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Now that you’re a Remote Hustler, you have the ability to work from anywhere!

But even if you’re not working remotely yet, we’ve got plenty of great advice that will increase your productivity and allow you to take that well-deserved vacation.

Traveling always has the potential to be a blast, but it’s important to keep yourself from getting sick while you’re gone. No one wants to feel less than 100% while traveling, and that’s why we’ve got these 5 great tips to avoid getting sick on your next journey.

1. Prepare yourself for traveling

Staying healthy starts before you even pack your bags. First, research the place(s) you’re visiting to see if there are any common illnesses that you should be prepared for. (Tip: The U.S. State Department website lists travel information about every country in the world. Most of it relates to safety for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, but there’s a section on health in every country, as well.)

If you determine you need some vaccines or immunizations before you leave (i.e., rabies shot, HepA or B), visit a travel clinic to get them. Be sure you make them long enough in advance so that you can go back to the clinic if you need a follow-up. 

Drink lots of citrus juices or take Vitamin C supplements before getting on a long flight. Lots of germs float around in that trapped air space, so it’s best to prepare your body ahead of time. In fact, avoid rummaging through the seatback pocket ahead of on your flight, too. You have no idea who was in that seat before you.

2. H20, H20, H20

Drink lots of water! We cannot stress this enough. Water flushes bad toxins out of your system, and staying hydrated keeps you awake and improves your mood. Drink water especially during your long flight, and drink as much water as you can while traveling.

But drink bottled water. This is an important distinction. You don’t need to buy a new plastic water bottle every time, but you do need to avoid tap water. The water wherever you are is probably different than the water your stomach is used to, so it’s best to just avoid it altogether. Fill up your reusable water bottle at every filter station and water fountain you can find.

3. Protect your stomach

Some of the best travel experiences are culinary! But you want to take care of your stomach, too. Definitely try the local cuisine, but go easy on the street food. Breads and sweets are probably fine, but watch out for things fried in heavy oils or meats that have been sitting out all day.

Because you’re being careful with tap water, you also need to avoid any food that’s been washed in tap water. For example, you’ll want to avoid fruits whose outer layers you eat (strawberries, apples, etc.). Bananas, however, are fine because you peel them to eat the inside.

That includes raw vegetables that have been washed in the tap water, too, so you’ll want to think twice before ordering that giant salad. (Why are you eating salad while you’re on vacation, anyway?!)

You also may feel tempted to guzzle the caffeine to help you compensate for your jet lag, but we wouldn’t advise going overboard. Drink the normal amount of coffee or soda that you would back home so that your stomach doesn’t have to deal with a huge change while you’re on the go.

4. Practice normal hygiene, but more

It should go without saying that you should practice your normal hygiene while traveling, but we want to double down on that. Really practice your hygiene.

  • Wash your hands. Often. This is vital.
  • Brush your teeth (of course).
  • Use sunscreen when necessary – especially if you’re traveling somewhere closer to the equator.
  • Use bug spray or whatever else you can find to avoid any nasty bites. (Some diseases like yellow fever and lyme disease actually travel through bugs, so this is a big one!)
  • Get your sleep! Jet lag is no joke, and you need those z’s to stay active and healthy while you’re doing your adventuring.
  • Bring your medications! Take any meds back home? You better bet you’ll need them while traveling. If you can get a copy of a prescription from your doctor, bring them along too, in case someone asks you to prove the medications are yours.

5. Use your best judgment

This is your health we’re talking about! You know what’s best for yourself in most situations. Choose clean hotels, hostels, or Airbnbs to sleep in, and avoid swimming in any water that looks discolored or polluted. Rivers and streams might be good to avoid, too, but oceans and pools are probably fine. Again – use your best judgment.

Stick to restaurants with other people around. Lots of restaurants in touristy parts of the world specifically cater to groups, and they might not have food lying around when you show up. Go where the locals go! That’s your best bet to get fresh, delicious grub – just go easy on any new spices or sauce.

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Molly Mulroy

Words, words, words. That’s pretty much all Molly Mulroy can think about. Sometimes she rewrites one sentence six or seven times until she gets it right - but hey, it’s always worth it. An important part of our team, Molly works remotely from the sunny shores of Rabat, Morocco, bouncing between her apartment and the abundance of espresso-heavy cafes throughout Morocco.

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