In Travel

Frequent Travellers Share Their Best Wellness Tips For Travelling

Travelling is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life, but it does also have its downsides – particularly when it comes to your health. A disruption to your everyday routine, long hours in transit, and exposure to a new environment can take a toll on your body, often leaving you feeling unwell at extremely inopportune times.

Here, we’ve picked the brain of travel pros to find out exactly what they do in-transit and on the ground to ensure they stay at the top of their wellness game.

Be aware of hydration, alcohol, and aeroplane food on flights

Flying can take a lot out of you, but according to Ultimate Performance Sydney personal trainer Adam Wright watching these three things will make all the difference: hydration, aeroplane food and alcohol.

On hydration he says, “The air cabin humidity is significantly lower in a plane than our typical indoor environment, making dehydration a real issue. To combat this, aiming to drink approximately 250ml of fluid every hour will help offset any of the symptoms of dehydration.”

Alcohol-wise, he says, though it’s of course tempting to have a drink, doing so will only further dehydrate you. And, as for the aeroplane food, he suggests either packing your own meals, buying a healthier alternative at the airport like fish, chicken, salad or vegetables, or simply fasting for the duration of the flight if it’s less than four hours.

Plan ahead for flights

In general, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for a flight as it go a long way in helping you feel fresh and energised at the other end. In addition to bringing healthy meals or snacks like apples, protein balls, superfood bars or nuts, Kayla Robertson, host of wellness podcast All Being Well, recommends bringing two other things.

“Pack a stainless steel bottle so you can ask the staff to refill it with water – no need for thimbles of water in disposable plastic cups,” she says. “Also prepping essential oil rollers with your favourite oils help with the air quality.”

She also advises downloading meditations on your phone so you can unwind on the plane, and stretching to increase circulation.

Stay active

Though doing exercise is always important as it releases endorphins and clears the mind, it’s particularly true when traveling.

“One of the best things you can do when travelling is to run,” says Oli Sansom, a lecturer and photographer whose work this year alone has seen him travel to Europe, the US, Antarctica and Africa.

“It’s a great way to explore a new city in a meaningful way, acclimatise, and get the body working after a stressful period of being locked up in an aircraft,” he says.

Michael Puhle, an executive coach, the founder of Words With Oz and a frequent traveller, agrees running is a great way to stay active. He suggests doing it first thing in the morning after arriving to a new destination. “When no one is up and you have the streets to yourself not only do you get to know the layout of the city, but I believe you get to know the soul of the city. Spirituality and fitness all-in-one!”

Create a ‘travel survival kit’

Part of the difficulty of staying healthy while travelling is not having everything you normally have at home easily accessible on the road. For that reason, Karen Willis who runs active travel trips for small groups in Bali, suggests creating a ‘travel survival kit’ and committing to travelling with it.

“Make it a special travel kit that you reach for every time you pack,” she says. “Don’t use it at home or you will have to reassemble it every time you pack for a trip.

“In it pack your favourite workout outfit, shoes, water bottle, heart rate monitor, resistance band, skipping rope and a few workout routines written down – whatever works for you. Trying to jam it all into a carry-on, you might be tempted to take things out.”

Pack your own snacks

Food poisoning has plagued many the traveller, and not necessarily those visiting developing countries either – it can be an issue anywhere. To help both prevent and combat getting stomach bugs, Melissa Leong, TV and radio presenter, suggests packing your own snacks to have if needed.

“If you’re travelling to unfamiliar places, you should always eat the local food,” Leong says. “It’s the easiest way to experience a new culture. But keeping a few snacks on hand for when you’re in transit, or if your stomach is feeling a bit delicate, can really save you. I always keep a protein bar, a small pack of almonds, some jerky or dried fruit on hand for when you get caught out.”

Don’t totally forget your nutrition routine

Again on the food front, personal trainer and Hostelworld ambassador Ashley Freeman says it’s crucial when travelling to still maintain a diet similar to the one you practice at home.

“Dining at new restaurants and tasting new foods is one of the most ancitipated parts of any trip,” she says. “But as great as it is to relax on a regular eating regime, it’s still important to keep up your basic nutrition to ensure you feel 100 per cent on your trip.

“I always pack my protein powder, greens and personal supplements to ensure that I’m still hitting all my nutritional targets.”

Published 20 December, 2018