According to recent estimates, the steady annual growth of the travel and tourism industry has resulted in a surge of the total number of international tourists from 528 million in 2005 to a whopping 1.2 billion in 2018. What’s more, Europe not only receives the most international tourist arrivals each year but also produces the most travelers. But we don’t need statistics to see what is obvious: traveling is no longer the novelty that it once was. Frequent travel has made it increasingly crucial for travelers to be able to adapt themselves according to the wayfaring lifestyle. Unfortunately, one of the first things to be affected by the stress of being on the go also happens to be a traveler’s most valuable asset- their health. A valid concern for the health conscious among us, who are dedicated to maintaining their healthy routine and wellness-oriented lifestyle, is that traveling will inevitably compromise their health. If you are a health-oriented traveler looking for ideas on how to stay in fine fettle as you embark on your trip, look no further. The following items are must-haves to help ensure that you remain in top form to get the most out of your travels.
1. Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizers
The importance of keeping an effective anti-bacterial hand sanitizer or packets of sanitizing wipes in your carry on baggage or purse cannot be emphasized enough. Whether you use it to disinfect the table you are using (airplane tray tables are notorious for harboring germs and bacteria), the in-room phone of your hotel room, or your own hands, you will not regret having a couple, or more, of these in your arsenal. Their ease of availability, convenient travel-friendly packaging, no need for water or plumbing and proven effectiveness in reducing microbial load are just a few reasons that these are becoming increasingly popular. These come in alcohol-based and alcohol-free formulations, with the former usually preferred over the latter. When water is in short supply, and you are unable to wash your hands before you chow down your next meal, sanitizing them can be the difference between comfortably continuing on your journey or falling victim to an upset stomach. Which brings us to our next item…
2. A first aid kit
Technically speaking, this isn’t a single item, but let us refer to it as such, since literally everything inside this kit is an undeniable trip essential. A traveler’s first aid kit should be equipped with the necessary over-the-counter medicines for headaches, flu, stomach issues, and allergies, along with bandages, alcohol swabs and antibiotic ointments. An epinephrine auto-injector, such as Epipen, for emergency treatment of anaphylaxis, is another essential addition, especially if one has a history of severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. Furthermore, daily supplements, probiotics, and vitamins can be tucked into it as well. It may feel like you are packing a mini-pharmacy, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are unsure about where to procure these or have any other medical queries, the health-care experts at Click Pharmacy are available round the clock for consultations germane to which medications are best kept handy during your trips.
3. Nutritious snacks
Every health conscious person, whether a frequent traveler or not, will swear that they never leave the house without their own snacks- be it protein bars or even a pre-made meal. This is even more pertinent when going to previously unvisited destinations or embarking on long trips, with either case making it difficult to be selective about what one eats. It’s very easy to fall off the wagon when in transit to a destination where healthy foods are in short supply. Most travelers who are vigilant about their health avoid this predicament altogether by making sure to pack various edibles that fit their nutritional requirements. This ensures that they are not compelled to eat what is served to them en route, which is more often than not on the lower end of the nutritional spectrum. Moreover, travelers who have certain dietary restrictions or allergies, such as vegans or those with a gluten allergy, would be well served by packing several snacks that meet their own requirements to ensure that they have can have a quick bite when necessary.
4. Lightweight exercise equipment
As the truly dedicated health nuts will tell you, traveling is no excuse to slack off, or perhaps even relapse, with regards to your fitness gains. While some hotels may provide yoga mats and or house a gym, you might not have access to these. In this case, throw in a pack of resistance bands of varying resistances and sizes to get a quick but effective workout in. These are immensely versatile and can be used for any exercise, from working your leg muscles in banded squats to strengthening your upper body through anchored bicep pulls. Packing a small jump rope is another good idea to incorporate cardio into your workout to get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing within the confines of your hotel room.
5. Sun protection
Your health-oriented armamentarium is incomplete without a quality sunscreen and a UV filtering pair of sunglasses. These need to be used in conjunction with each other (and therefore count as one item… right?) as each one serves a different function towards the same end: avoiding the detrimental effects of the excessive sunlight that travelers are often subjected to. Protecting them from harmful UV radiation keeps your skin looking young, and your eyes unstrained, while significantly reducing any risk of skin or eye cancer. So stay safe from the sun by popping on some cool shades and slathering your arms, face, feet and any other commonly exposed body part with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. For those with sensitive skin, there are many hypoallergenic sunscreens available with natural ingredients that will shield their skin without causing a reaction.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and indeed there will always be more things to pack because enough is never enough when it comes to choosing items for travel. Nevertheless, these are the top five things that any traveler concerned with maintaining their health should never go without. With these basic necessities, you will be well on your way to having a splendid trip without jeopardizing your commitment to fitness.