bread topped with vegetables

A Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling Long-term

Whether for work or leisure, traveling for long periods can make you sick. The constant change of climate will make you ill. Sometimes, the quality of potable water you drink can make you susceptible to a host of bacteria and viruses. When traveling to developing nations, you will encounter diseases you thought were long dead. Malaria, dengue, measles, and polio still exist in many parts of the world. So, how do you keep healthy if you want and need to go on long-term travel to different destinations?


Traveling is harsh for the body. It keeps needing to adjust to time zones and climates. You tot around heavy luggage from one destination to another. You follow an itinerary and get stressed when not everything works the way you want. Get sleep as much as you can. Be deliberate about the number of hours of sleep you get in a day. Don’t just squeeze sleep into your daily schedule. Make it a point to set aside eight hours for a good night’s sleep.

Eat Right

It is easy to forget about your diet when you are traveling. After all, it is easier to get snacks from food trucks and all those sugary pastries in Parisian cafes. But also make a deliberate attempt to eat healthily when traveling. The sugar high will make you lethargic at some point. Eating junk food can make you sick, too. If you aren’t sure about what to eat, you can seek out a personal trainer who took nutrition courses. They can guide you on the proper diet to follow during your travels.

Once you arrive at your destination, go to the grocery store and pick up pre-made salads. Other prepared meals are healthier there, too. This is way cheaper than getting your meals from a food truck or a hole-in-the-wall.

Pace Yourself

You can’t squeeze everything into your day. Try to pace yourself. If it is impossible to visit all the places you want in two days, then prepare to extend your stay. If that is not possible, then promise to go back to these places when you have the time again. This way, you will also get to know more of the area than simply saying you’ve been there.

man jogging


At home, you run a lap or two in the morning. You might even go to the gym after work. It is harder to do that when you’re traveling, although most hotels have gym facilities that you can take advantage of. There are plenty of things you can do in exchange for an hour on the treadmill. You can take the stairs up to your room. You can also walk to your next destination instead of taking a cab or bus.

Breathe and Meditate

As much as traveling is an adventure, it is also a lot of work. Take time to recover from the culture shock and jet lag. You don’t have to hop on a plane every two days and move to another country. In your itinerary, leave a day to just recover. Sit in the park and read a book. Stay on the balcony of your hotel and marvel at how locals go about their day. There’s so much more to do in these countries than simply see their tourist sites.

Alcohol Intake

It is hard not to drink or party when you’re in a place like Ibiza or Oktoberfest in Germany. How can you not sample all those beers? While it is part of the experience, you have to do it in moderation. Alcohol will not only lead to weight gain, but it will also make you feel sluggish. The hangover in the morning is not worth the revelry the night before, too. Drink only up to what your body usually can take, but don’t do it every night.


Not alcohol shots, mind you. Get your vaccine shots before you go on a long journey. You never know what kind of insect bites, bacteria, viruses, and many other things you will catch when you travel. Research what new vaccines and boosters you might need. If you’re traveling to the Amazon rainforest, for example, you will need shots for hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, and malaria.

Never set aside your health in the interest of seeing the world. While moving from place to place to experience the world is important, your health matters most of all. What good will it do you to see a bit of the Amazon, for example, if you’re going to get sick for a week after?

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