Tips for healthy travel

Summer holidays can often mean long journeys to see family and friends. Whether you’re going by road, rail or air, following these few simple tips will help to ensure you stay healthy during your trip.

Before you go
Just as you give your car the once over before a long journey, do the same for your body. Visit your GP, dentist and optometrist to make sure everything is as it should be.

Take a spare pair of glasses, details of your medication and a small medical kit to cover minor emergencies.

Pack as light as you can, but make sure you have clothes which suit the climate and use a case or bag on wheels to avoid excess strain on your back.

Get the right insurance cover and if you have an existing medical condition, it may be worth paying a little more to ensure this is covered under your policy.

Find out how to keep your luggage to a minimum

On the move
Even short journeys can take their toll on your health, but if you’re travelling a long way, it’s worthwhile taking a few precautions. Sitting still for a long period of time can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), especially if you have other contributory factors such as heart disease and obesity. If you’re unable to get up and move about every hour or so, make sure you do some simple stretching exercise to keep your circulation working.

Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, this will also mean you have to stop, or go to the toilet more often, but it will also mean you’re moving around more. YOURLifeChoices FunOnTheGo App has a handy toilet map so you’re never caught short

Wear loose clothing and dress in layers so you can remove or add them depending on the temperature.

Don’t smoke while you’re travelling; this will also make things more comfortable for your fellow travellers.

Consult your doctor about taking aspirin or wearing compression stockings if you’re in any way concerned.

Find out more about DVT and which exercises can help your circulation at 

On arrival
It doesn’t matter if you’ve travelled to the other side of the world, or the next town along the road, your body needs time to adjust to the change of pace, climate, or time zone.

Put aside the excitement of being somewhere new and take the time to have a shower, refresh yourself and relax. Use this time to read up on the area you’re visiting and plan what you would like to do while you’re there.

If you’ve changed time zones try to sleep and eat at the appropriate local time, even though your body clock may be telling you to do otherwise.

If you’re due a medical exam while you’re away then call and book that as soon as you arrive, if you haven’t done so before leaving. This will not only put your mind at ease, it will also help you plan your time better.

Find out how to beat jet lag

Written by Debbie McTaggart