How to Stay Healthy While on the Road

Whether you are off for a weekend trip, a month or a long-term adventure of a lifetime, it is a must to stay healthy especially while on the road. A trip to a local hospital is the last thing you would want on your R&R.

While some are considerably basics and you’d probably know by now, it is still always helpful to remind yourself of the following:

1. Insurance

Better be safe than sorry. Get one before you leave.

Plane ticket: CHECK
Accommodation: CHECK
TRAVEL INSURANCE: DOUBLE CHECK

One of the more important things that people tend to overlook (and to some extent take for granted) when traveling is securing a good travel insurance. I can’t stress the fact how important it is as I learned that valuable lesson in a very hard way.

A couple of years back, I was too giddy to embark on my internship in Russia that I forgot to get a travel insurance. As I thought the entire journey will run smooth and safe, I met a terrible accident on my last few days of my trip. I found myself in a hospital having an emergency surgery on top of my dental procedures. Every backpacker would understand how every penny is important when you’re on the road and have all these medical bills surely burned a huge hole in my pocket.

You might go for a weekend trip or a just a couple of days but that is still not a valid excuse not to have yourself secured. You’ll never know when an accident will happen so you better be safe than sorry and broke.

2. Watch What you Eat

Bangkok street food scene

For most foodies, being on a trip is a great gastronomic adventure that you should not miss. I personally enjoy and highly promote trying local cuisines and street food. The soul of the city lies on its food. But while street food is great, remain cautious.

Have that watchful eye on the sanitary conditions and food preparations. Most cases of food poisoning are due to food contamination so better have your food sealed and properly packed.

Ask around which places are safe to eat among locals. I remember while staying in a hostel in Rio, it was the concierge’ number one reminder: Stay away from camarao being sold by the beach. Small reminders like these matters most when you’re in a foreign place.

3. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)

A valuable tip to save money and stay healthy: bring your own bottle. Invest in a good and sturdy that you can reuse for a long time especially if you plan to go for a long-term trip. There are plenty to choose from and some even offers filtration like  the ones from LifeStraw.

While some places like Europe, tap water is deemed safe to drink, most places are not. If you’re traveling to South America or Southeast Asia, it might be a challenge to have a safe sip. Save yourself from a trip to a hospital and enjoy more of your local drinks at the pub.

Mother Earth will thank you too.

4.Keep your Hands Clean

Rule of thumb: Keep your hands clean. Always bring your trusty hand sanitizer. Make it a habit to apply a generous amount before every meal.

Soap strips are also advisable to lessen the hassle of exceeding the allowable amount of liquids on your carry on luggage.

5.Sunscreen and Mosquito Repellent


Getting that golden tan in the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema or Bondi is tempting but bear in mind that the sun is both your best friend and worst enemy. Keep your skin protected from the harmful cancer-causing UV rays. Do yourself a favor and get some sunscreen. Don’t be a red lobster and save yourself from that terrible sunburn.

The recent Zika outbreak in South America, Malaria in Africa and Dengue strain in Asia makes a bottle of mosquito repellent another must-have on your toiletry kit.

Note: It might be a prob to squeeze in a decent size bottle of your favorite sunscreen and mosquito repellent on your carry-on luggage if you are a backpacker so have it in mind to have that quick trip to a pharmacy to get it.

6.Vaccine

Be it yellow fever, hepatitis or even rabies, be proactive to get your shots even before your trip especially if you will be in the area known with high cases of these illnesses. It might appear to be over the top for most people, but as they say: prevention is better than cure.

7. Fist Aid first

If everything else seems too complicated for you, take that extra step and prepare your very own first-aid kid. Take your trusted paracetamol, antihistamine, and loperamide along with band-aid among others. The last thing you would want in the middle of an amazing trek to the Himalayas is a blistered foot and you don’t have anything to ease the pain.

If the lazy bug bits you, there pre-packed first aid kits available online.
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Now you are all set. Wherever and whenever you go, safety should always be a priority. Keep yourself healthy and enjoy the journey.

Where are you heading on your next trip? Do you have other tips you wanna share? Your comments will be highly appreciated.

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6 Comments

  1. April 15, 2017 / 7:48 am

    Health is of utmost importance always and more so when you are traveling. These are all sensible and easily doable tips that you have compiled. We are very particular about what we eat and drink while traveling. Eating healthy is very important as this is one area of maximum risk to your health if not careful. We generally avoid binge eating when traveling and keep our tummies light.

  2. April 15, 2017 / 7:54 am

    There is no doubt that staying healthy while on the road can be a challenge and certainly is something I’m trying to be better about. And while many of these ideas are pretty obviously, it’s alarming how many travelers neglect them, particularly Vaccines and Insurance. I’m sure your suggestions have put plenty of mums minds to rest!

  3. April 15, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Wherever I go, I always carry a first aid kit since I’m a very clumsy person. But each person should do research to the places they go to and be ready in case of any health emergencies.

  4. cathy
    April 16, 2017 / 3:09 am

    Insurance is a must for me especially when I’m traveling outside the country. We don’t know what’s gonna happen out there ( cross fingers nothing seriously bad ) but just to be able to prepare, insurance should be on our top list. I agree as well that a simple medicine kit would save our life, for example, a simple tablet for medicine. Safe travels! Xx

  5. April 16, 2017 / 9:25 am

    These tips are very helpful and a must have whenever you are travelling. Thanks for sharing.

  6. April 16, 2017 / 10:59 am

    What a wonder post. I carry most of what you have mentioned but never got done the travel insurance for my trips. Now I have realized its importance so will surely include it to my list. Thanks for sharing this.

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