Taking a vacation is good for your health. It provides a necessary break from the stress of everyday life and allows you to enjoy a much-needed change of scenery. Vacations reduce stress, boost your energy levels and make you happier overall. So, if taking a vacation is so good for you, why do you get sick once you return home?
If you travel somewhere with a different climate or time zone, it can be hard for your body to adapt to these drastic changes. The temperature change can throw off your body’s immune system response. Instead of working to fend off a virus, your body is readjusting to the temperature. That allows for colds to creep in that your body would normally fight off. Time zones can affect you in a similar way. You may suffer jet lag when the time change is significant, making you feel run down. Your body’s clock is not synced to the new time and makes it difficult to have normal sleep. As a result, you are more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses.
From airplanes to hotel rooms, traveling exposes you to new germs and bacteria that your body isn’t ready to defend. Your body is working overtime to overcome these germs, which can weaken your immune system. Pair that with the exhaustion of traveling, and sickness is almost inevitable.
Traveling could also change your medication routine. You are more likely to skip regular doses or take medicines at a different time of day. Talk to your doctor before you travel if you’ll be in a different time zone, as this may affect when you need to take certain medications. Always travel with your medication and don’t skip doses just because you are on vacation!
In short, changing your routine and being in new surroundings can make you more likely to get sick. Follow these tips to feel your best during and after your next trip.
4 Tips to Stay Healthy During Your Trip
Get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to recharge, which is important for fighting off viruses. Make sure you get enough sleep during and after your vacation. Consider taking a power nap if you have a full day of activities scheduled and always try to get around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Stay hydrated. Long hours of traveling and sightseeing can leave you thirsty. Make sure you’re drinking enough water especially if you’re traveling to a warm destination. Be wary of drinking tap water or untreated water in some places. Alcohol can dehydrate you. Drink one glass of water with every alcoholic beverage you have.
Wash your hands. Especially if you use public transport and public restrooms. Always wash your hands before eating and try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Staying clean can reduce your exposure to germs and bacteria. Travel with hand sanitizer or wet wipes.
Don’t over plan. Going on a trip shouldn’t feel like work. If you schedule too many activities, you may feel rushed and stressed about sticking to an itinerary. Stress has a negative impact on your health. Give yourself some downtime, after all, you should rest and relax on your time off.