While most of us go on holiday to catch a much-needed break, we can often feel rundown and even get sick while away. Taking a holiday can come with its own stresses, so here are some tips to stay healthy while travelling.
Get enough sleep
Making sure that you get enough good-quality sleep means you’re better placed to get the most out of each day. Many accommodation providers will have black-out curtains to help you fall, and stay, asleep. However, it doesn’t hurt to pack a sleep mask. If you’re travelling across several time zones, consider taking supplements like melatonin or magnesium to help you settle into a slumber sooner.
Drink plenty of water
You lose water faster in warmer weather or when you’re physically active. Your body can’t function when it’s dehydrated, so it’s important to keep topped up with water when you’re travelling, especially while you’re on board a plane. If you’re not sure about the safety of tap water in another country, opt for filtered or bottled water.
Don’t indulge too much
It’s easy to over-indulge on holidays by being too adventurous with the local food and wine. Overeating can affect your sleep and result in sluggishness as your body needs to work harder to break down the extra food in your stomach. An easy way to refrain from eating too much is to practice ‘hara hachi bu,’ the Japanese rule of eating until you are 80% full.
Exercise and stretch
Even a small amount of physical activity can do wonders for your physical health. If your accommodation has a pool or gym, why not use it? An easy way to stay active while travelling is by walking where possible. If most of your day is being spent doing some kind of physical activity, be sure to stretch at the end of the day and get plenty of rest. This reduces muscular pain and the chances of pulling muscles or tendons from overexertion.
It’s important to slip, slop and slap on sunscreen if you’ll be outdoors, regardless of the environment or the time of year. It’s worth remembering that you can still get sunburn over the winter months. If you’ll be on a beach or travelling in warmer weather, be extra vigilant. Severe sunburn can lead to headaches, fever, nausea and fatigue.
Clean your hands before meals
When travelling, we’re often exposed to more germs, especially in developing countries. Having clean hands can help prevent you catching germs and illnesses like diarrhoea. It’s not always possible to wash your hands under clean running water so it’s a good idea to pack hand sanitiser in your handbag or backpack.
It’s worth being mindful that despite your best efforts to stay healthy while travelling, the unexpected can happen. Make sure you’re well prepared by having your travel insurance details handy, including your policy certificate and emergency phone numbers. If you’re not sure what’s covered under your plan option, read the Policy Wording.