The holidays are such a fun time of year for travel, visiting with family and friends, and experiencing some winter fun. But as our schedules fill up, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves and end up feeling run down. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So get a head start on a healthy new year with these three tips for staying well while traveling during the holiday season.
Remember To Hydrate
This is a tip that I give travelers year-round, but it is especially important during the colder winter months as we tend to forget to drink enough water. Staying hydrated not only helps combat the feeling of jet lag, but it also keeps us feeling energized.
One thing I like to do during the winter months is pack a few of my favorite herbal teas to take with me wherever I go. Airplanes are notorious for dry cabin air, so the steam from a cup of hot tea helps me breathe easier and also keeps my hands warm.
Another bonus to drinking hot tea is that you can enjoy the wonderful flavors of the season, like chocolate peppermint tea or pumpkin chai, without the added sugar of other holiday beverages (save those calories for your favorite dessert instead!).
Another way to make staying hydrated fun is to treat yourself to a fun or fancy insulated water bottle so you’ll remember to pack it and enjoy taking it with you wherever you go.
Make a Travel Medicine Kit
Unfortunately, the holiday season is also cold and flu season. And you’re especially vulnerable while traveling since there’s a bigger potential for exposure to viruses when you’re trekking through crowded places like airports and malls.
I like to combat cold and flu season by creating a homemade travel medicine kit. The kit contains not only basic first aids such as bandages and ibuprofen, but also allergy medicine and my go-to cold remedies. It doesn’t take up much room in your luggage and it’s such a time saver if you or a family member comes down with a cold while traveling. Having your preferred over-the-counter medications with you provides some comfort, saves you from having to find a pharmacy, and allows you to start treating the cold as soon as you first feel the symptoms.
To help prevent catching a cold, try not to touch your face while traveling as this is how germs and viruses spread. Also, boost your immune system by taking Vitamin C and Zinc (such as EmergenC and Zicam). I also pack anti-bacterial wipes for wiping down my plane seat and tray table or to use as a quick hand-wash while on-the-go.
Simplify Your Exercise Routine
With busy travel schedules, exercise seems to be the first thing that is cut out of our routines. But you don’t need a lot of time to keep up this healthy habit while traveling during the holidays. When I’m crunched for time, I love to use the Seven Minute Workout app. It offers free, daily interval training routines you can do from your hotel room – and they really only take seven minutes each. If you question the results of a workout that short, think again. I run on a regular basis and have trained for marathons — and this seven-minute wonder made my legs feel as if I had spent an hour at the gym. Not painfully sore, but definitely like I had done some strength training.
If you prefer a more traditional aerobic routine, there are also dozens of effective 30-minute workout programs you can stream on your laptop or tablet through Amazon and Beachbody, eliminating the need to find a gym. There’s also nothing like going for long walk in a new city, especially with all the holiday lights and decorations on display.
Following these three simple travel tips — remembering to stay hydrated, packing medicine, and simplifying your workout routine to fit your travel schedule — will help you have the energy to enjoy a healthy holiday travel season as well as get a head start on your new year’s resolutions.