you will be somewhere without internet, don’t worry! You can also bring along a book with workouts or even just study the workout before your trip, then you don’t need the instruction.

  1. Make Veggies and Fruits Your Main Course

Yes, you can still enjoy all those fun, exotic, and even fattening foods while on vacation. You don’t have to feel like you can’t eat anything good or enjoy time with your family and friends just because you are keeping your health in mind.

The best way to handle this is to focus more on balance, is to have your healthier foods as your main course, then a side dish or dessert of something that is more of a treat. For example, eat a nice big salad for lunch, then have a little piece of cheesecake with it. Or have eggs and fruit for breakfast, and a piece of the pastry instead of the entire thing.

  1. Practice Self-Care Before and After Your Trip

This has many benefits, but in terms of travel, it helps a lot with your anxiety and stress levels. Some people are really not big fans of traveling, even if it’s for something fun like a family vacation. If this sounds like you, then self-care before and after your trip can work wonders.

Get some extra pampering in, give yourself plenty of rest, and have enough downtime before and after you travel to relax your mind.

  1. Bring a Sleep Mask

You already know how important sleep is in general, as well as when you’re traveling, but it isn’t always easy. If you’re flying, there is jet lag to worry about, and if you’re driving, it can feel like your sleep schedule is off and on all day.

When you are finally rested in bed no matter where you are and are struggling to sleep, use a sleep mask. They are soft and comfortable and help to keep it nice and dark so you can feel more restful.

  1. Take Your Time Getting Ready in the Morning

Set your alarm a little earlier than your traveling companions before you get the day started. By having some extra alone time to get ready, you are able to focus on both your mental and physical health. You don’t feel rushed and stressed in the morning, you have time to just enjoy wherever you are and can have some mindfulness time for journaling or meditating.

Plus, the more time you give yourself, the better your chances are for eating a healthy breakfast. If you rush out to the door for your first excursion of the day, you’re more likely to grab something convenient and unhealthy.

  1. Manage Jet Lag Like the Pros

Jet lag occurs most often when you are traveling to a different time zone, especially if you do so quickly like on an airplane. Your natural circadian rhythm is interrupted, which can make it difficult to rest. Jet lag also causes some other symptoms, including headaches, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and fatigue.

The best thing you can do for jet lag is to quickly change your routine for the current time zone, not the one when you’re at home. It will feel difficult the first few nights as you are probably sleeping when typically you would be awake and vice versa, but this is the best shot you have at regulating your system.

  1. Prepare for Dealing With Travel Anxiety

Travel anxiety can affect anyone, but people with an anxiety disorder or panic disorder are a lot more susceptible to it. This anxiety comes from many things, from the method of travel to being somewhere new, uncomfortable in your surroundings, and if you are afraid of getting a panic attack.

Prepare for your anxiety as much as you can, such as:

  • Bring enough anxiety meds to last the entire trip.
  • Use apps on your phone to help you relax.
  • Travel with friends or family, instead of alone.
  • Bring distractions, like a journal, books, or creative activities.
  • Do your research about where you are going and what you will be experiencing.
  1. Book Tours with a Group If Traveling Alone

This is a good idea for many reasons. First of all, group trips help you meet others and is a fun way to enjoy a solo vacation, without being completely alone. It is also a really good idea to have the tour guide with you in case anything happens and you need to find a nearby hospital or clinic.

It helps tremendously for people who have a lot of travel anxiety, as you won’t be completely alone while enjoying the sights.

Staying healthy while traveling is entirely possible with just a little bit of preparation, focusing on balance, and making sure you get enough exercise and nutrition on your trip.

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