Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure this summer, it is important to have a plan to address potential travel stressors and minimize the affect on your physical and mental health. Long hours, long lines, unfamiliar places, limited nutritious food options, uncomfortable hotel beds, and packed schedules are among some of the items that increase our anxiety and make healthy travel tough to accomplish. The following are tips to help you avoid stress and maintain wellbeing while traveling:
- Plan ahead. Make sure you have healthy snack options, like granola, fruit, nuts, protein bars; avoid the temptation to turn to sugary snacks, candy and soda when your energy is low. If you are able to bring a small cooler, you will have additional healthy options. Save money by packing your own snacks before you leave!
- Don’t forget breakfast. Too many people skip or skimp on breakfast while traveling and suffer the consequences. A healthy breakfast promotes better concentration and productivity throughout the day.
- Stretch breaks. Sitting down for extended periods of time without a break is detrimental to your health. Aim to take a break at least once an hour to get up and stretch your body.
- Bring your walking shoes. Make a pair of walking shoes an essential in your suitcase every time you travel. Make it part of your travel to explore the area on foot or bike to get in exercise; if you are short on time, or uncomfortable with the area, head to the hotel gym.
- Don’t over do it; take breaks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 100,000 crashes each year are the result of drowsy drivers. Take plenty of breaks, and if you start getting drowsy, switch drivers or stop and take a nap.
- Sleep does the body good. Most adults need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Without adequate periods of rest for physical and mental repair, you may not be able to function at your peak.
- Come prepared to sleep well. Sleeping in hotel beds or unfamiliar places can cause sleep disturbances or body aches. Consider bringing your own pillow, sound machine, or eye mask.
- Maintenance check. Have your car thoroughly checked before you depart in order to ensure its top performance. In the case of an unexpected breakdown or accident, it is wise to have roadside assistance. Also make sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Pack tools. A basic car emergency kit should include: pen, paper, maps, first aid kit, flares, blanket, and a mini fire extinguisher. Carry a mobile phone that is fully charged. Make sure you have the tools needed for the unexpected flat tire or dead battery.
- Don’t text while driving; also don’t tinker with devices such as a cell phone or GPS— distracted driving is a leading factor in traffic accidents nationwide. Whenever someone takes their focus off the road— even for just a few seconds— they put their lives and the lives of others in danger.