While you open yourself to new experiences and memories by traveling, changes in your schedule and exposure to new places also increases your body’s susceptibility to catching illnesses. The following eight tips will help you travel healthily and safely.
1. Treat your skin
Face masks will pamper your skin, making it feel nourished, rehydrated, and fresh before a long day of travel and a chance of environment. You may find it helpful to apply a mask after a warm shower, when your pores have opened up. A charcoal or clarifying mask will bring bacteria and dirt to the surface, which will detoxify your skin. Following up with a hydrating treatment (such as a moisturizing sheet mask or a homemade avocado mask) will balance your skin and ensure that it is not stripped of its natural oils. Also, don’t forget to moisturize right before you leave, especially if you’re going to be sitting on a plane, where the air tends to be dryings—Greatist points out that the humidity levels on a plane can be “as low as 1%.”
2. Boost your immunity
It is easy to catch infections when you are exposed to different bacteria and viruses in a new environment, or when you are traveling in a confined space with others. Increase your vitamin C levels by eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, or by taking supplements; you can even swap the complimentary soda for a glass of orange juice during your flight.
It is easy to forget to drink water while you’re busy traveling, so prepare yourself by bringing a refillable water bottle while you’re on the road. Empty bottles are also allowed through security at the airport, and you can fill them up at the gate (avoiding the hefty airport price for a bottle of water). Additionally, avoid salty foods, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages, because they are diuretics and will increase dehydration.
Whether you’re driving or flying, sitting in one place for long periods of time can tighten your muscles. Your hip flexors, in particular, can stiffen and tighten, stiffening your hips, knees, and legs. However, a simple butterfly, lunge, or pigeon pose will comfortably stretch your hip flexors. Remember to take some time to do stretches before hitting the road, but do so when your muscles are warmed up (to avoid strains).
5. Change the time
If you are heading for a destination in a different time zone, set your watch to your destination’s time when you walk out the door. This mental awareness will give your body some time to adjust to the time differences before your arrival, shortening your body’s adjustment period and hopefully reducing the side effects of jetlag.
As illogical as it may seem, traveling can be exhausting even though it often involves sitting in one place. If you have difficulty with insomnia or sleep poorly while traveling, you should still give your body the chance to rest. A well-rested body will be energized for the upcoming activities, and prepared to defend against potential illnesses. Furthermore, if your body is sensitive to caffeine then avoiding it can help to prevent a disrupted sleep schedule; this is important to keep in mind during flights as well, when ordering drinks. If needed, use earplugs and an eye mask to encourage your body to fall into a more restful state.
7. Be prepared for your trip
Pack snacks that are rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables, to avoid dehydration and excessive bathroom breaks! You are in fact allowed to bring food through the security gate at U.S. airports; if you know you won’t have many opportunities to eat between connecting flights or while driving through rural areas, pack small, balanced meals that are high in protein and whole grains that will fill you up. Additionally, purchase travel-sized hand sanitizers, facial cleansing wipes, lotions, and an emergency first-aid kit—it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry!
8. Be updated with your vaccinations
Finally, always alert your physician about your expected travels, especially if you plan to leave the country. Your doctor should update you on vaccinations that you need in order to travel safely.