Tips for staying healthy while travelling

Travel Forums General Talk Tips for staying healthy while travelling

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1. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 865 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

I'm about to embark on my next trip and last year unfortunately part of my travels got hampered with illness so I thought I would solicite some tips on what people here do to try to stay healthy whilst travelling. I'm looking at more general tips but if you have some great country specific tips add it on as others who click on the this thread might find it of use .

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 410 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Probiotics (for a spell before hitting the road) for gut health which can pave the way for general well-being.

Exercise, which is good for circulation, which is crucial for different systems to work the way they should. I sleep better when I get regular exercise (even just walking a lot - easy to do when we travel) and sleeping well is crucial to feeling good.

A lot of water, for many reasons.

Avoiding MSG whenever possible, as well as other food components I would not keep in the larder, or readily be able to buy on my own (E ingredients, chemicals, preservatives, colorings, emulsifiers). This seems a bit tough when one travels, but wholesome food is really easy enough to spot. MSG is, I find, the toughest thing to avoid - it is in too many things, even seemingly wholesome looking, freshly prepared dishes. It just sucks the life out of me.

All very general things we should be doing and looking out for anyway. Somehow, I still always manage to get sick with fever, sketchy stomach and body aches lasting 3 days, about twice a year in my travels.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-May-2019, at 05:04 by road to roam ]

3. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1086 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

I use hand sanitiser obsessively in any country where hygiene standards may be dubious, avoid ice in drinks unless I'm sure the water used is safe, avoid salads and unpeeled fruit, and try to avoid buffets or if that's not possible, choose only cooked veg and rice. And of course I have all recommended jabs before travelling. I take prophylactics if travelling to a malaria zone and use insect repellent - although I think the bugs see through that scam and find me tasty even when wearing repellent!

4. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1450 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

My mother would take charcoal tablets for Montezuma's revenge. (This was before probiotics)

I try to get enough sleep and I try not to get over-tired just because it is only a LIITTTLLE bit farther to see this other thing. I wear a hat and try to stay out of the sun.

The main thing is to know your own limits - I don't do well in heat so I try not to book trips where there will be blistering heat. I have learned to say - No - I can't do that today. (And then to not agonize over the decision.)

[My husband and I walked to a hardware store in Freeport (Bahamas) and it was a lot farther and a lot hotter than I would have thought when we started. He wanted to walk back to our boat, and I said - You can carry me, or you can get a cab. He got a cab - which wasn't that expensive]

5. Posted by JonathanMetcalf (Inactive 5 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Hello, in order to open with you all, I think this is a great topic.
To stay healthy in your whole journey to need to be hydrated by drinking more water. This will avoid many of the common diseases.

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 410 posts) 41w 2 Star this if you like it!


You ask about country-specific tips for staying healthy. I know some people who swear by whatever folk remedy the locals partake in, be it some firewater or a tea made with herbs and such. Perhaps there is some benefit to those types of things to remain full of vigor....


In Shenyang, China it's bad for your health to talk about money (and all around bad luck in general) without a window being open. That may not be limited to Shenyang, though.

In Mexico, if you become suddenly frightened while drinking water you are looking down the long barrel of many sudden and life-long afflictions, from becoming a diabetic to passing on dropsy to your future offspring.

I know a Navajo man who was born legally blind. He claims it was because his parents got into a major disagreement during an eclipse - this was BEFORE his mother was even pregnant with him.

There are folks in Maine who will not eat shellfish (mostly oysters and clams, but no Mainer would EVER skip eating scallops) in months that end with (or begin with?) certain letters - same goes with pork in many countries.

I bet these examples are not what you had in mind for this thread, but this made think of all the local beliefs, cure-alls and customs we learn about on our travels.

Hopefully someone else will share what they've learned on their travels? Effective or not.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-May-2019, at 15:32 by road to roam ]

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

I think it rather depends where you're travelling to.
In India I take hand sanitiser and wipes and use them regularly (touching something like money and then touching your mouth is a risky business there) and in many other countries, especially with hot climates.
Getting enough rest (even if only lazing around for the odd day to recharge the batteries) and being properly hydrated in hot climates is very important.
Obviously bottled water only (unbroken seal) in certain countries but not every country (as you know most of Europe is fine).
Food is a difficult one for me to talk about as I've a strong stomach but pro-biotics and/or a first meal there including yoghurt is a good precaution. Similarly being careful about what and where you eat does depend on where you are. Personally I've never had the slightest problem eating off food stalls in S.E.Asia, but I'd be exceptionally wary of doing the same in India (although I have done and been OK).
As for exercise, I try to avoid it, but I also tend to walk a lot (like a real lot!) when travelling,..

IMO the usual problem is people cramming in too much, exhausting themselves (especially when dehydrated), or too much boozing and therefore becoming more susceptible to picking up a cold etc, particularly when travelling by plane/train/bus and popping in and out of over-aircon cooled hotels/shops etc.

But I don't think I've told you anything you didn't know already.... ;)

PS I do usually take a small bottle of multivitamin with iron pills with me, but I've no idea if they help or not.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-May-2019, at 17:29 by Andrew Mack ]

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1450 posts) 41w 1 Star this if you like it!

Originally in the northern hemisphere, it was not to eat oysters unless the month had an R in it. So mostly the fall-winter - September to April. In the old days this was because of 3 reasons - lack of refrigeration, oysters spawn in the summer and the presence of toxins in the warm waters. Now with farmed oysters and better refrigeration it is not so important.

10. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 410 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Months with "R" in them - that's it! Thanks for clearing that up!

[ Edit: Edited on 07-May-2019, at 18:25 by road to roam ]