Vacation Tips

VacationVacation Tips for a Smooth Trip

It is that time of year and you are headed for that trip to the Caribbean or some other utopian location. You picture yourself lying on the beach, reading a book or hiking through some undiscovered terrain. And suddenly… right before your trip… the worst happens…you get sick.

How many of us have experienced this scenario? Perhaps you are one of those lucky ones that don’t get sick easily but you do experience fatigue, headaches, gas, bloating or get annoyed with everything and everyone.

Below are some preventative measures to take before and during your vacation that will help make your trip a lot more enjoyable.

Save one-in-between-day

The workday prior to your departure is often the most hectic day of the year: unexpected things pop up; proper information needs to be passed on to that colleague in your absence and so on. On top of that you also need to pack your bags, get your partner’s stuff ready and give instructions to the dog sitter. All to catch that red-eye and arrive at your destination as a total wreck. If you have the luxury to give yourself that extra day to wrap things up and prepare properly for your vacation, do it! Time to anticipate your trip is half of the joy and the rest will come once you are on your way.

Drink plenty of water

When I travel I always carry a water bottle with me. Especially during vacation the tendency is to consume more dehydrating contents such as coffee, sugary treats or alcohol and it is of vital importance to stay hydrated to avoid fatigue. Also for those traveling in the old Continent, European cities often charge as much for a plastic water bottle as for a glass of beer. So carrying a water bottle with a built-in-filter will also save your pocketbook. Save money and the hassle to buy 5 plastic water bottles and bring along a BPA-free water bottle so that you can fill up under the tap anytime.


The beauty of travelling is that we are exposed to various kinds of people, images, objects and hopefully stunning surroundings. However, this brings along a host of germs too which our bodies are not always used to. Viruses spread through the air and can easily enter the body through the mouth, eyes and nose. Carrying probiotic capsules containing live microorganisms can be helpful to balance the good and bad bacteria making us less susceptible to disease. According to the Journal of Gastroenterology probiotics can positively impact our immune function. Over 70% of our immune cells are found along the intestinal lining so a healthy gut is golden for the immune system.

Tea Tree Oil

Are you worried when a person coughs in your face while riding a jam-packed subway or are you reluctant to take a shower in that moldy bathroom hotel? Your solution is to carry some tea tree oil with you where you go. It is an essential oil and works as a natural antiseptic. It is very potent in killing bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold and works like a charm. You can use a drop on your hands to ward off any bacteria or dilute some drops in water to disinfect surfaces.

Eating out wisely

Being on holiday and finding the right place to eat can be a challenge. One person might not like the food, the other comments on lack of atmosphere and the third person is hangry for pizza. No matter where you end up, watch out for excess fat and salt. Always ask for sauces on the side so you decide how much to use. Order a salad on the side if your dish does not come with vegetables. Stay away from steak, ham and pork chops as these meats tend to be heavier in saturated fats and refined salts. Instead select fish or poultry. Avoid rich desserts but do not miss out on cultural culinary goodness entirely. Just split one and savor each bite. After all you are on vacation! 

After Effect

The impact of positive travel experiences also carries through to overall life satisfaction. A study published in the Journal of Travel Research developed a scale to measure the positive and negative affects accompanied by taking a vacation and its impact on social life, family life, cultural life, health and safety, financial life, work life, love life and spiritual life. Results demonstrated (not surprisingly) that positive travel experiences can greatly contribute to one’s individual health, family relationships and overall wellness. Those who had positive travel experiences were less susceptible to developing a burn-out and experienced more subjective well-being. So take care of yourself prior and during your vacation and enjoy the benefits until long after.