While traveling to an exciting place overseas like Italy can be an amazing adventure, it can also take its toll on your health. Long flights, drives, and drastic time changes can turn into painful or uncomfortable situations. Here are some of the best tips to keep you healthy when you take your next trip across the country.

GET YOUR ZZZ’S

Believe it or not, the majority of people will come down with sickness during travel from lack of sleep. You should know how many hours you need to get a decent night’s sleep and make sure you give yourself that time. It may seem like a sacrifice but it is necessary to keep yourself rested so you don’t catch a cold. If you’re traveling at odd hours or crossing over time zones, be sure to schedule yourself a break to relax in between trips so that you’re not wearing yourself out. Travel is rough on your body, so listen to it and make sure you rest when you need to.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER

Long flights will easily dehydrate you due to the elevation and dryness within the cabin, so make sure you are taking in plenty of fluids. Take supplements or even just some vitamin C to keep your immune system strong. Ask for water with no ice (so you have more liquid) and skip the food offered while on the airplane to avoid overspending before you get there (and taking in unnecessary calories). Keep a water bottle handy when you arrive at your destination, and drink as often as possible. If you’re on the move frequently, eat lightly and drink more. Your body will thank you.

PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS AHEAD OF TIME

Being as prepared as possible ahead of time to keep yourself organized on your trip can alleviate stress and anxiety over what is needed while in a foreign country. If you’re planning a trip to Rome, be sure your passport is handy and up-to-date or be sure to book a visa appointment at the Italian consulate to help keep your mind at ease before you travel so that you’re not worrying about what documents are needed while traveling. It can be nerve-wracking to get caught without ID or to be working overseas without your visa, so take some time before you go to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations within the country so you are not caught by surprise. One of the easiest ways to crash your immune system is stress – and international travel doesn’t have to be stressful if you’re prepared!

EAT/DRINK WITH YOUR HEALTH IN MIND

You’re going to be in a foreign country, and most likely you’ll want to indulge in the various foods and drinks that are available so that you can really experience all that the country has to offer. While visiting Italy, you might want to try all the fresh bread, plates of pasta and bowls of gelato that you can, but keep in mind that over-indulging can really affect your health. Of course, you want to have fun so it is okay to indulge, but just be mindful of when your body is not feeling great. Try to counteract certain foods you may be taking in more of, such as bread, pasta or sweets by adding in some more leafy greens and fruits as well to help keep your body regular. 

In the same token, taking in more alcoholic beverages or sugary, specialty drinks is common while traveling. So be sure just like with hydrating yourself you are drinking just as much (or more) water with those fruity, sugary or alcoholic drinks. Bring some powdered fiber to add to your water, or drink peppermint tea so you can avoid having stomach issues. Pace yourself and try not to overdo it when your body starts to feel full. 

EXERCISE OR DO SOME YOGA

If you have a regular workout routine at home that you do daily, do NOT skip it just because you’re on a vacation. Though it is tempting to sleep in and skip your normal morning jog or do your yoga salutations and stretches, keeping that routine is IMPORTANT for your body to adjust when traveling. You risk tight and sore muscles if you don’t move. You can even change it up a bit from your regular workouts if you’d like. Maybe you can rent a bike, or do an early morning hike to a landmark that you would like to visit, so you can mix in workouts with your sightseeing. 

KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN

During your travels, you will be touching and coming into contact with many foreign objects like door handles, people, and things that can breed a lot of germs. Keeping clean may seem like common sense, but you would be amazed at how easy it can be to forget to do something as simple as washing your hands consistently while on a trip. An easy way to make sure you’re staying germ-free is to pack yourself some wet naps and hand sanitizer. This way if you’re somewhere and have no access to a bathroom or a sink to wash your hands, you have an easy alternative with you to stay clean and healthy.

PRACTICE SELF-CARE

It is important to remember to listen to your body. You want to enjoy yourself when you’re visiting another country, and you should embrace the trip as a relaxing getaway. Self-care may look different to different people, depending on what helps you to relax and enjoy yourself. For some, visiting the spa and getting a facial or a massage may be a way to fully debunk. Others may like to take some time to meditate, or maybe just take a long walk and breathe in lots of fresh air. No matter what it is, be sure you identify what is going to help you best to take care of yourself on your travels. 

Staying healthy while you travel overseas is no easy task, so be sure you take some precautions. Acknowledge the fact that you will most likely act or do things indulgently that you might not normally do, but have a plan in place to combat the effects on your health or your body so that you don’t end up sick or in pain. Your health is important and needs to be a high priority, so you can truly enjoy your European adventure. 

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