The last thing anyone wants during a vacation is to come down with a cold, the flu, or any other illness. It is easy to let your guard down while on vacation, but it is important to be mindful of these health conscious travel habits. Staying as healthy as possible on vacation will only give you more energy to explore and enjoy yourself!
If you come down with a virus or begin to feel run down, you won’t be able to enjoy your vacation to its fullest capacity, and that’s no fun! Continuing at least some of your healthy home routines on your trip will ensure you keep your body in tip-top shape for your adventures.
You may want to read our guide to self-care on an airplane, to give you a jump-start on healthy travel, even on the way to your destination.
The more of these tips you implement, the healthier you are bound to be during your vacation. Even if you just take a handful of these with you, your body will thank you in the long run! I know it isn’t easy, and you will just want to indulge the entire time, but try to be mindful that your body has needs too!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Sleep Sleep Sleep!
Sleeping is the number one tip for developing health conscious travel habits.
Traveling takes a big toll on your body. You are probably walking a lot, spending a lot of time in the sun, and drinking more alcohol than usual. You should do these things and enjoy yourself, however, it is important to be mindful that your body needs something in return, and that all comes down to sleep.
It is understandable that you might spend some late nights out, or have to wake up early to get somewhere. Do what you have to do, and enjoy yourself! Just make sure you give your body plenty of time to rest.
Sleep is especially important when dealing with jet lag during a vacation. Getting on a sleeping routine is the best way to fight jet lag, so make sure you quickly adapt to the new time zone.
If you have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms for any number of reasons, we have you covered! Check out our clever hotel hacks to improve your stay, for better sleeping!
Otherwise, don’t beat yourself up if you have a late-night out, or woke up early. Listen to your body, and rest as needed. Even a quick afternoon nap can be helpful!
Get Your Heart Rate Up!
I know, I know. The last thing most people want to do during a vacation is exercise. You might have spent 6 months prior to this trip exercising for the perfect beach body, and now you just want to relax. This is completely understandable!
Exercising on vacation does not mean you need to spend hours at the gym, or even continue your home workout, although this would be ideal.
Most hotels have fitness centers, so take advantage of this free perk! Even if you just spend 10-20 minutes before your morning shower walking on the treadmill, it is better than nothing. Don’t concern yourself with getting the best workout you’ve ever had, but instead focus on just getting your body up and moving.
Other options are to do some workouts in your own hotel room. Again, even 10-20 minutes is great! Working out in the morning is great for getting your body energized and awake for the day to come.
Throughout your vacation, you can also plan some activities that require you to move! Some possibilities are hiking, walking tours, swimming, snorkeling, or just walking around town. Keep these activities enjoyable, and something you will actually want to do.
This is probably among the most difficult health conscious travel habits. I won’t even try to tell you that you can’t indulge in food when on vacation. That just wouldn’t be fair, and I’d be lying if I said I did this!
Instead, just be mindful of what you are eating throughout the day. I find it helpful to start the day with a healthy breakfast and save any unhealthy meals or snacks later in the day.
Try to find healthy foods that your destination is known for. For example, have some juicy oranges in Florida, or have some delicious Greek yogurt in Santorini. This will help you engage in the culture of the destination and enjoy their food while staying healthy!
Additionally, choose water whenever you can to save on calories and keep hydrated.
When it comes to vacation, you are going to eat unhealthily, and that’s ok! Just try to remain mindful of your food intake, and remember to eat your fruits and vegetables!
Bring Healthy Snacks
Bringing healthy snacks with you on vacation is a great way to avoid splurging on unhealthy treats throughout the day. Sure, the occasional gelato or French fries is definitely ok! However, reaching for these foods whenever you get hungry is only going to make you sluggish in the end.
Take a trip to the local market, and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Keep these in your day bag, for a healthy treat! Additionally, if your hotel has a free breakfast buffet, take a couple of apples or bananas each morning to munch on throughout the day!
These snack containers are a great item to keep in your day bag to hold all your snacks. They have multiple sections to separate foods while keeping everything together in one place! These are also a great top carry on item for flying or road trips.
Here are some examples of snacks you could bring:
- Trail mix
- Protein bars
- Grapes, other fruits
- Pretzels, chips, popcorn
- Veggie straws
- Apple chips
There are so many possibilities. Bring snacks you enjoy, that will also satisfy your cravings when on vacation.
