Use these self care tips to stay happy & healthy, road-warriors!
1. Use Talc & Wool Socks For Happy Feet
Feet sweat, and healthy traveler feet need to be kept dry. Wool socks wick moisture away from your skin while keeping your feet cushioned & warm. Dusting the inside of your shoes at night with talcum powder can dry out those swampy kicks and fight odour too. May your happy feet carry you far!
2. Drink Carbonated Water
You don’t have to substitute all your water for the kind “with gas”, but a few bubbles can help you feel refreshed while settling a traveler tummy. It’s also a nice pick-me-up alternative to a sugary carbonated pop, which might contain things like caffeine which will mess with your body clock. You can also guarantee that fizzy water bottles haven’t been opened, which can be a problem with flat water bottles in some places.
3. Keep An Emergency Card In Your Pocket
If you are staying in one country with one language you can include a few key phrases that are essential to your safety, like the names of substances you are allergic to, or the information related to your health care provider. For long-term backpackers and multi-country globe trotters, include clear images that spell out your allergies or special medical needs, in case you are found unconscious or unable to communicate.
4. Replace Your Electrolytes
Basic self care 101: water is important. Dehydration will effect you when you travel, and replacing your electrolytes is essential to feeling good and recovering from hard travel, especially if you suffer from diarrhea. You can buy packets of electrolyte replacements at the drugstore, and in a pinch you can eat some salty peanuts and some fruit to help you bounce back.
5. Use Sanitizer Wipes At Meals
The definition of cleanliness is different on the road. Sometimes your eagle eye is the only barrier between you and a preventable illness. If your cutlery doesn’t look clean, a swift wipe with some sanitizer followed by clean water will help you eliminate any doubt. If you’re eating with your hands, keep them extra clean, and follow the local rules of using right hand for eating and left for the bathroom.
6. Keep Your Nails Short
Under your fingernails an entire universe of germs, dead skin, dirt, and nastiness is waiting. Sure, you can wash your hands, and hand sanitizer is useful too, but keeping your nails short will ensure your hands are clean enough to put in your mouth. If you are going to a place where eating with your hands is common, you will want to eliminate any nook or cranny where bacteria can hang out.
7. Honey, Lemon, Ginger
All day, every day. You’ll notice that in some countries it’s even on the menu. Honey, lemon, and ginger are a magical combination that soothes sore throats, eases upset stomachs, and warms you on the coldest night. Lemon and honey are great for killing bacteria and easing digestion, while ginger has anti-nauseant properties that rival over-the-counter methods.
8. Hard Candy/Lozenges
Not just for the “road cold”. Many large cities that travellers venture to are polluted to the point where one is almost guaranteed to have a sore throat and a scratchy voice. Bringing some hard candy or lozenges can help keep your mouth from going dry, and create saliva that washes some of the smog out of your mouth & throat. “Smog throat” can be an issue in any country, so come prepared with candy!
9. Dryer Sheets In Your Bag
No, not a whole box, and no, not for doing laundry. Tucking a few dryer sheets, a bit of sandalwood, or even just a rag with essential oil on it into your backpack can help things stay fresh-smelling. Even when you’re on your second or third wear of a t-shirt that should have been washed 2 hostels ago, you don’t have to smell like a pile of dirty laundry. It can also mask the aroma of a full laundry bag, or yesterday’s hiking socks.
10. Save Money For A Rest Day
Even hardcore backpackers need a day to rest. Give yourself room in your travel budget for an occasional day of rest and repair. You don’t have to book a top-shelf spa, but maybe set aside some money for a decadent treat that you normally wouldn’t indulge in, or get yourself a massage after a long hike. You can spend at least one night in a nice hotel room with a big bubbly bath and a soft bed, or take yourself out to a movie and get some ice cream. Give yourself a rest while you’re on the road, and you can boldly go where no one has gone before… tomorrow.