Healthy Travel Tips to Nourish Your Body and Soul
Published on July 7, 2021
The Clean Plates Team
Traveling is great for the soul and the mind. It takes us out of our every day and puts everything into perspective. But it can also take a toll on our bodies — especially since we often put our bodies second to the pursuit of sightseeing. The good news? With just a small bit of effort and preparation, you can travel healthier and return feeling refreshed and grateful for this great big world. Without further ado, here are five healthy travel tips so your can nourish your soul and your body.
1. Stay hydrated.
If you’ve ever been dehydrated, you know that it’s no fun. The first signs of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, decreased urine output or dark-colored urine, headaches, and fatigue. Soon after follow dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, memory problems, and difficulty focusing.
Avoid dehydration by drinking enough water so that your urine remains a consistent pale yellow (clear urine might mean you’re over-hydrating). If you’re traveling by car or train, fill up plenty of reusable bottles or buy a couple of gallons that you can use to refill bottles en route. If you’re traveling by plane, bring your reusable bottle, too; you should be able to find water stations after security.
2. Pack healthy snacks.
Eating healthy on the road isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it to bring some healthy snacks. We recommend wrapped sandwiches, whole fruit, meat sticks, and trail mix. If you’re traveling by car, bring a cooler. Then you can bring all of the above, as well as healthy snacks like avocados, berries, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and more.
3. Don’t skimp on sleep.
Not only does lack of sleep lead to mood swings, burnout, cravings, and potentially poor decisions, it also leaves you more susceptible to colds and infections. If you’re a light sleeper or have trouble catching ZZZs when you’re in an unfamiliar environment, try out these healthy travel tips:
- Get as much sleep as you can on the few nights leading up to your departure.
- Use noise-canceling headphones or earbuds to drown out distractions during travel.
- Bring along a portable white noise machine or download a white noise app onto your phone.
- Don’t worry about looking silly. Use the sleep mask and a travel pillow to increase comfort.
- If sleep just isn’t arriving for you, try meditating or listening to soothing sounds like ambient noise with your eyes closed.
4. Stay clean and moisturized.
Fight the close-knit nature of planes, trains, and automobiles by disinfecting surfaces like seats, armrests, and handrails before use. Also make sure to either keep hand sanitizer with you or wash your hands whenever you get the chance — hand washing can reduce your risk of a cold by up to 21 percent.
Speaking of fighting off viruses, did you know that your skin is your immune system’s first line of defense? When it’s not in tip-top shape, your skin can leave you more vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infections. Staying moisturized is essential when traveling, especially on planes where low-humidity air recirculates over and over. If you’re traveling by car or train, your skin might dry out as you move through different climates. To combat, keep a travel-sized moisturizer on hand.
5. Stand up and shake out.
Most of us have experienced the uncomfortable swelling that comes with long trips. Anytime you you sit for long periods of time, no matter if it’s at a desk or on your way to Paris, blood and water can pool in your legs. This causes that familiar and unpleasant swelling sensation, which comes with a risk of blood clots, not to mention other scary side effects of sitting for too long.
Moving your body releases feel-good endorphins, and you should take advantage of any opportunity you have to stand up and shake out your muscles, bones, and joints. On planes and trains, many people think they can’t stand up unless they need to use the restroom. That’s simply not true — stand up and move whenever you get the chance, even if that just means a quick overhead stretch in the aisle next to your seat.
If you’re traveling by car, plan to make a pitstop every couple of hours (three at most) for some light movement. Make the most of it by stopping at a rest area where you can get out and move around, use the restroom, and eat a snack.