Dr Jane Read

When on holiday, you’re expected to relax and let your hair down! This is true to a point, however it is just as important to stay healthy while you are away. Nothing will ruin a trip faster than feeling unwell, so here are 5 top tips to help you maintain your wellbeing when travelling. 


1. Maintain healthy eating habits

It’s okay to eat the odd unhealthy fried snack or meal, but for about 90% of the time you should aim to maintain a healthy eating pattern, with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Research your destination and find out what foods are available. Try the local markets for fresh food. This will help you stay healthy and return from your vacation feeling refreshed.

2. Watch the alcohol

Although it’s tempting to overindulge in alcohol while you are away from home, remember that all alcohol contains ‘empty calories’ and can lead to ‘holiday weight gain’. Alcohol can also lead to dehydration and cause serious health effects. If you do drink alcohol, drink safely and wisely. Alternate with non-alcoholic beverages and eat before or while you are drinking. Keep a count of your drinks, and remember that safe drinking is no more than two standard drinks per day.

champagne in greece

3. Drink plenty of water

Whether you are travelling to warmer or cooler climates, it’s important that you stay well hydrated. Make sure you have access to safe drinking water and carry water with you wherever you go to prevent dehydration. If travelling by plane you have low moisture levels in the cabin and are at high altitude, both of which increase your fluid needs. If you are given a bottle of water during the flight, keep it, and refill it with water throughout the flight.

4. Always have healthy snacks with you

If you are travelling by plane, doing long road trips or just seeing the sights around a beautiful city, always plan ahead and take healthy snacks with you. This will stop you from being tempted by junk food on stop-overs or at convenience stores. Pack some healthy snacks like crackers, low salt pretzels, cheese, dried fruit and nuts.

5. Research restaurants before you go

Trying to locate a good restaurant at the end of a busy day can be challenging in an unfamiliar place. It’s a great idea to do some research before you go about the local restaurants and markets at your destination. If you are staying in self-contained accommodation, it is good to know where the local supermarkets and fresh food markets are. Finding a memorable restaurant or fresh food market could be the highlight of your trip.

meal with a view

For many of us, it’s not often that we get the chance to get away and unwind - but it’s important to maintain a balanced lifestyle even while holidaying.  This way you can get the most out of your trip and return home feeling reenergised. 


Dr Jane Read is a Sydney-based GP Registrar who also holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Deakin University in Melbourne. In addition to working in general practice, Jane works as a freelance nutrition and medical writer, and has been a nutrition consultant to various corporate clients.

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