Traveling healthy and well

When this article posts, I will be sightseeing in beautiful Alaska!  Which is why I chose the photo of an amazing Alaskan glacier for the feature photo.   I LOVE all that is travel!  Seeing new

When this article posts, I will be sightseeing in beautiful Alaska!  Which is why I chose the photo of an amazing Alaskan glacier for the feature photo.   I LOVE all that is travel!  Seeing new places and scenery, trying new foods, exploring new territories, and being free from all of the burdens of everyday life at home that seem to be ever-present.

Since I am a long-time public health professional and certified health educator, as our regular NFD readers know, I put a health slant on EVERYTHING that I do.  This also would include travel!  Which is why I wanted to share a few travel tips for those of you all who may also be sailing the seas, hitting the road, flying the blue skies, or otherwise embarking on a journey to an amazing destination of your choice this summer.

Get Active!

Traveling provides a great opportunity to stay active.   We are visiting a dog sled camp which will involve a bit of a trek just to get there,  doing some sledding, taking a photogenic nature hike with plenty of stops for pictures (hike is a total of 4 miles!) and hoping to get some iceberg and marine wildlife photos among others, and also taking a bicycle tour in Juneau.    Being the fitness buff that I am, I also plan on visiting the on-board gym we have on our ship.

  • Take advantage of the great outdoors wherever you might be and get outside!  Get a city map of where you are visiting and do your research mapping out parks and local attractions.   Pick up travel materials from the hotel or wherever you are staying about local activities of interest that also keep you up and moving.
  • Visit the gym if your hotel – or ship – or other accommodations have one.  Some places have super-nice workout facilities.
  • Pack a DVD of a quick workout you can do in the morning – or evening – to get your heart pumping and keep your muscles active.

Keep an eye on nutrition.

  • While part of the fun of visiting a new place is trying different foods, balance your meals throughout the day. If you know you are going to be dining on some less-than-healthy food at that Italian gourmet ristorante, then perhaps choose a lighter option for breakfast such as a bagel and fruit.
  • Don’t “waste” your calories on airport “junk” foods or fast food stops along the highway.   Take along your own healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, trail mix, peanut butter cups (no, not Reeses!) and apples or carrots and other similar snacks.  Save those calories for the good stuff!
  • When ordering out, follow the same guidelines as you would for healthy eating at home, choosing foods that are heavy on vegetables and fiber, and choosing low-fat proteins such as fish, chicken, and turkey.   Remember to order those salad dressings and other condiments on the side so you can control how much is put on your food.
  • Make your own meals if you have access to a hotel with kitchenettes.  This will also save you some dollars for other fun activities.

Other ways to stay healthy and well – Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of resources on staying safe and healthy during travel. Below is some great information from the CDC’s website.  The website is worth visiting, as they have information on everything from international travel, road safety, jet lag, high altitudes, traveling with your pets, to, ahem………………traveler’s diarrhea. Anything you could possibly want to know about staying healthy while traveling can be found on the site.

Here are a few basics from “Your Survival Guide to Safe Safe and Healthy Travel,” which is focused on international travel, but has great information for travelers no matter where your destination locally.  Please remember to visit the website, though, as I am convinced there is no travel question or issue anyone has that is NOT on the site. It is THAT thorough!

Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel tips:


Take steps to anticipate any issues that could arise during your trip.


Family walking through airport with luggage

No one wants to think about getting sick or hurt during a trip, but sometimes these things happen. You may not be able to prevent every illness or injury, but you can plan ahead to be able to deal with them.



It is important to practice healthy behaviors during your trip and after you return home. This section outlines how you can protect yourself and others from illness during your trip.



For more information on your responsibilities as a traveler, listen to “The Three P’s of Safe and Healthy Travel” podcast.


Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel,  Accessed June 20, 2016.
Cindy Chafin
Cindy Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES® serves as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her. Through her many years as a masters-level certified health educator and 18-year employment in a higher education setting – as well as several years as a graduate and doctoral student – she has written countless articles, essays, publications, grant applications, proposals, reports, and other technical and creative writing documents. In addition to her training and professional work experience, she spent four years as volunteer editor of New Focus Daily, a publication of the Women Survivors Alliance, a national women cancer survivors-focused organization based in Nashville, Tennessee.
While serving as editor of Unconditionally Her, a women-focused magazine which provides content on anything from recipes, travel, books, and everything in between, she has a special interest in fitness, health, and well-being. She is certified by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and was part of the first cohort to receive master's level designation. NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice. She is proud to be a CHES® and has been a public health professional for many years after receiving her graduate degree in health promotion and education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for many years and looks forward to re-engaging with women one-on-one as a health coach pending completion of her certification and doctoral degree to supplement her public health and academic work.

She currently is the Associate Director for Community Programs for the Center for Health and Human Services at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, located just outside of Nashville, where she has been a project director of multiple grants since 2002 and served as interim director from 2015-2018. Cindy offers her consulting services and volunteer hours under the umbrella of Community Health Collaboratives, LLC which she founded in 2002 for organizations such as Unconditionally Her and other non-profit and charity organizations. She is pleased to promote empowerment and confidence of women readers across the globe, and to provide inspiration, motivation, and voice for social change through her role as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her.

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