Staying healthy while traveling full-time can be a challenge. Airplane germs, early morning wake-up calls, and always being on the go can run down your immune system, leaving room for illness to get you down. As a master of health (no really, I have my Masters of Health Science), I am always trying to keep both myself and those around me as healthy and happy as possible. So I’ve rounded up my top ten tried and true tips to keep you healthy on your next getaway! (**We are not sponsored, nor do we receive money, goods, or services of any kind from the products listed below. I just believe in them**).
Before You Go
1. Always go into a trip well-rested. Make sure you get a quality night's sleep the night (or two) before leaving on a trip. This will ensure your immune system is charged and ready to take on those travel germs. My two favorite sleep essentials: thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Tea Gallerie's Lavender Camomile tea.
2. Get a flu shot. Way back in 2009 I had the swine flu and almost died and I've gotten my annual flu shot every year since. Also the Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommends it!
3. Pack immune-supportive hot tea. I do not drink caffeine so herbal teas are my jam. I didn't realize their crazy healthy benefits until a few months ago. Echinacea tea is great for immune function, peppermint tea for an upset stomach and bloating, and ginger tea for nausea and motion sickness. All of these teas are 100% caffeine-free and can be enjoyed anytime of the day.
On The Trip
4. Use hand sanitizer. Before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after touching public surfaces. **Disclaimer** I am not a germaphobic, but I DO have a background in public health which makes me an official ambassador of hand washing. Wash your hands (and sanitize) people, it prevents disease!
5. Get plenty of quality rest. Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. It can do wonders for the immune system, energy levels, and overall mood. Sleeping in foreign places can make for a turbulent sleeping schedule, so I always travel with a lavender essential oil. I put a few drops on my chest before bed and it perfectly lulls me to sleep for a better, more rejuvenating snooze. Chamomile tea is also a nice nighttime treat to ensure peaceful rest. Pro tip: Avoid alcohol the first 24 hours of a trip, it can cause interrupted sleep.
6. Disinfect public spaces before using. I'm talking airplane tray tables, communal tables in hotels, and shared spaces ... They can be crawling with germs. It takes less than 10 seconds to whip out your disinfecting wipes and wipe down a surface before using.
7. Eat healthy snacks and meals. Fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods keeps your body in its best condition. Nuts, dried fruit, hummus,and fresh fruit are some of my favorite on-the-go snacks. For meals, I recommend lean protein, whole grains, and leafy greens. I recommend skipping the sodium- and sugar-filled airplane meals and stocking up on your favorite snacks and meal replacement bars before your flight. Here are a few of my favorites:
8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Travel can wipe out your system and dehydration is very common. Bring a reusable filtered water bottle with you so you always have access to clean, purified water. The filter isn't as essential in most US airports, as they have handy water bottle fill stations that provide clean, filtered water on demand. Depending on your destination a reusable water bottle may be sufficient, but if clean water will be hard to come by, go for the filtered option.
9. Moisturize. Hydrating your skin is just as important as hydrating your body. Traveling can dry out your face, hands, and lips. Make sure to pack plenty of TSA-approved size moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. I apply a good amount of face moisturizer before I travel and make sure to wash my face regularly, even on long-haul flights. A few of my favorite moisturizers that come in less than 100mL containers. - Argon oil, Clinique moisturizer, la mer lip balm. I realize $60 is a crazy price to pay for lip balm but it lasts forever and feels like actual velvet on your tips.
10. Exercise. Getting your heart rate going can do wonders for energy, jet lag, and overall wellness. Rent a bike, go for a walk, or do a few jumping jacks inside. It doesn't matter what kind of exercise you do, but take at least 15 minutes to get your heart rate up.
I hope you enjoyed reading about how I stay healthy while on the road! If I forgot anything or you have other recommendations, please let me know in the comments section below!