Sustainable & Healthy Travel Tips
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Over the past few years, I find myself traveling more around the country visiting multiple US National Parks. And one of my favorite ways to experience all these national parks have to offer is to camp at the park campsites. No matter where or how you’re traveling, sometimes your health can fall to the wayside, or you can find yourself falling off your normal routine. Here are some of my tips as a naturopathic doctor to keep you staying healthy while keeping sustainability in mind.
If you’re going on a trip where you’re going to be more active, like going for hikes or traveling by plane, you want to make sure you keep up with your water intake. The humidity level on planes is extremely low, usually around 10-20%. The low moisture in the air pulls out water from your body, putting you more at risk for dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration can include headaches, dizziness, feeling lower energy, experiencing dry skin, mouth, and lips.
When I go on vacation, I find it helpful to bring my reusable water bottle with me so I can rehydrate anytime and reduce waste from plastic water bottles. The plastic is not only bad for the environment, the chemicals found in plastic can disrupt your hormones. Another option is to have a hydration pack for your backpack when going on hikes, this was necessary when I hiked up Beehive in Acadia National Park!
Many people find themselves eating out more while on vacation. Try to not stray from what you normally eat, and don’t overdo it. Is there a food you normally avoid that aggravates symptoms like digestive upset, heartburn, or even skin issues like eczema?
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If you’re camping or staying at a house with a kitchen, cooking meals can be a great way to stay on track with your normal diet and reduce food waste. Exploring local farmers markets is a great way to get to know the area a bit better and grab in season produce, which has higher nutrient content than produce not in season.
Taking adventures while on your trip? Make sure to pack snacks like grass-fed jerky, almond butter packs, or nuts while you are out exploring. These are my go-to when on a long hike, they’re easy to pack and provide great nutrition to keep you going.
You can reduce your carbon footprint and get some movement in while on vacation by walking or biking around the town you’re staying in. Bike rentals are very popular in some areas, especially cities. Instead of hopping in an uber, walk or bike around town when safe to do so. Exercising helps to support your immune system, improves your mood, and boosts energy.
Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your well-deserved vacation. You booked this vacation for some R&R. Unplug, relax, and spend time with your loved ones.
This Column in the Sustainable Travel series is by Dr Alyssa DeSena, Naturopathic Physician. Each Week ESG News offers readers and experts a chance to share experience and insight on sustainable travel. Email here if you are interested in submitting an article [email protected]