Five Things To Keep You Healthy While You Travel

March 31, 2020

Travel is so much fun, but planes, trains, and long car rides can get cramped, uncomfortable, and downright unhealthy. Transit poses a unique set of demands on your body, respiratory system, and immune system, however there are ways that you can stay healthy throughout your journey. To ensure a safe and healthy trip, you should read up on travel health tips and insights before you leave. Here are five items you should never travel without:

1. Reusable Water Bottle

Drinking enough water on your long journey will help you stay healthy and comfortable. The air conditioning on planes, trains, and cars keeps the air dry and cool. That’s great for comfort but not so helpful for your throat and eyes.

Conditioned air can dry out your eyes, nose, and throat leaving them more vulnerable to allergens and germs from the people around you. Making sure that your body has the water it needs will help keep your sensitive airways strong and protected.

Staying hydrated can help the body fight jet lag symptoms and so much more. Blood clots and high heart rate are common issues for travelers. Whether it’s from a plane’s cabin pressure or from sitting still for too long in your car, drinking plenty of water throughout your ride will help keep your heart and veins healthy.

2. Neck Pillow

Falling asleep while traveling can put your neck at weird angles and leave your jaw hanging open. This can weaken and stiffen your muscles while drying out your throat, leaving you worse for wear and more uncomfortable than before. Neck pillows give you somewhere soft to rest your head without leaning too much. They can also brace your jaw and neck to keep the throat protected.

Neck pillows keep your head braced for sleeping in transit and can also help keep your cervical spine protected. The cervical spine is the group of backbones in the neck and their connecting tissues can get shaken and irritated on long and bumpy rides. Wearing a neck pillow that’s soft and fits well can help absorb some of the shaking along the roads and skies to keep your neck healthy and pain-free.

In addition to shock absorption, a travel pillow can help you stay more comfortable and relaxed on your long journey. Many headrests in cars and planes are pretty hard, their main functions are safety and separation rather than comfort. A neck pillow can make the trip a little softer and let you feel that much more relaxed.

3. Hand Sanitizer

Even if you’re traveling in your own car, pit stops, and snack runs can introduce dangerous germs to your environment. Hand sanitizer is a great way to stay healthy and safe throughout travel. It’s no replacement for hand washing but it’ll do when the need arises. Hand sanitizer kills bacteria and germs that may have made their way onto your hands and can make all the difference for staying healthy and safe on your trip.

Most hand sanitizers come in convenient travel sizes that are great for fitting in your bag as well as passing TSA standards. Keeping your hands clean and germ-free not only helps you but can help those around you too. Traveling often requires close quarters and the cleaner and healthier each passenger is, the safer everyone becomes.

4. Healthy Travel Snacks

No one is happy when they’re hungry, but hunger can also weaken the immune system and worsen some of the common side effects of long-distance travel such as fatigue and headaches. Keeping nutritious snacks on hand like snickers protein bars, trail mix, fruit, and oats can help you stay happy, healthy, and far more comfortable.

Since travel can take so much out of you, picking snacks that are high in natural sugars, carbohydrates, and proteins will be the key to staying healthy and energized. Fruits are full of healthy sugars while protein bars and nuts are great sources of protein. Carbohydrates can be found in snack bars and trail mixes. These nutrients will work with your body to boost the immune system and give you the energy to explore when you disembark.

Travelling takes you out of your normal routines and can feel like a great time to eat junk food. However, processed fats and sugars will only lead to energy crashes and cravings throughout your journey. The right diet is the key to continued health and the energy you’ll need to get the most out of your trip.

5. Compression Socks

Sitting still for long periods of time is bad for your legs, heart, veins, and muscles. Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s the only way to get to where you’re going, and that’s where compression socks for travel come in. Compression therapy is a proven technique for relaxing the legs and aiding blood flow for healthier travel.

Normally, the body uses a combination of heartbeats and gravity to keep your blood moving around your body as it should. But when you’re sitting, gravity affects your veins differently and can become more of a hindrance than a help. Travel socks leverage compression technology to encourage healthy circulation. This helps ease the burden on the heart and can help fight the swelling and fluid buildup that stems from staying in one position for too long.

Wearing the right compression socks for travel can strengthen your legs, heart, and veins to help you stay healthy and comfortable throughout your ride. Since you can’t always get up and stretch while you travel, keeping your leg muscles engaged with compression socks can make all the difference for your continued health.

Finding your perfect fit when it comes to compression socks can be complicated. Always look for a compression range of 15-25mmHg this means that they’ll be healthy to wear for extended periods of time. Also, make sure that your compression socks are doing more for you with built-in support and moisture-wicking technologies.

6. Travel Happier And Healthier

Vacations, business trips, and family excursions can be exciting and fun, but travel also creates challenges for the immune system and your overall health. Keeping a reusable water bottle, neck pillow, hand sanitizer, some healthy snacks, and a pair of compression socks for travel on your list of things to pack can lessen your health risks and help keep you comfortable on your journey.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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