While it’s a thrilling proposition, jet-setting can also present the perfect storm of circumstances that leave you sick, tired and just plain run down. Since no one has the time to feel anything but their best on vacation, we’ve assembled a list of non-negotiables to adhere to next time you travel—and trust us, these are totally easy guidelines that’ll make a world of difference. Ahead, how to stay fueled, healthy and happy so you can make the most of your getaway.
Have any other tricks you swear by for staying healthy on vacation? Share with us in the comments below!
Feel Good On The Go
Food on vacation should be enjoyable, not a source of stress—but when just getting settled at your destination, it can often be just that. Unpredictable circumstances arise when traveling, especially pertaining to mealtimes. To prevent hunger from turning to hanger, pack healthy snacks such as nut bars, trail mix and dried fruit that will keep you nourished and energized. Going long stretches without food may cause you to overeat later on, which can leave you feeling sluggish. (Keeping a stash of munchies also prevents you from splurging on the overpriced, often unhealthy options in the minibar.)
If you're dealing with a major time change, it's in your best interest to acclimate to the new time zone ASAP. Ease into things by timing strategic naps where possible—whether on the plane or even in the day prior to takeoff—so you have an easier time once you've arrived. This will prevent restlessness, jet-lag and a great deal of frustration when the alternative is being wide awake at 4am (and feeling terrible the next day).
While relaxing on vacation is all well and good, physical activity will keep your mind and body in check. Digestion and energy levels can easily get out of whack when your routine changes, and exercising for even 20 minutes a day will help keep you feeling normal and balanced. Select a hotel that has a gym to ensure fitness remains a priority (because let's be honest, it's not likely you'll go out of your way to seek one out). Furthermore, walk where possible—it's often more fun to explore a new city by foot anyway—to get some additional movement.
Proper hydration on a daily basis is key, especially when traveling. Arid planes, unusual circumstances and new climates can easily leave you dehydrated—that is, unless you pack a reusable water bottle. Make sure you prioritize room in your carry-on (or better, your purse), and refill whenever you have access to clean water—just remember to empty it before going through airport security.
Germs run rampant on planes, in airports and in a host of other public places you encounter while traveling. Keep up your immunity by having liquid sanitizer or hand wipes at the ready.
Enjoying decadent local fare is one of the best parts of traveling—however that can often leave your tummy in a tizzy, which ultimately affects your overall mood and energy level. To ensure you're not totally eschewing nutritious choices, make a point to have a helping of veggies with most of your meals—this will aid in digestion and feelings of sluggishness. Furthermore, packing a probiotic supplement will support a healthy immune system and a happy belly.