I travel a lot for work and – let me tell you – it can be pretty grueling. The stress, the sleep disruption, and the exposure to germs are enough to land even the healthiest person in bed upon their return. Here are five simple ways to stay on the top of your game while traveling.
Try to eat balanced meals, exercise as you normally would, and drink lots of water.
Wash Your Hands:
It’s pretty basic, but hand washing is the most powerful and effective way to stop the spread of germs. Warm water and soap is best, but hand sanitizer works in a pinch. Wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, after going through security, and regularly throughout your travels. Be sure to lather up past your wrists, between your fingers, and under your nails; the entire process should take at least thirty seconds. Once your hands are clean, open the bathroom door using a paper towel or your foot.
Disinfect Your Seat:
Your seat is ‘your zone’ on an airplane, so make it as clean as possible. Bring disinfecting wipes and clean the arm rests, tray table, and call buttons. You’ll be surprised – and horrified – at how dirty the wipe is after you’re done.
Clean Your Hotel Room:
Even the most expensive hotel rooms can be hotbeds for germs, fungus, and bed bugs. To stay healthy in your home-away-from-home, take a few extra precautions. Check the mattress and other furniture for signs of bed bugs (blood stains and dark spots, a musty smell, and egg shells or shed skin) and place your suitcase on the luggage rack, not the bed. Wear sandals in the room, bathroom, and shower. Use disinfecting wipes or a travel-sized bottle of Lysol spray to clean all surfaces, including the doorknob, light switches, and doorknob. Don’t drink from the glasses unless they’re wrapped in plastic. And pull the patterned quilt off the bed before jumping in – it’s rarely washed in between guests.
Sleep as Normal:
Whether a business or personal trip, it’s tempting to stay out all night, exploring the town and seeing the sights. But a lack of sleep affects your immune system’s ability to function properly, so try to catch a normal amount of ZZZs. When I have an early flight, I usually forgo the swanky hotel in the center of the city for the more boring (but much more convenient) one right next to the airport. It’s totally worth the extra half hour of sleep!
Follow Other Healthy Habits:
Try to eat balanced meals, exercise as you normally would, and drink lots of water. Your body and mind may be in a new place, but you’ll respond better if you maintain the status quo as much as possible. On longer trips, I opt for hotels with mini fridges or kitchenettes and stock up on healthy basics like whole fruit, baby carrots, and protein-packed Greek yogurt.