15 Ways to Stay Healthy While Travelling Alone
Solo travelling allows us to explore the world independently and learn so many new things in the process. Travelling from place to place without any commitment is one of the reasons why many people love to travel solo. The thrill and excitement involved are like none other! And to be very honest, solo travelling completely changed my life.
But sometimes, when we are constantly wandering, our health takes a backseat. After experiencing all the ups and downs in my solo travel journey, I have learnt a thing or a two about staying healthy while travelling alone. I firmly believe in maintaining a balance in life now. I try and keep my body, mind, and spirit in good condition whenever I am travelling. And I am writing this blog explaining the same.
1. Pack smart and light
How does packing smart and light help you stay healthy while travelling solo? Believe it or not, it can change your trip completely. Remember that you will be carrying your luggage wherever you go on your trip. And if it is heavy, get ready to experience sore muscles and backaches! But, if you pack smart and light, you can avoid these unwanted distractions from your travel. I don’t mean to say that you should not pack the essential items. Instead, try and pack only those things you will be using on your trip and nothing else!
2. Prioritise your basic human needs
Sometimes, when we are in good shape, both mentally and physically, we feel invincible. We try and include more places and ‘things to do’ on our solo trip to make the most of it. Due to this, we sleep less than six hours, drink multiple cups of coffee to keep us going, and whatnot. Ask yourself this question – are these habits really good for your body in the long run? I don’t think so.
You need to prioritise the basic needs of your body before anything else. When you are tired, you need to sleep and not overdose on caffeine. When you are hungry, you need to eat good food and not eat junk from the hotel minibar. Yes, all of this is fine every once in a while. But your basic bodily needs are important than your cravings and desires.
3. Be mindful of what you eat
Whenever you are on a trip, you should definitely try out the local cuisines, no matter what. But keep a note of all the nutrients that you are consuming daily, especially when you’re on a long solo trip. I know it can be challenging for beginners, but there are many apps that help you keep track of your health. And I use MyFitnessPal, and it’s a great place where you can inculcate the habit of tracking your calories.
I don’t mean to say that you have to restrict yourself when it comes to having tasty food. Having a plate of sugary dessert once in a while is not a crime. But always make sure that most of the meals that you eat in a day are healthy. Even if you are opting for local dishes, try choosing more nutritious alternatives.
4. Go easy on your tummy
While travelling, all of us want to try out the local cuisines. But make sure that you do not eat heavy meals. A simple rule of thumb is to try out new dishes for breakfast and lunch and then eat something fresh and light for dinner, preferably a salad. This way, you can have the best of both worlds without a lot of compromises.
If possible, you can try and cook your dinner at your place. If you prefer to stay in an Airbnb, it’s fun to purchase local produce and cook on your own. You can save some money this way and eat healthy too. If you don’t have the luxury of cooking your own food, you should avoid eating fried food from the local markets that look unhygienic. You just have to trust your gut instinct in this!
5. Pack your own snacks
This sounds simple, isn’t it? It actually is! No matter what you say, there will be times when you will feel hungry in between your meals. Instead of going to a café or a restaurant, you should develop a habit of packing your own snacks, especially for your day tours. Fresh fruits, protein bars, trail mix, nuts, and dried fruits are some of my favourites. Needless to say, these snacks improve your health too. It helps you avoid junk food and also save money to use it elsewhere.
6. Carry a first aid kit
A first aid kit is a MUST on every solo trip! You never know what happens the next moment. While you must hope for the best, you must also be prepared for the worst. You have to keep in mind that some medicines might not be available over the counter as laws regarding these differ from country to country.
While you need not carry forty different things, carrying only the basics will suffice. However, if you have never been on a solo trip and do not know about the basics of packing essential items, do yourself a favour and check my blog out.
Band-aids, bandages, cotton, antibacterial wipes, medications for upset stomach, headache, blister plasters, and other prescribed medicines that you are on should always be there on your first aid kit! I hope that you never require a first aid kit, but if you do, it’ll help you a lot until you get to a local doctor.
7. Keep up with your supplementation
Most of us keep up with our macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) requirements by default. But when it comes to micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), we take a pass on them. These are necessary for energy production, immunity, growth, bone health, and many other processes. And when we are travelling, it is the last thing that we care about!
If micronutrient supplementation is already a part of your diet, do not forget to carry your pills on your solo trip. And if not, consult your doctor and consider including them in your diet. I bet these supplements can completely change your mood and overall health, which will benefit your solo trip!
