April 7, 2014

How to stay healthy when you travel

Staying healthy while travelling isn't always the easiest thing to do. In honour of World Health Day, here are some general Sure Travel tips to make sure you stay fighting fit when away from home...

- Up your intake of fruit and veg, stock your hotel fridge with healthy snacks, allow yourself treats (food is such an important part of travelling after all!) but avoid "over treating" yourself and try pick the nutritious options from the menu.

- Try to balance your treats with some of the healthier options. Too much greasy, sugary or floury foods may well sap your energy - exactly what you don't want when on holiday or travelling for business.

- Limit fizzy drinks, alcohol, caffeine and salty snacks - these dehydrate your system just like the air on a plane.

- Ask the hotel concierge, or tour leader if you’re on an organised tour, where the locals eat.  Not only are these options often more affordable and nutritious, it also gives you the chance to really live like a local.

- Ensure you are well aware of the specific health requirements (eg; yellow fever, malaria) for the country you are visiting well before your departure date. Some vaccinations and medicines need to be taken a few weeks before and can only be administered by a travel health clinic. 

- If travelling to rural areas in Africa, take water purification tablets. Check with your Sure Travel consultant what is recommended for travel to the particular country. 

- Ensuring you have adequate travel insurance (covering the worst possible case scenarios) is the most important thing to take care of before travelling. If you break an ankle or are seriously sick when travelling, that peace of mind knowing that you are protected is worth every cent, and may even save your life.

- Pack a well-stocked medicine kit – be prepared for most common ailments. Trying to find over-the-counter medication in a foreign, non-English speaking country when you’re coming down with a cold or stomach bug is no fun at all.

- Up your immune boosters and multi vitamins a few days before leaving and continue taking them when travelling. Planes, particularly, are a breeding ground for germs so pack a few disinfectant wet wipes to clean your hands, wipe down your tray table, etc.

- One of the best things about travelling? Kilometres of city and beach to explore! Not only is walking often the best way to explore, it also helps keep you fit. If you’re a runner, ask your hotel’s reception desk where the locals run. You could discover a fantastic city park and a whole new neighbourhood. Take advantage of the hotel’s facilities or the natural surroundings to keep your body active. 

- Move as much as possible on the plane – do the leg exercises recommended in the airline’s magazine and walk around as much as you can to protect yourself from DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).

- Pack your medication, toiletry essentials, comfortable clothing and footwear, good moisturizer, eye drops, eye mask, ear plugs and whatever you need to make yourself as comfortable as possible on the plane – whatever will help you relax and increase the chances of you falling asleep.

- To minimise jet lag, try eat a high protein breakfast, avoid alcohol and aim to drink at least 200ml of water every hour. When arriving at your destination, only go to bed at your usual bedtime in the new time zone (no matter how tempted you are to sneak in a nap). Going for a walk in the fresh air instead is a great way of getting a little energy boost.

- A sneaky tip from a regular Sure traveller: avoid taking sleeping tablets as they will make you feel groggy and “out of it” on arrival. Take an anti-nausea air sickness tablet instead. It will make you feel drowsy and sleep on the plane but without any of the side effects on landing and waking up.

Do you have any tips to keep healthy when travelling? Comment and let us know.


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