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Top Self-Care Tips for Travelers Exploring

man and woman sitting beside cliff

Traveling exposes you to new environments, schedules, and experiences. It can also disrupt the routines you’ve set up to stay grounded and energized. If you want to stay healthy and happy on your adventures, follow these essential self-care tips:

Prioritize Sleep

Traveling exposes you to new environments, schedules, and experiences that can take a mental and physical toll. Lack of sleep impairs decision-making, mood, and energy levels, so prioritizing quality sleep is crucial.

For best results, anticipate fatigue from time changes, long transit days, and increased activity levels and adjust your schedule accordingly, allowing for earlier bedtimes when needed. Create ideal sleep conditions with earplugs, eye masks, white noise apps, and blackout curtains to ensure you wake up well-rested and ready to explore.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and concentration issues. That’s why you should carry a reusable water bottle and refill it regularly throughout the day. Make sure to drink water steadily rather than guzzling large amounts at once. And add electrolyte tablets or drink electrolyte beverages if you’re going to be sweating profusely or consuming alcohol.

Eat Nutritious Foods

Unfamiliar foods and busy schedules make it tempting to subsist on snacks and fast food while traveling. But your body needs quality fuel from fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Seek out grocery stores for simple ingredients you can prepare yourself and pack nutritious snacks like nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and energy bars. And be sure to avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, and sugary, fatty foods that drain your energy.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise has been shown to boost endorphins, aid sleep, keep you energized, and counteract excess eating and drinking. One way to stay active while on vacation is to walk or run outdoors to experience your surroundings or use your hotel’s gym. Alternatively, stream exercise videos in your room and do bodyweight workouts requiring no equipment. Even 20-30 minutes per day makes a difference in your physical and mental health.

Keep Your Skin Healthy

Environmental changes like sun exposure, dry air, and different products can all affect your skin. That’s why you want to moisturize frequently, especially after bathing. Of course, you should always wear SPF 30+ sunscreen daily, remove makeup at night, and cleanse your face. One of the best packing hacks when traveling is to stock up on travel sizes of your regular skincare products to maintain your routine. Of course, you want to drink plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out as well.

Maintain Hair Health

The key to keeping your hair healthy on the road is to use a protective hair serum or oil to shield strands from damage. Make sure to always rinse hair with fresh water after swimming and let it air dry when possible instead of blow drying. Pack a soft-bristled brush and microfiber hair towel and limit heat styling with curling irons or straighteners.

Practice Mindfulness

Experiencing new surroundings means your senses are constantly being bombarded with fresh input that your brain must process. So, it’s a good idea to build in quiet time to rest your mind through practices like meditation, journaling, reading, or simply sitting peacefully. Start each day this way before heading out to explore. You can also take mindful walks focusing solely on your senses, rather than rushing from place to place.

Pack Backup Meds

Traveling often leads to stomach issues, allergies, sleep disturbances, and aches/pains due to changes in diet, schedules, environments, and activity levels. To prepare for minor illnesses on the road, pack a basic supply of your usual over-the-counter medications, plus extras like anti-nausea, anti-diarrheal, antihistamine, melatonin, and pain/fever relief.

Maintain Perspective

Travel hiccups like delays, cancellations, bad weather, getting lost, and miscommunications are inevitable, but when frustrating situations arise, don’t panic. Instead, focus on prioritizing your immediate needs in that moment — food, rest, safety — and reflect on how fortunate you are to be exploring the world. This can help you maintain your sense of humor and adventure, knowing this too shall pass.

Schedule Downtime

At home, you likely have pockets of downtime between obligations. Traveling fills every waking moment with new activities and stimulation and without breaks, you’ll quickly become exhausted. So, build in full days or half days to simply recharge at your accommodation through napping, ordering easy meals, and unplugging.

Appreciate Your Travels More

Exploring the world is a privilege, but so is caring for yourself fully to get the most from your adventures. By prioritizing self-care through sleep, hydration, nutrition, exercise, and more, you’ll stay healthy and energized so you can make the most of your travels.