There are a lot of articles and books about how to plan for a trip. The best places to stay, the cheapest deals, the “must see” spots. There are blogs on how to pack a month’s worth of clothes into a carry-on, or how to take the best selfies with national monuments.
All of those are great and worthwhile, but I would argue that if you really want to enjoy your trip to the fullest, you need to stay well.
I want to share with you a blog on how to stay healthy and fit while traveling internationally.
Just recently, I spent over a month in Greece and Turkey. What a wonderful trip!
We left Chicago on September 30th and headed to Europe for the month.
We planned our trip in such a way that we would have leisure time to relax, but also dedicated time to really sightsee and experience these two beautiful countries.
Our Greece trip officially started on October 3rd. We arrived in Athens on the evening of September 30th. This extra time before the official start gave us a chance to relax and also time to get adjusted to the 8 hour time difference.
During this time, we caught up on our sleep, and went to a couple of Indian restaurants in Greece. One was Dosa House and the other was Indian Haveli. We used both cabs to ride places, as well as took plenty of walks, strolling around Athens at our leisure.
One of the major challenges for me and my wife when traveling abroad is that we are vegetarians. We do not eat any meat, eggs, fish, or chicken. My wife also does not eat cheese.
We traveled with a Gate1 Tour based out of the USA to Greece, and they took wonderful care of us.
Our guide Jenny was outstanding, and a very skilled tour guide for the last 15 years, and was very accommodating.
During our travels, some of the people had various health challenges and felt tired, got headaches, experienced aches and even had some coughing. Others had nausea and vomiting. Fortunately for me, I had no issues. I attribute this to the guidelines I follow when I travel.
Let me guide you how you can maintain good health and energy during travel so that you can stay healthy and well!
- The Number One Reason I didn’t get sick? I listen to my body and I eat very little. Sometimes I would skip Breakfast, Lunch or dinner depending on my energy level. As soon as I feel a little sluggish or lazy or tired, I will cut down my food and drink to include just lots of water or natural juice or make sure I am only eating a diet of WFPB (Whole food Plant based) which is rich in water, Fibers and macro and micro nutrients. If my body is fighting fatigue and jet lag, I don’t make it fight harder by loading it down with a lot of food. I keep it light so my body can devote its energy to healing anything going in the body.
- Focus on fruits and veggies
Again, don’t load your body with carbs, sugars, and fake foods that take extra time to digest, and literally load your body down, while also causing extra inflammation. I would eat lots of fruits and salads with fresh vegetables. I did not eat fried fatty food and sweet cookies, pastry, ice creams, or desserts loaded with sugar.
- Let your bowels regulate.
When people travel, they often suffer from diarrhea or constipation. Why? They are not getting the sleep they need, they are often eating new foods or extra fattening foods, and they are often dehydrated.
To avoid suffering from this, I did a 1-2 day fast where I didn’t eat anything but juice and water. This helped me to stay healthy, regular in my bowel movements, and not stuffed or constipated.
- Plan for sleep
I planned my travel in a way that would give me two days before I started my official trip to really get used to the new time zone difference. I was able to catch up on my energy level and sleep. So many people do not budge for this, and fall out of the airplane ready to zip around the city. While that may be tempting, it’s really pushing your body to its limits, where you are more susceptible to injury, fatigue, or sickness.
When I landed on Oct 14th in Istanbul, Turkey, I was very tired and sluggish. I very much needed rest.
I skipped eating for a few days. Instead, I focused on drinking lots of water, juice ,and catching up on my sleep.
Come October 17, I was well rested and ready to go for 13 days of our tour, which included 7-8 different parts of Turkey, international flights, bus travel, hot air balloon rides, and lots of fun-filled activities.
For the rest of my trip, I made sure to eat only when I’m not tired and sluggish, to skip meals when I need to restore my energy levels, and to keep myself hydrated at all times.
If you can follow these travel habits, you, too, can have a healthy and happy vacation!