How to stay healthy when travelling

So you are getting out and exploring the world! That’s great and I am quite envious of you. However, my jealousy aside, just because you’re no longer near your home, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch a healthy lifestyle. Actually, it opens the world of health up even more to you, as you will get to experience what other cultures view as healthy – even if you are just going from Manchester to Cornwall. Here are some easy tricks that will keep you healthy whilst you’re on the road. So now you have no excuse.

Have one healthy meal a day

When you are relaxing and away from all your commitments at home it is perfectly fine to indulge, but too much of anything isn’t fun. So you need to strike up a balance and the best way to do this is by choosing at least one healthy meal a day. Instead of diving into that full English you were planning on ingesting in the hotel restaurant, choose a healthy fruit option or porridge. Even better, ditch the hotel breakfast and explore what the surrounding town or city has to offer. There should be a healthy option somewhere. You may get lost but that is all part of the fun. Also by exploring the city you will get in a good morning workout without really trying.

Another good trick to get into the habit of doing is carrying snacks around with you. When you get off the aeroplane and reach your hotel, go to a local supermarket or grocery store and seek out some health snacks that can fuel you throughout your long days of relaxing. Hopefully, you should save some money by doing this as it should stop you spending at whatever café or fast food place you pass.

A water bottle to stay hydrated

Now this is a very simple trick but it should keep you hydrated and cool if you are in the sun. When visiting a new place you may forget to keep yourself hydrated because you’re exploring (or relaxing), time may get away from you and leave you thirsty and dehydrated by the end of the day. This is why I advise you get a water bottle - it doesn’t have to be anything fancy just small enough to go in your bag or carry easily. Don’t get one that is too large as you will soon get tired of hauling it around with you.

Fill it up in the morning or at night and, if your hotel has a mini bar, put the water bottle in there to keep it cool. Then whenever you head out, grab it and try to keep sipping on it throughout the day. If you feel too hot you can also use it as an ice pack.

Learn the local word for pharmacy and hospital

This tip is more focused on medical health issues and should be something you research before you even step on the plane, although this only applies if you are going outside of your country. Always look up the local word for “pharmacy” and “hospital”. This could be helpful for just getting a simple plaster or some painkillers, all the way up to helping you if you need medical attention. With regards to this point you should also learn the local emergency number, and the three words for “police”, “ambulance” and “firefighters“. This could actually save your life at some point, so it is always helpful to know.

If you do suffer from a recurring illness also learn the word for that and any drugs you know you may need. Of cause if you do have daily medication you should stock up before going away.

You don’t even have to learn how to say it if you don’t want to - just grab a piece of paper and write the English word and then the local word for it. Make two copies and put one in your purse and leave the other in your accommodation or suitcase.

Bike it if you can

If you’re visiting a large major city you will most likely see an increase in bikes; you may even see “pay as you ride” bikes. Take advantage of these and get in some exercise while travelling to your destination. You may go a route the bus or taxi wouldn’t have and find a beautiful café or spot which might become a great memory. However, only do this if you feel comfortable in doing so.

Go somewhere strange, not familiar

At some point during your holiday, you may feel a gravitational pull towards Starbucks or the big yellow “M” of McDonald’s. They will find you and they will tempt you. But if possible try out a local café. For one, you will get more involved in the culture. But it is also more likely to be healthier and offer less processed food. This is not a given, but if they are a local café they will more often than not offer fresher produce and more variety then the nearest fast food menu, so you can have something healthy that isn’t just the McDonald’s fruit bags.

If you can, walk don’t drive

As with the point I made about bikes, try to choose a more active mode of transport than simply getting a car or bus. Obviously, if you want to head out to a nearby town or go sightseeing you should be driven there. But if you have got to know your surroundings and feel safe walking then do so as this will keep you active whilst you enjoy the scenery.

Be sexually healthy

This tip is all to do with sexual health because on any holiday there is a possibility that you will have sex. However, just because you’re out of England doesn’t mean you should forget the basics of protected sex. Whether you are a girl or guy, take some form of contraception and protection. Simply saying you “forgot it back in England” doesn’t go down well with most people. So either pack it or buy it at the pharmacy. You don’t want to be caught out because you weren’t prepared.