Traveling is one of the best ways of getting out, meeting different people, and experiencing different cultures. However, it’s essential to stay healthy, eat well and maintain an active lifestyle while you’re doing so.  

When we travel, it’s normal to want to kick back, relax, and have fun, but that doesn’t mean we should completely ignore our health and wellbeing. Maintaining your health while you’re on holiday is going to help enrich the vacation experience.

Not only that, but if you drop all of your regular exercise and eating habits while you’re away, it can be tough to get back into them again when you return home.

Ensure You Eat Well

Young man standing at a fully laden, wooden buffet table, choosing between salads, fish, and cookies

Eating well and observing a balanced diet is one of the critical pieces of a healthier lifestyle, whether you are at home or on holiday. However, it can be especially important when you are traveling.

A combination of different foodstuffs, plus the possibility of less rest, a shift in time zones, and more alcohol can make you feel run down and less likely to enjoy your time away. It can also make you more susceptible to illness.

The solution?

Look for ways to consume healthier foods where you can.

    • If there’s a buffet where you’re staying, and you can’t bring yourself to go full-on salad, be sure to at least throw some veggies onto your plate. 
    • Find places that serve healthier foods. Many restaurants will have healthy option menus, or at least items on their menus that are marked as low-fat, low-sodium, sugar-free, or similar. 
    • Choose fresh, local, less processed food as often as possible, both your wallet and your health will thank you.

While you don’t need to be incredibly strict at every meal, choosing some healthier items will at least help to balance out any other less-healthy choices you make.

Look for Ways to Exercise

Four young people with backpacks, in front of a scenic view, high-fiving at the end of a hike

When you arrive at your destination, scope out places where you can build exercise into your trip. These can be local spots for walking, jogging, or running, or maybe a community resource such as a yoga studio or gym. 

If you are staying at a hotel with a gym, don’t assume they will have all of the equipment you want or are used to using. Plan ahead and look for more simple exercises you can try out, like these 10 tricep exercises published by Steel, as well as enjoying your regular workout session.

Also, don’t count on having access to a swimming pool as your opportunity to exercise while on vacation. Unless you get up early, many pools are crowded, making it difficult to do simple laps.  

Drink Plenty of Water

Young woman with beautiful black and white braids, sitting, sipping a glass of water while she smiles off into the distance.

Drinking plenty of water is especially important if you are holidaying somewhere with a warmer climate. You may need to ensure you’re drinking more than usual or more than you think you need.

This becomes especially important if you are spending time in the sun, particularly when you are doing things such as sightseeing, hiking, or other outdoor activities. And of course, if you are going to be drinking alcohol, the effects of the sun and your exercise will be amplified.

Don’t Throw Out Your Rhythms

Yawning young man holding a coffee, standing next to a desk where a tired-looking young woman is sitting, resting her head on her hand.

If you travel across several time zones, consider adjusting your sleeping and waking schedule a little before your holiday, if you can. This will minimize the impact of jet lag on the first few days of your trip.

Also, avoid staying up extra late or all through the night if that’s something you don’t usually do. The sudden disruption to your rhythms, especially if they are in combination with other changes to your eating, drinking, waking, and sleeping routines, can result in excess stresses on your body, particularly your immune system.

This may not make you sick while on holiday, but it can make you more susceptible to illness either on holiday or when you return.