By Riley Corboy
Whether you’re studying abroad or just taking a long-awaited trip, there are some unique challenges that come with long-term travel. Staying healthy is a big one. When you’re being swept away in an exciting, foreign land it can be easy to ignore your body’s needs, but this will inevitably lead to a crash. Instead, try out these tips to find balance between non-stop exploring and taking care of yourself:
1.) Stay hydrated. If you take away anything from this article, let it be this. Buy a reusable water bottle (or bring one from home) and never let it get empty. Depending on where you’re traveling to many countries have excellent tap water, allowing you to top up your bottle straight from the tap. Dehydration has a lot of nasty side effects that will get in the way of your fun, so make it a non-issue by keeping the water flowing.
2.) Be mindful of sharing. Yes, sampling other people’s foods and drinks can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re in a land with brand new cuisine. However, this can be the fastest way to catch a cold because you’re coming into direct contact with another person’s germs (gross but true). No one wants to be the miser that says no when someone asks for a taste, so try cutting off a bite for others instead of letting them eat directly from your meal.
3.) Stay active. This can be easy if you’re getting out and about on the regular; you might even find yourself walking ten miles a day without even trying! If you’re stationed somewhere for a long time, though, it can be easy to slip back into sedentary routines. Fight against this by setting a walking goal for yourself, joining an athletic club, or signing up for workout classes. You’re likely going to eat out more than usual, which goes hand-in-hand with eating less healthily, so keep yourself moving.
4.) Sneak in some veggies. I am the last person to tell you to deprive yourself of trying new food while traveling, even if all that food is deep-fried or covered in cheese. Go carb crazy if that’s what your heart is telling you! But, in the midst of your baguette binge-fest, try to find ways to sneak in some veggies. Whether that’s ordering the spicy zucchini as a side at dinner instead of fries or adding some spinach to your morning eggs, find ways to give your body the nutrients it craves.
5.) SLEEP. Please, whatever you do, aim to get a minimum of six hours of sleep every night. This might not sound like a lot now, but when you’re traveling you will hear everyone and their mother telling you to just “Sleep when you’re home.” Don’t listen! Even a week of getting consistently little sleep is enough to seriously compromise your immune system. Do a favor to your future self and make sleep a priority. Sure, dancing at that European club until 6:00 am is fun, but if you have class at 9:00 am or other obligations the next day you will be wrecked. Everything in moderation, kiddos.
Featured image is from Smart Shop.