People travel for two main reasons — for vacation and for business. And nowadays a lot of people also have to travel to get out of the way of hurricanes!
Whatever the reason for travel, it can seem that we come home feeling worse than when we left. And we get sick, or at least slightly ‘blah’ while we are traveling. Is this fair? Is it a conspiracy? Is there someone we can blame for it? Sure there is — ourselves!
While the human body is not meant to remain stationary 24/7, it is also not naturally prepared for traveling thousands of miles in a matter of hours. If we could walk everywhere we needed or wanted to go, then there’d really be no such thing as travel, and travel agents would all have to find a new line of work to walk to each day.
But since we do travel at amazing speeds for fantastic distances, let’s look at what can be done to make those trips healthier:
That’s Spanish for “stress.” And when you’re in a foreign country trying to speak a foreign language there can certainly be ‘muy estresante.’ People tend to stress about so many things when it comes to travel — what clothes to wear; what to pack; where to stay; the price of transportation; will the food be any good; what if there’s an earthquake; should I get my hair done before I go; can I get my prescriptions filled; will my house burn down while I’m gone? You get the picture. Stress lowers our immunity and deprives us of needed sleep. If not careful, a traveler can have a nervous breakdown BEFORE starting to travel. So learn some breathing/relaxing exercises before your next trip. When things seem about to overwhelm you, just breath and pretend to hear temple bells jingling in Mandalay.
The germs are new
They are all the same kind we deal with at home, but they are a different strain — maybe a strain your body can’t fight off right away. Elliott Greenberg, founder of plumbing and sanitation supply company TouchFreeConcepts advises, “So be extra careful to wash your hands and attend to all cuts and scrapes immediately — don’t give those slightly different microbes a chance to infiltrate and make your vacation miserable. And it goes without saying — keep up with your booster shots and check with your doctor about necessary vaccinations prior to your trip.
How dry I am
Low humidity on long airplane flights causes the nasal cavities to dry out, allowing all sorts of dust and pollen and microbes freer entry into your sinus, and thus into your body. A touch of Vaseline rubbed around your nostrils will help moisturize your nasal cavity.
Unless you’re Bill Gates, you don’t have your own private jet. You’ll be using some sort of public transport, whether plane, train, or ship. Even your own car is often brimming over with the microscopic leavings of family and friend who have driven along with you from time to time. Keep some Handi-Wipes with you, or a small bottle of hand disinfectant. If you’re on a plane where a suspicious number of people are coughing and hacking, don’t be embarrassed to put on a face mask.
Listen to your body; when it’s telling you it’s tired, then find a dark, quiet place, or pull on a sleep mask, to catch a few z’s. Even a twenty minute nap in the middle of the day can keep you from catching a cold or getting a migraine.