Home Travel Watching Your Health When Traveling: An On-the-Road Guide

Watching Your Health When Traveling: An On-the-Road Guide

by Yucatan Times
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Whether it’s for a holiday or work, there’s nothing quite like traveling the States by road. Road tripping around the country is so popular, that almost 2 in 3 Americans say they’re planning one.

Driving around, meeting new people, trying delicious new foods at roadside cafés, and the gorgeous scenery—it beats taking a plane and just staring at clouds. It’s a great way to experience the country, but it’s also important to remember the risks involved.

That’s why we’ve written a guide to watching your health while traveling and safety measures you can take. If you have a background in healthcare, like studying family nurse practitioner online programs or other qualifications, it can help prepare you if something does happen.

Be prepared

The most critical part of watching your health when traveling is to be prepared. Even if it’s a short trip, be prepared for the worst that could happen. The last thing you want is to be stranded without enough supplies, or needing medical attention without a first aid kit available.

Always stock up more than what you’ll need to. You’ll be on the road for a week? Bring two weeks’ worth of supplies instead. 

Health check-up

Before any trip, whether it’s a vacation or for your job, we recommend getting a health check-up. Going traveling is the worst time for an underlying condition to surface and be miles away from your doctor, or miss out on an important immunization.

If you’ve got an existing medical condition, your doctor will also be able to provide advice tailored towards you. For instance, any medication you should bring and what you should pack in your first aid.

Physical maps

When you’re out traveling on the road, it’s always good to be prepared for the worst. You never know when you might lose your internet signal, or there is weather interference cutting off access to the internet.

That’s why we always recommend having physical resources, like a physical map printed and easily accessible, along with digital versions.

Stocking up

When you’re traveling, always bring more than you need. Pack extra supplies for clothes, snacks, and most importantly—food and water. There are always horror stories about people getting stranded and going through their supplies because of inadequate stock.

If you don’t already, the stocking process is a great time to check and add to your vehicle’s first aid kit. Here are must-have first aid supplies you should add to your travel kit.

  • First aid quick reference card
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Instant cold pack
  • Pain relief medication (acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
  • Scissors
  • Gauze
  • Self-adhesive wrap
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

We also recommend packing other medication, for any potential respiratory problems, skin issues, and your stomach. These could include aloe vera gel, antiseptic, medicines for colds, and laxatives if needed—you can never be too prepared.

Road trip apps

There is a range of different road trip apps you can install to make traveling easier. For example, some apps allow you to download maps to access offline if you don’t have space for a physical map.

We recommend also checking out maps that help you locate services near you. There are dedicated apps for finding the closest campsites, the cheapest gas station, and other amenities.

Physical health

It can be easy to forget the importance of physical health while traveling. Humans aren’t meant to be cramped up in a seat driving for hours. Remembering to stop frequently to get daily exercise, whether it’s going for a walk or stretches, can make a massive difference.

Healthy food

We understand it can be hard to have a balanced diet when you’re on the road—but that doesn’t make it any less important. It’s difficult to resist the allure of a classic packaged snack, like jerky, when traveling, but it’s still important to have a healthy diet.

Whether you’re packing food to eat or stopping by roadside cafés, ensure that you’re still getting the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables every day. 

Rest and sleep

When traveling, we can’t stress enough the importance of rest and getting enough sleep. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 328,000 of the crashes that occur annually are due to drowsiness or sleep deprivation.

So, if you’re driving for extended periods on the road, it’s critical that you plan out a proper night’s sleep every night. It’s also recommended to take breaks every two hours whenever you are driving. You could use this time to rest, find a place to get food or swap driving duties with someone else.

Proper rest and sleep are also essential for your physical health and overall well-being. Studies have found that sleep has a massive impact on your emotional state.

Stay hydrated

Traveling or not traveling, one of the most important actions you can take for your health is to stay hydrated. Especially if you’re on a road trip, it can be easy to forget to drink water, or not bring enough for the journey.

Along with staying hydrated, it’s important to bring more than enough clean water to drink when traveling. We recommend factory-sealed bottled water, as it’s not always safe to drink from tap water, depending on where you’re going.

Emotional well-being

Managing your mental health and overall emotional well-being is important when traveling. Trips can be stressful, especially if you’re driving, or planning every step out. That’s why we’ve got a few ideas you can add to your itinerary to keep your emotions at bay:

  • Add a soundtrack or podcast while you’re driving.
  • Take frequent breaks if you’re driving and rest.
  • Ensure you’re sleeping well and eating healthy foods—physical well-being and impact your emotional well-being.

Traveling is a great way to break away from the stress of your everyday life, so don’t let it add to it. A holiday should be as stress-free as possible and a good way to recharge your mental energy.

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