Waking up a thousand miles from home can be exciting. You roll over in bed and instantly start thinking about how to make the most of your day. All the new things you’ll see! The new places you’ll go! The new thrills you’ll experience!
You slip out of bed and throw back the curtains to look outside, and… oh…
Oh, maybe you should lie back down.
Your head hurts. Your stomach feels queasy. Something’s not right.
Getting sick while traveling not only makes you feel physically ill, it can also leave you feeling like you’ve wasted precious time, money, and energy. Whether you’re visiting relatives in San Francisco or scoping out Albany houses for sale, doing business in Madrid or vacationing in Paris, follow the tips below to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff.
Some people assume vaccinations are only important if they’re traveling internationally, but wherever you go, it’s important to make sure your shots are up to date. Whether it’s the other side of the world or the other side of your home state, your body is going to be coming into contact with lots of new bodies, and both its health and theirs depends on you maintaining your immune system. And, yes, if you’re traveling outside the country, it’s even more important. Before any trip, visit your doctor and see what they can do to help your body prepare. If traveling abroad, consider registering with the State Department’s STEP program, which will send you up-to-date alerts about the medical conditions at your destination.
As noted above, traveling anywhere is inevitably going to bring you into contact with a lot of different people and, subsequently, a lot of different germs. That leaves you with two options: become a shut-in (which kind of defeats the purpose of traveling in the first place, doesn’t it?) or wash your hands frequently. And since soap and water aren’t available at all times, it’s a good idea to keep some wet naps on you, or better yet, hand sanitizer. Additionally, similar topical treatments like insect repellant, sunscreen, and antibiotic ointments are great, easy ways to protect your body from the wear and tear of travel.
As simple and straightforward as it sounds, this is good advice for any activity, anywhere, at any time of the year. A properly hydrated body can help fight off everything from diarrhea to jet lag, so start each day the right way by fueling up with plenty of water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and you’ll never have to worry about dehydration.
This might seem like the last thing you want to do while visiting someplace new, but you’ll enjoy the experience a lot more if you pace yourself. Plan ahead by making an itinerary of where you want to go and what you want to see, so you’re not scrambling to squeeze in everything all at once. Traveling eats up a lot of energy, both physical and mental: driving long distances, hauling heavy luggage, adjusting to different time zones. Avoid burnout by getting enough sleep each night and even taking the occasional daytime nap. Sacrificing a little time to recharge your batteries is better than losing a lot of time to outright exhaustion.