8. Compromise on anything but sleep
Sleep is the most important requirement of all, but most people don’t get enough of it. All of your good eating habits and exercise routines go in vain if you don’t sleep well or sleep enough. It is a known fact that seven to eight hours of sleep is vital for the proper functioning of the human body. However, we don’t think twice before compromising on sleep while travelling. All we want to do is explore the places and party for as long as we can.
Whenever I travel, I get accustomed to time zones a few days before my solo trip. For example, if my destination’s time zones are four hours apart, I try to sleep and wake up a couple of hours earlier, a few days before my trip. You can try it out for yourself and see if it works for you. You can also save a lot of time as you won’t have to adjust your sleep cycle on the first few days of your trip.
9. Try to exercise every day
I understand that you are on a trip to explore places and not exercise. But you should try and take out fifteen minutes or so every day to engage in physical movements. You can choose any physical activity of your choice. It could be yoga, walking, jogging, working out, swimming, or whatever you enjoy. Fifteen minutes is only 1% of your day, so please don’t give space for excuses.
It helps you sleep better, keeps you energetic throughout the day, maintains your physical and mental health, and makes you look great! All of this creates an impact on your trip and enhances your overall experience!
10. Don’t neglect your skin
Well-being is a process of staying healthy on the inside as well as the outside. And that includes your skin too. While eating fruits and vegetables is essential for skin health, practising a good skincare routine is equally important too. Don’t forget to carry your face wash, moisturiser, masks, and other items that you use regularly.
Pollution can deteriorate your skin health, too, so taking care of your skin is your best bet. Do not rely on the toiletries provided by your hotel, as those products might not suit every skin type. And most importantly, do not forget to apply sunscreen whenever you head out in the morning or afternoon. You should always opt for the one that has an SPF index of 30, at least.
11. Wash your hands frequently
It sounds so obvious, but even then, this might be the best tip to stay healthy while travelling. You touch surfaces all day that contain millions of germs. If you think you can eat something without washing your hands, then good luck staying healthy for the rest of your trip. If you cannot wash your hands, make sure that you do not touch your mouth, eyes, or nose with your hands.
Carrying a hand sanitiser all the time has become a necessity after the pandemic of 2020, and for good reasons. Also, consider taking disinfectant wipes or a spray to clean any surface if needed.
12. Carry your own water bottle
Drinking two to three litres of water every day is essential. But when you are on a trip and moving a lot, drinking at least three to four litres becomes necessary. The only way to effectively fulfil this requirement is to carry your own water bottle. This way, not only will you avoid polluting the planet by purchasing a lot of disposable water bottles, but you will also be able to keep track of how much water you have had throughout the day.
Try carrying a bottle with a capacity of 750-800 millilitres. It is neither too big nor too small. You can fill it up once and not worry about refilling it frequently.
13. Make sure that your vaccinations are up to date
If your vaccinations aren’t up to date, make sure that you consult your doctor. Many vaccines are not totally effective until at least around six weeks after you get the shots. So, make your plans accordingly. If your doctor approves, consider getting immunity boosters as well because the last thing you want is to get sick on the trip.
14. Don’t party like it’s your last day
Dancing and partying can be a lot of fun. But if it becomes your daily routine, you need to really look into it. Your liver will indeed not thank you for all the drink that you have every night. Try not to go overboard because you aren’t with your friends who can take care of you.
Make sure that you drink enough water between alcohol shots. Also, eat a good amount of food because you wouldn’t want to have only alcohol. Furthermore, make sure that you safely reach your hotel/hostel. You can read my other blog to know more about safety tips for solo women travellers on a solo trip.
15. Relax a little
Eating healthy and fresh food, drinking three to four litres of water, working out, and sleeping well are all good. But if you don’t take things slow and relax a little, good habits can do more harm than good. After all, you are on a trip and not in prison!
If taking a hot shower makes you feel better than dancing and partying, just head back to your hotel and take that shower. Remember that you don’t have to explore everything on your trip. All you need to do is have fun and make good memories that you can cherish for the rest of your life!
Be mindful but don’t go overboard
Those were some of the easiest ways to stay healthy while travelling alone. I know it is not very possible to follow everything, but try and take care of your health as much as possible. Sometimes, loneliness on solo trips can also have an impact on your health. Make sure that you deal with that too.
All in all, you should try and make the best of your solo trip without worrying too much about the little things. It’s okay to go off track once in a while, but it’s better if you realise it and get back on track soon. If you have any other suggestions, do share them in the comment section so all of us can benefit from them. Happy travelling!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.