I cannot stress this one enough, and you already know you should be drinking more water. Hydration is SO important not just on vacation, but every day! Drinking water helps your skin stay youthful, regulates your body temperature, helps the body rid waste, and so much more!
On vacations, you are exposed to more walking, sunshine, alcohol, and salty foods, which all require you do rehydrate your body. Plus, the air on airplanes is very dry, so drinking water on a plane is important as well!
We suggest bringing your own collapsible water bottle, to carry with you throughout your travels. Many countries have public water fountains you can use. Make sure you take advantage of these and fill up whenever possible! If you are at a restaurant, fill up your bottle with the free tap water you are given. This is a great budget travel tip to save you hundreds!
If you are not a huge fan of water, consider an infuser water bottle. You can place fruits inside to give the water an extra taste, plus some added nutrients!
I get it- you want to come home with a nice tan from your holiday. A little sun is okay, but sunscreen is a must, even if you “don’t burn”. In reality, any tanning at all isn’t great for your skin.
We always keep mini bottles of sunscreen in our day bag, and remember to reapply every hour or two. I know it can get annoying, but no one likes getting burned!
For your face, I recommend Olay Whips, as it has SPF 25. That, along with whatever other makeup/primer you use on your face, should be a good base for protecting your skin, without messing up your makeup routine.
Another tip to protect your skin is to wear a hat. You can easily dress up a floppy beach hat or a baseball cap. Think of your poor scalp getting beaten down by the sun all day!
If you are going to the beach, be especially mindful of your skin, especially if going in the water. Read more about how to go to the beach in style!
Vacations are an exciting time and something you’ve looked forward to for a while now. When you first get there, you will want to run around looking at everything, doing everything, and going everywhere and anywhere! This is okay, but be mindful to pace yourself!
You don’t want to burn all your energy in the first couple of days. Having an itinerary will help with this, so you know what you are doing each day, so you hit all the things you want to do!
Make sure you schedule some breaks throughout your day. Often times, we head back to our hotel right before dinner, to relax and freshen up before going back out to dinner. Just having this extra hour really does wonders for your body, and gives you some downtime that you will desperately need after a day of exploring.
You can also find times to simply walk around a nearby park and get some fresh air, especially if visiting a big city. Have a seat on a park bench for 15 minutes and give your feet a break from walking. Maybe go to a coffee shop and sip a hot tea for a bit. You can even walk along the beach with your toes in the sand.
Scheduling some peaceful time is a great tip for developing health conscious travel habits, and will help you feel more relaxed.
Traveling can get very busy and hectic, so having time for peace will be especially important.
There are so many germs on vacation. From the plane to the hotel, to subways, to popular tourist attractions, they’re everywhere! An important tip for developing health conscious travel habits is to avoid these germs as much as possible.
Without sounding like a complete germaphobe, one simple tip you can do is carry hand sanitizer with you, or a package of Lysol wipes. If you cannot get to a bathroom to wash your hands, at least you have these items, better than nothing!
Throughout the day, avoid touching your face: your eyes, nose, and mouth are the main culprits of catching illnesses. If you have an itch or need to touch your face for whatever reason, use the back of your hand, as it has fewer germs.
We suggest using the bathroom whenever possible, mostly just to wash your hands, especially when visiting restaurants (also because they are not always free everywhere you travel!). Additionally, try to refrain from touching anything unnecessary, like subway poles, armrests, bus seats, etc.
While compression socks aren’t the most fashionable item out there, they are great for your legs and feet! They work by compression your feet and legs, which helps blood flow and faster muscle recovery.
Compression socks are worn frequently on airplanes which help with surviving long flights. I wear them on every flight, and my legs feel so much better afterward! People who work on their feet all day also often wear these, to help with fatigue. If you are planning to walk a lot on your vacation, you might find these to be helpful!
However, I know they are not very attractive, so if you do not want to wear them during the day, consider wearing them at night time! After a long day of walking in the hot sun, your legs will appreciate some love. Plus, they will help your muscles recover faster, so you won’t be as sore the next day!
Thank you for reading our post on health conscious travel habits. What tips do you suggest for staying healthy during vacations? What are we missing? Let us know in the comment section below- we would love to hear from you!