Stay Healthy

Be well on your travels with our insights on managing jet lag, nutrition, sun protection and much more.

We’ve all been there. We’ve limped towards our annual leave. We’ve powered through the planning. We finally have the chance to pause. We travel. We get sick. It’s a karmic injustice, and it comes for us all.

Fortunately, there’s things we can do to offset the chance off falling ill while we’re away from home. Small self-investments that can make a big difference.

Cover The Basics – It’s the stuff we all know, but tend to forget amongst the thrill of the trip. Be careful of tap water and ice, check online ratings of restaurants you’re unsure of. Keep on top of hand hygiene, especially when travelling on public transport, and carry a pocket-sized sanitiser. Little things to keep the germs at bay.

Pack A Just-In-Case Case – Think about stashing the usual suspects of over-the-counter medicines to take with you, just in case. Paracetamol, aspirin, anti-diuretics, plasters, anti-acids etc.

Prioritise Sleep – Sleep is the single most important factor of staying healthy always, but especially when travelling. Lack of sleep hinders our ability to produce infection-flighting cells, leaving our immune systems compromised. Aim for 8 hours, if you can.

Exercise – Keeping our bodies moving even in our downtime does us the world of good. That could be a 10 minute HIIT or a light bit of yoga (we even have a playlist for that), or just as simple as taking the stairs instead of the escalator, getting your steps in before dinner. A couple of lengths of the pool. It all counts.

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From the UV’s to the SPF’s, chances are that when it comes to suncream, you’ve been buying what you know without really knowing what any of it means. But with skin cancer becoming one of the most prominent cancers in the world, protecting your skin from damage in the sun has never been more important. So let’s break it down.

UVA & UVB – The sun emits two different types of rays. Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B. UVA penetrate deeper into the skin, damaging the collagen in our cells leading to an increased risk of wrinkles and skin aging. UVB have a shorter wavelength and damage the DNA of the outer layer of the skin, with excess exposure increasing the risk of skin cancers.

Get Yourself Covered – there’s two things to look out for when you’re looking at what suncream is best for you. SPF and the star rating. The SPF protects against UVB, the higher the rating, the higher the protection. And the star rating indicates protection against UVA (always look for 4 or 5 stars).

Top It Up – regardless of the brand or SPF of your suncream, reapplying every few hours, or after swimming or sweating, is still important for protecting your skin.

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Jet lag. The notorious villain of travel. Waking up at 2am and sleeping at lunch, anyone? While there’s no cure, there are lots of techniques to minimise the effects of crossing time zones.

Time in the sun – Sunlight helps regulate your body’s internal clock. So, spend time outdoors during daylight hours, especially when you first arrive. A great way to reset your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Get ahead of it – If you can, try to start gradually adjusting your sleep schedule before you leave. Wake up a little earlier, or go to bed a little later, depending on which direction you’re travelling.

Eat like a local – Adhering to local mealtimes can help reset your internal clock and minimise jet lag. Have a light meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner wherever you are (even if you don’t fancy much) and your body will begin to understand when to wake up and when to wind down.

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When packing for time away it’s important to consider comfort and practicality. Here are some strategies to ensure a smooth and happy journey.

First aid first– From bug bites to tummy bugs, packing first aid products you know and trust can save a lot of discomfort, and confusion at a foreign chemist. Pack antiseptic wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, bandages and medication for, erm digestive issues.

Stay comfy – Make yourself feel more at home by bringing a few familiar items like a fave travel pillow, shawl or blanket. And to ensure a good night’s sleep, eye masks and earplugs always work a treat.

Get organised – Tools like packing cubes or compression bags keep clothes organised and a washbag with lots of sections can help keep all your toiletries easy to find and avoid leakages. Travel document organisers also keep all your important bits passports and boarding passes safe.

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