Welcome! I'm Cerie, an athlete with an adventurous spirit who has spent the last 10+ years living abroad and traveling throughout Europe and beyond. I'm passionate about European travel, the great outdoors, and pursuing a lifestyle that allows for the freedom to explore. Originally from Boston, I'm currently based in Northern England. Hop in my duffel bag, and come along for the ride!

i'm Cerie

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

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There’s nothing worse than spending months planning an incredible trip only to wind up sick when you arrive at your destination. I’ve had this happen too many times to count, and at the very least, it dampens the experience. I’ve learned from my own mishaps, and have figured out how to stay healthy while traveling.

I now implement many wellness practices before, during and after travel to ensure I stay as healthy as possible when away from home, especially when I’m out on my own traveling solo. Although wellness and staying healthy while traveling was something I prioritized before the pandemic, Covid-19 has definitely added some new elements to my routine, and made me prioritize health and wellness more than ever before.

Travel can be tough on your body and health, and it’s easy to wind up sick if you aren’t careful. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do proactively to prevent illness if you know how to stay healthy while traveling.

As a former elite athlete, pre-planning to optimize performance is definitely my thing. Days before games, I would start preparing my body with proper nutrition, hydration and mental preparation. Outside the sports setting, I’ve also applied this to my life in many ways, including any time I travel.

Whenever possible, I begin my physical travel preparation a week ahead of a flight and continue until I board the plane. This routine includes drinking 1 gallon water a day, taking extra doses of vitamin C supplements, and adjusting my sleep schedule. Implementing these few small changes makes a huge difference for me and keeps me in top form.

I’ve compiled a list of the top health and wellness things I do to stay at the top of my game when traveling, and hope that you can implement some of these too so you can feel your best and avoid getting sick on your adventures.

Here are my tips for how to stay healthy while traveling.

Hydrate Early + Often

I consider hydration the biggest key to staying healthy, and am therefore a big fan of pre-hydration. About a week before I fly, I begin a strict regimen of drinking 1 gallon of water per day leading up to my flight. Since flying dries us out and can easily lead to dehydration, my goal is always to avoid starting at a deficit.

For the actual travel day, I drink plenty of water before my flight and pack a reusable water bottle in my carry-on bag that I can fill at the airport once I’m through security. My goal is usually to drink my whole water bottle during the flight. I also try to limit coffee and alcohol consumption on travel days since both dehydrate as well. If I choose to have them, I try to increase my water intake even more to offset the dehydration effects.

One of the best lessons I learned from my college nutrition coach was that if we are even a little bit thirsty, we are already well into dehydration – a piece of advice I’ve carried with me. Our bodies are at their best when well-hydrated, so pre-hydration and hydration are at the foundation of health in general, and especially important when traveling.

In addition to offsetting the negative effects of flight travel, good hydration is also critical to preventing negative health effects associated with changing climates or elevation.

Give Your Immune System a Vitamin-C Boost

Just like pre-hydrating, one of my other favorite healthy travel hacks is bumping up my vitamin-C intake before flying. Even before Covid-19 my goal has always been to go into a flight with my immune system in peak form to avoid getting sick. Although I usually take vitamin-C supplements daily, I tend to bump up my intake a week before flying to give my immune system a boost. I continue this through my day of travel and also pack plenty of vitamin-C tablets or Emergen-C packets in my luggage to keep up the regimen upon arrival at my destination.

Get Quality Sleep + Fight Jet Lag Early

Proper sleep is another building block of good health. Getting sleep on a plane is no easy feat, especially if you are 6’ tall like I am. I’ve adopted many strategies over the years to make it a little easier, but it still requires some good preparation as well as a bit of good luck.

If you are traveling to another time zone, it’s critical to fight jet lag the right way and get onto your new time zone as soon as possible. As soon as I board the plane, I immediately switch my watch and phone to the time zone I’m going to so I can mentally start preparing to be in that time zone. When traveling to Europe, my ideal itinerary for day one usually includes dropping my bags at my hotel, grabbing a quick bite to eat, then taking an afternoon nap. After being up that long, I’m usually ready to fall asleep in my lunch by the time that afternoon nap rolls around, and I now prefer to give into it whenever possible to help battle the jet lag. The alternative is trying to make it through the rest of the day and night to fall asleep at a reasonable hour which can be a painful process and include a lot of head bobbing.

If you are able to quickly adjust to time zones, and feel well rested, you’ll not only feel better overall, but your general health will also be better and you’ll be less susceptible to getting sick.

Stay Active Once You Arrive At Your Destination

If you are traveling a long distance by plane, train, car or any other means of transportation, it’s super important to take movement or stretching breaks. Delta recently partnered with Peloton and added in-flight stretching and meditation classes that you can take from your airplane seat. If you are taking a flight this is a great way to take care of your body and mind during travel. Once you arrive at your destination, there are so many options for staying active and keeping fit while traveling these days. For me, it totally depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing that will dictate what kind of exercise and movement I engage in. Walking is usually my main form of transportation when traveling, and I make it a priority to get in some extra movement especially in those first couple of days after arrival. 

Pack A Personal Wellness Carry-On Kit

Packing a wellness kit in my carryon is something I’ve done for years, but I’ve really stepped up my game in the pandemic. My carryon kit consists of TSA-approved hand sanitizer, Purell Wipes, extra KN95 masks, tissues, hand cream, vitamic-C, nasal spray, hand cream, medications and more.

Having the kit easily accessible in my carryon allows me to have all of my health and wellness essentials within reach, so I never have to rush to find the nearest hand sanitizer pump or bathroom to wash my hands. I’m constantly evolving my wellness kit, but this has become something I can’t travel without, and is my biggest key to staying healthy.

I hope these tips and strategies will help show you how to stay healthy while traveling so you can spend more time exploring and less time run down.


  1. […] Are you interested in travel wellness beyond how to fight jet lag? Check out my tips for How to Stay Healthy While Traveling. […]

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