They’re coughing, they’re sneezing, and they’re hogging that darn armrest. That’s right folks; you have officially entered the twilight travel zone. Airplanes, or as I like to call them – germ tubes, are petri dishes infested with nasty germs waiting to ruin your holiday. Since we don’t get to pick our seatmates and travel masks don’t really go with that outfit, it’s important to arm yourself with the proper germ combatting tools. Couple that with new food, a different time zone, and a change in your sleep schedule, and it’s no wonder we fall sick when we travel. Whether you’re traveling for work, on a weekend getaway, or on a vacation, here are our top 10 ways – how to stay healthy while traveling. You won’t want to miss this!

1. Carry Sanitizing Wipes

1. Carry sanitizing wipes for seats: Break out the antibacterial wipes and rub that seat down! Crews don’t have time to clean between quick turnarounds so that means many people have sat in your seat, eaten off of your tray table, and sweat on that armrest many times before you. Take an antibacterial wipe and clean the armrests, tray tables, seatbelts, and remotes.

2. Wash / Sanitize Your Hands

2. Wash/Sanitize your hands: Between handling luggage, leaning on ticket counters, and touching tickets, our hands come in contact with lots of bacteria. One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to simply wash your hands! I keep a small hand sanitizer on a carabineer on my backpack so no matter where I am, I can sanitize.

3. Drink Bottled Water

This one is especially important when traveling abroad! Sure, you may be able to drink tap water at home in the States, but not all running water is safe abroad. To be safe, save your stomach and drink bottled water.

4. Pack Your Own Food

When traveling on a plane, it’s important to fuel our bodies with healthy food. New environments mean new bacteria, which can easily cause an upset stomach. Also, remember that if the water in the destination you are visiting is not safe, only eat cooked foods.

5. Wear Sunscreen

I know that you want to come back from Aruba with a killer tan, but a bad burn could ruin your whole trip, not to mention the days of peeling once you’ve returned home. Cover up with at least an SPF 30 and I promise you will still tan, plus you won’t look like a shedding chameleon when you return home.

6. Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important facets of our health, and most often one of the most overlooked. Aim to get at least 8 hours a night. In a sleep study conducted, people who averaged less than seven hours of sleep a night were three times more likely to develop cold symptoms.* Make sleep a priority, even on vacation.

7. Workout

Travel can mess with your internal body clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. Whenever I travel anywhere, I make sure to get at least a light run in no matter how tired I am because it has always helped my jet lag. A 1987 study showed that “people who become “jet lagged’ after long trips adjust more quickly to their new sleep-and-wake schedule if, upon arrival, they engage in outdoor activity such as walking or running.” Additionally, according to a recent survey by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “exercising vigorously for at least two and a half hours each week can reduce your chances of catching the flu.” So remember to lace up those running shoes on your next trip! 

8. Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito’s are not only a nuisance, but they can be downright dangerous. If you’re going to a warm client where mosquitos will be present, skip the perfume and instead, spritz yourself with some eau de mosquito repellent. Companies like ExOfficio also have bug repellent clothing.

9. Meditate

Meditation has been proved to reduce stress and increase the production of mood enhancing serotonin. I use the app Headspace to keep my mind and body in balance no matter where I am in the world.

10. Travel Insurance

Even if you take great care of yourself, mishaps unfortunately may occur. It’s important to be properly covered in the case of a more serious illness. Since many domestic insurance companies don’t cover sickness or injury abroad, travel insurance is pertinent. I recommend World Nomads.

What are your favorite ways to stay healthy while traveling? Comment below!