– By Victoria Philpott
When you’re travelling your health needs to be a top priority whatever your age. My tip is: always take out travel insurance and scour the terms and conditions before you sign on the dotted line.
Now it’s over to two of our top baby boomer travel bloggers to reveal the health travel tips they swear by on the road…
7 top travel health tips
Evelyn Hannon @journeywoman
As an adult traveller, the pressures of taking part in late night parties, drinking fests and non-stop train travel is generally non-existent. So, the ‘staying healthy’ factor naturally goes up for older adults. I have seven big, but very easy rules for staying healthy on the road.
- Get enough sleep
- Drink lots of water (bottled where necessary).
- Carry antibacterial hand cleanser and use it often.
- Try to eat fruits and vegetables daily (peeled where necessary).
- Avoid eating from street stalls where sanitary conditions and refrigeration are lacking.
- New foods and new environments can play havoc with your bowels. Carry a supply of bran buds to add to your food to keep your body working regularly.
- Travel at a more languid pace. You don’t need to see everything.
7 more top travel health tips
Wayne Dunlap @wdunlap
We’ve all overindulged while travelling. Many of us believe that following a healthy lifestyle is not important. Hey, “we’re on vacation!” Here are some things we do with good luck of rarely being sick:
Water: Always drink plenty of clean bottled water.
Eating healthy: We highly recommend trying local foods including pastries and desserts with all things in moderation. Make mealtime an enjoyable time, not a hurried time. Studies show you eat less feeling satisfied if the meal is spread over time (at least 30 minutes). Avoid fast and junk foods and anything fried. Eat smaller portions – we often share one appetiser and one main course. Eat wholegrains and stay away from processed grains low in nutrition and fibre, and high in calories. The basic rule is nothing white.
Exercise: It’s important to get plenty of exercise while travelling. Walking is a good way to do so. It’s a great way to learn about the new places you are visiting and you’ll discover so much more.
Sleep and rest: Travelling and discovering new things can be stressful, especially when your body is deprived of sleep and it’s unable to rebuild and recharge itself. Sleeping in a new bed or on a plane surrounded by new noises sometimes adds difficulties. Try to create a sleep-promoting environment that’s dark, cool, and comfortable. Starting late afternoon, don’t have simulates such as nicotine and caffeine, don’t eat or drink too much close to bedtime, and turn off the TV. A white noise machine helps many people. Exercise done early in the day can reduce stress and promote sleep.
Manage stress: Just like poor diet, lack of exercise, and not enough sleep, stress and worry can rob you of your vitality and joy of travelling. It’s important to deal with stressful events as they come up. Try not to get agitated when stressful events happen, just take a couple of deep breaths and relax your shoulders. Then put the stressful event in perspective by giving yourself an affirmation such as “will this cause us to die?” or “is our whole trip ruined?” Most likely the event is not significant enough to cause you to have a bad day, damage your health, or diminish the enjoyment of your travel experience.
If you can, try to laugh about it. Sometimes unexpected events create the best stories when you get home. Be flexible and create an alternative option. Many times our alternative plan turned out to be better than the original plan.
Sun: Exposure to the sun can lead to unhealthy sunburn and heatstroke. Long-term exposure can accelerate skin ageing and cancer. It’s wise to use sunscreen every day and reapply after you’ve been swimming. It’s also wise to regularly wear polarised sunglasses and carry a hat and sunscreen in your daypack.
Wash your hands often: Good old soap and water can be a blessing to your health by making it harder on microorganisms that cause illness. In addition to washing your hands before meals and after using the toilet, try to wash them whenever you can such as on flights, when you get back to your hotel, and after touching things or handling anything like animals. Carrying and using a small bottle of hand sanitiser can also be beneficial.