Healthy summer travel trips
Summer vacations are a great way to take a break from the daily grind. Whether you’re visiting a new city, or relaxing at the beach, it’s important to stay healthy so you can enjoy every minute of your well-earned holiday.
Amy Ledvina, NP, a family medicine provider at Duke Primary Care Meadowmont in Chapel Hill, makes it easy for you maximize your vacation fun, and minimize the likelihood you or your family will hit an unhealthy roadblock. Here are the healthy travel rules she never leaves home without.
- Hydrate. Skip alcohol, caffeine and soda and drink plenty of water. Bring a refillable water bottle that you can fill up at the airport, in restaurants, and at your hotel. No matter where you travel, you’re likely to experience hot weather that’s either drier or more humid than you’re used to. Staying hydrated will keep your body cool.
- Stay active. Exercise will boost your energy and mood while traveling. It will also counter balance some of those heavy restaurant meals you’re likely to eat while away from home.
- Move every hour. Whether you’re stuck in a car, on a flight, or even a lounge chair at the beach, a two-minute walk, once every two hours, will get your blood circulating and prevent serious blood clots from forming.
- Plan ahead if traveling overseas. Visit a travel clinic or your primary care provider to see if any immunizations are needed to keep you healthy and safe at your destination. The CDC is a good resource for international travelers.
- Load up on healthy snacks. Airport food is expensive, and typically not very healthy. The same can be said for those drive-by fast food chains that dot highways. Pack granola bars, baked snacks, trail mix, fruit and sandwiches so you can get to your destination without being sidetracked by junk along the way.
- Know your limits. It’s okay to be adventurous, but do your homework first. If you are trying a new activity, make sure the operator has a good record, and that you are prepared for what’s in store. If you’ve never hiked a mountain before, you may want to start with a small hill first.
- Pack a first aid kit. In addition to bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, and insect repellent, you’ll want to pack tweezers, over the counter anti-diarrheal medicine, laxatives, and anti-motion sickness medicine, if you need it. If you are bringing prescription medications, check how they should be stored.
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