You work your tail off the week before vacation to make sure that your inbox is empty, the house is clean, and the animals are boarded, and then you leave for Nirvana and promptly get sick. Or maybe your shoulders and arms ache from schlepping luggage, purchases, and a bag of “just in case” clothes. Vacation should be fun, not painful. It’s enough to make you scream, “Why me?!!?”
Spiritual Guru’s will answer you with the question, “Why not you?” But I’m not a spiritual guru, so I ask, “Why not learn how to stay healthy and pain free on vacation?” Interested?
Good. I knew you would be. Well, I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, so here they are:
1. Be well rested before leaving for vacation. I know this seems counter to everything you thought vacation was supposed to be. You’re supposed to go on vacation to get your rest and relaxation, right? Wrong! Your supposed to go on vacation to see new places and have new experiences, and you can’t do that if you get sick because you’re not well rested when you leave. When you rest and sleep, the body repairs itself and fights off infection. If you wear yourself down before you leave, then lock yourself inside an airplane, train, museum, casino, theater, etc., you’re opening the door to catching every bug that’s circulating in those tight, enclosed spaces. Read more about how Rest Is Not A 4 Letter Word. As a bonus, if you strive to be well rested all year long, you’ll be healthier, happier, and less stressed even when you’re not on vacation. Doesn’t that sound good?
2. Make sure you get enough rest while you’re vacationing. All that stuff I said about rest holds true no matter where you are. If you wear yourself down on vacation then lock yourself inside a metal tube in the sky or on the rails with a bunch of other people who are also worn down, you’ll open yourself up to catching all kinds of nasties… just in time to go back to work and infect all your coworkers. And that’s just not cool!
3. Get some wheels! If you still don’t have a suitcase with wheels, it’s time you moved into the 1980’s and invested in new luggage. While you’re at it, look for a wheeled backpack to carry jackets and umbrellas, purchases etc. If you can’t find one with wheels, get a medium sized backpack and wear it high on the back to prevent back and shoulder pain. If you have small kids, invest in one of those nifty strollers that has room behind the seat for coats and purchases. If you can’t find a wheeled option that you like, at least get yourself a cross body bag to minimize the strain to your shoulders and arms.
4. Decrease your mobility. By this I mean don’t do one of those 6 cities in 6 day’s type tour. Moving your luggage to new lodging every day is a sure way to leave you with aching shoulders and arms. Instead, pick one location that’s central to everything you want to see, find a hotel or B&B that you love, and use it as your home base for the duration of your vacation. At most, pick only 2 lodgings per week, to minimize luggage-schlepping upper body aches. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to see and do more if you spend less time checking into and out of lodgings each day.
So now you know my secrets to staying healthy and pain-free on vacation. If you have some tips for staying healthy and pain-free on vacation, I’d love you to share them with me. You can leave them in the comments below, leave a comment on this blog link on Facebook, or reply to my blog tweet and I’ll retweet your tips (I’m @mdoetschMT, just in case you found this blog post as an uncredited retweet).
Happy and healthy travels to you this summer!