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The festive season is here, which means that many of us will be hitting the road, skies, or rails to either visit loved ones or enjoy a much-needed break. Now, just because you’re on the go, it doesn’t mean that your health should take a back seat.
Rather, checking in with your body during your travels and taking care of yourself can ensure that you stay healthy during the holidays.

12 Tips For Healthy Holiday Travel 

1. Check for health alerts

Besides picking out attractions to visit once you reach your holiday destination, it’s also best to check for any alerts on health and safety that you’ll need to know, and plan accordingly. Also, do some research and find out where you’ll be able to receive health care at your destination if necessary. 

2. Update your vaccinations

It’s important to make sure you’ve updated any vaccinations you need and to do this at least two weeks before your trip, be it for COVID-19, flu, shingles, or yellow fever. 

If you’re traveling to new and tropical areas and are unsure of which vaccinations you’ll need, be sure to visit a travel medicine expert well in advance of your trip who will assist you. 

3. Pack a first-aid kit

A first aid kit is a pretty good idea when you’re traveling, and besides your prescriptions, it should also include acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever, antibacterial wipes, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointments, and anti-diarrheal. 

Also, if you’re bringing prescription medication, try getting a refill early so you don’t have to worry about running out while you’re on vacation.

4. Wash and sanitize your hands

Airlines, train and bus stations, as well as hotels and tourist attractions, can be a breeding ground for germs, so it’s important to be on top of your hygiene game. 

Besides always washing your hands, carry around a hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) or wipes with you as you travel. 

5. Get quality sleep

If you want to stay healthy during your travels, then you need to get some good quality sleep.

If you’re trying to get some shuteye during a flight, we recommend that you bring along a sleep mask or some noise-canceling headphones. You can also use the headphones during your stay with friends or family to ensure that you get proper rest.

If you’re crossing time zones, your circadian rhythm might be disrupted, which then creates havoc for your sleep quality and health. To manage this, try adjusting your bedtime and waking times to match that of your holiday destination at least a week before you arrive. Also, make sure that you manage your dietary habits throughout your trip, as this can also impact sleep quality.

6. Eat well

It can be hard to maintain your healthy eating habits, especially when you’re in a new destination and are excited about trying out the local cuisine.

It’s the holiday season, so, of course, you can treat yourself, but do so in moderation. Try your best to consume fresh options like salads or nuts and trail mix as snacks throughout the day.

7. Watch your alcohol intake

Yes, ’tis the season to indulge and let go, but it’s important not to get carried away at the hotel bar. 

It’s easy to overdo it when you’re enjoying a holiday meal or exploring a new city, but remember the importance of moderation.

8. Stay hydrated

Traveling and exploring a new city can dehydrate the body, especially in warmer climates, so it’s vital to stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day by carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go.

Besides this, you can also enjoy more water-rich foods like watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, and lettuce.

9. Move, Move, Move

Yes, lounging by the beach or the pool sounds amazing, but don’t spend your entire vacation just sitting around.

You can walk up and down the airplane aisle to stretch your legs, and once you reach your destination, try taking a walk to explore the city. 

If your accommodation doesn’t have a gym, you’re welcome to do lunges, push-ups, or jumping jacks in your room – just get moving!

10. Prioritize your mental health

A getaway is a pretty good way to improve your mental health, but you should still find time to decompress and give yourself a breather. 

Why not get a massage, take a walk, download a meditation app, or journal your travels?

11. Wear sunscreen 

Regardless of your holiday destination, the sun will be present, so it’s important to come prepared. Make sure to pack an SPF50 sunscreen to protect against skin damage and to re-apply it often, and to also pack a hat and an umbrella as well. 

12. Slow down

It’s the festive season, and while your health should always be a priority, remember that it’s okay to slow down and just relax. You’ve had a long year, and you deserve to simply exist and lounge around for a bit. 

Want to know more?

While you can’t completely avoid holiday stress, there are a few ways you can manage it. Here are some holiday stress-busting tips for a happier festive season.

MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by nappy/Pexels
Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a journalist graduate and writer, specializing in health, beauty, and wellness. She also has a passion for poetry, equality, and natural hair. Identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to provide the latest information on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle and leave a more equitable society behind.


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