The Well Traveler: Healthy and Well on the Move!

Lake Bled, Slovenia, Photo by Michael Arloski

General Well Travel Tips – Part One

Both ends of my Memorial Day Weekend were all about airports, jets and endurance! This holiday is the unofficial start of the summer season for most folks in the USA, and summer means more travel for everyone across the Northern Hemisphere. As I strategized ways to get through my travel days I encountered the challenge of how we can all stay healthy and well when we’re on the move.

We all thrive on routine and so do most personal Wellness Plans. Travel interrupts that, yet there are ways to meet the challenge and win.

There is one Well Travel Tip that comes before all others:

The Primary Well Travel Tip
Be true to your trip’s purpose.

If it’s a time to recreate, do just that “re-create” yourself! Have fun. Leave work at home. Don’t let the fear of getting behind or losing business spoil the opportunity to let down. If it’s a business trip, go for it, do the biz! When we don’t keep the healthy boundaries in place the bleed-over kills our joy and/or our effectiveness. If the purpose of the trip is to reconnect with your partner/spouse, or your teenage daughter or son, don’t water it down or distract the trip into a labyrinth of visits with family and friends.

I’ll be writing a series of Well Traveler Tips for five different kinds of trips in upcoming posts:
1. Recreational trips
2. Business trips
3. Business & Recreation combined
4. Travel abroad
5. Outdoor Adventure

The tips will range from the soulful (and what fills our soul!) to the hygienic and practical. Some for the heart and some for the head, all designed to encourage you to get out there and enjoy life and enhance your wellness as you do.

General Tips For the Well Traveler

Well Travel Tip #1
Boost Your Immunity Before You Go, and Keep It Up

How many times have you or your friends come down with a virus, etc. from traveling? Jam-packed airplanes with re-circulating air, touching public surfaces that thousands of hands have touched before you on the same day, rotten sleep from uncomfortable beds, the stress of travel schedules, etc., all expose us to lots of immune system challenges. As much as possible, plan ahead and keep up your wellness lifestyle as much possible in the weeks before you go. Do all the good old wellness basics: plenty of rest, exercise and great nutrition and the healthy routine that you thrive on. Consider vitamin supplements and take them with you.

Well Travel Tip #2
Build In Activity Throughout Your Trip

Here’s some sub-tips under this one:
• Lay-over walking. If you don’t have to traverse an entire airport getting to your next gate, walk purposefully during the time before your carefully calculated time of departure. You may be able to get some serious mileage in cruising those concourses!
• Whether on a recreational or business trip you can find out routes for walking/jogging/biking/hiking in almost any new location. Check out and for routes and ways to track your distance worldwide. I just typed in Paris, France and got a great 8.3 mile walk suggestion on both sides of the Seine. Viva la Map My Walk! Smartphone aps are available for this too.
• People-Powered Sports. Instead of jet-skis, rent kayaks. Instead of jeep-tour, go hiking. Bicycles are the absolute best way to tour many cities. Leave the noisy toys at home (or don’t even buy them) and enjoy recreating under your own power.
• Build your trip around a wellness event. Travel somewhere to a running or biking race you’re participating in, and then stick around to enjoy the place.
• Use the chronically under-utilized hotel fitness center. Schedule in a time to workout whether on a business or recreation trip and follow through.

Well Travel Tip #3
Get a “Road ID” (or some kind of medical ID)

Think of how many times you’ve gone jogging, swimming, biking, walking, etc. with absolutely nothing to identify you on your person. One untimely encounter with a vehicle, or a rogue wave and you become John or Jane Doe to the first response team. Road ID is the best out there. It allows a first responder to contact loved ones, your doctor, access vital medical data, etc., etc. with information that you put on a 1-800 phone system or a web-accessed system. It rocks!

More tips for The Well Traveler in our next post.