Everyone is strongly aware that traveling poses the greatest risk for COVID-19. What very few realize is that at every point during the trip, they actually face different kinds of threats on top of the possibility of going to a coronavirus-inflicted place. This is why health-and-wellness tips for COVID-19 prevention should be on top of your consideration when traveling.

Consider these scenarios: lining up at the airport, you run into people. Boarding the plane, you're in an enclosed space. Checking in at a hotel, you come into close contact with the staff taking your bags. Exploring destinations, you may find it hard to distance yourself from others.

The new normal on safe travel tips today is no longer just about protecting your valuables or being discerning of people around you, but it is also about reducing your risk from the virus as much as possible. It’s worth reading essential travel guides and advice about this pandemic before hitting the road.

Tourism hotspots have slowly been getting back to business. Boracay, for one, is set to reopen in October 2020. If you’re planning to travel to the island or other top destinations in the world, the following health-and-wellness tips for COVID-19 prevention should be your priority during your trip:

1. Get moving.

To be healthy while traveling means to stay active. Exercise boosts your immune system and therefore makes you less vulnerable to falling ill. New research studies also indicate that working out may help reduce the risk of a deadly COVID-19 complication called ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), a type of respiratory failure.

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How can you exercise when the space you are in restricts your movements? Well, you have your hotel room. Some hotels provide equipment (even clothes) to individual units. Ask the receptionist if they have this kind of service. Then tune in to online workout classes and get moving.

2. Sleep well.

If you’re the type who can’t rest well when you’re away from home, you need to put in a lot more effort in achieving sound and sufficient sleep. That’s because this can also improve your immune system and reduce the risk of infection. Here are some ways you can get better rest in a hotel room:

  • Ask for a room away from elevators to avoid disturbances during sleep.
  • See if the room has blackout curtains. If not, request for some.
  • Use your bed for sleep only. Don’t make it a workstation.
  • Avoid eating big meals before bedtime.
  • Follow your usual bedtime rituals.
  • Stay away from blue light like those emitted by cellphones before sleep.

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Essentially how-to-stay-healthy tips, these strategies should help you stay asleep through the night and wake up refreshed in the morning.

3. Eat healthier.

It’s hard to be conscious of what you eat when traveling because you just want to let loose and try everything in the destination you’re visiting. However, as you would see in other how-to-stay-healthy articles, healthy eating, and proper nutrition is a necessary component in helping the body prevent illnesses. That said, take note of the following tips:

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  • Have a good mix of citrus fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and food from animal sources.
  • Avoid overindulging. Eat slowly so you can listen to your body’s fullness signal.
  • Skip the minibar. Instead, pack these on-the-go, healthy snacks you can munch on anytime throughout your travel.
  • Make sure that you practice proper handling of ingredients, especially raw meat. If you’re going to prepare your own meal, it’s one important safe travel tip for COVID-19 prevention you must never overlook.

4. Take your prescribed vitamins.

This is among the health-and-wellness tips for COVID-19 prevention that’s often overlooked when traveling. You do a lot of activities; so you tend to forget the simple routine of drinking vitamins. The fact is, even though there’s no dietary supplement that can cure the coronavirus, there are certain nutrients that can equip your body to fend off diseases. These are some common vitamins:

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  • Vitamin C helps boost immunity.
  • Vitamin D protects you from respiratory infections.
  • Zinc that helps activate T-cells which destroy infected host cells

Don’t forget to check with your doctor what type of vitamins and dosage you should take. This is especially crucial for individuals with existing illnesses that may affect your prescription or dosage. Just make to keep your health up and consume the recommended amount of these vitamins during your trip.

5. Avoid smoking and drinking.

Skipping the puff and the booze is especially hard when you’re on a trip, but experts say that drinking alcohol can make the coronavirus worse and smoking can increase the risk of getting infected. This is why it’s important to limit your alcohol intake and to avoid smoking.

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Steer clear from bars or tight and closed spaces. This is how you can stay healthy and reduce temptation. You’re also able to avoid the risk of being crammed into crowds at a place with less ventilation.

6. Wear a face mask.

The number one rule when going outside is to use a protective barrier for your mouth and nose. Certain face masks can block respiratory droplets that come from a potentially infected person, giving you the added protection you need. At the same time, it’s protection for others, too, as it keeps your body fluids contained, reducing the possibility of infecting people should you be asymptomatic.

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N95 and surgical masks are the most effective, but in most countries, government regulations reserve these materials for medical workers. In general, the public has cloth masks as options. In this case, choose one that has three layers to best curb the coronavirus. The outer layer should be made of a non-absorbent material such as polyester, the middle portion filters, and the inner absorbs particles.

7. Practice physical distancing.

Maintain about 1 to 2 meters of distance from people when traveling. This is especially important when you’re in a public mode of transportation. Usually, buses and trains will have physical distancing reminders on floors or seats. As a travel safety tip for COVID-19 prevention, follow them and don’t take them for granted.

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This also applies to using shared amenities in your hotels such as elevators, hallways, and restaurants. You may want to pass up on going to the swimming pool, game room, gym, or lounging areas if there are too many people there.

8. Use good hand-washing techniques.

Cleaning your hands properly is an important health-and-wellness tip for COVID-19 prevention. You touch a lot of things throughout the day; and, sometimes, we’re not even mindful of what we come in contact with, especially when we’re traveling, exploring things, and enjoying so much.

In a recent update from the WHO, they reported that the coronavirus can stay on surfaces for days. If you touch them and unconsciously touch your eyes or nose, you become immediately at risk.

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That said, wash your hands regularly. More importantly, be thorough about it. Experts recommend spending at least 20 seconds washing.

9. Avoid touching your face.

As mentioned, touching your face can increase your risk of contracting coronavirus disease, among other illnesses. The mouth, the nose, and the eyes are gateways of respiratory infections. In fact, research studies show that on average, people touch their face 16 times in an hour, without necessarily being aware.

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It’s a reflex and a self-soothing tactic; so when you’re traveling, you may be touching your face more since you get sweaty exploring the outdoors, conscious about how you look, awkward around strangers, and whatnot. Part of the health-and-wellness tips for COVID-19 prevention is breaking the face-touching habit:

  • Keep your hands busy. Simply put, distract them.
  • Apply a scented sanitizer. The smell should make you alert on how close your hands are to your face.
  • Wear accessories. Use sunglasses to keep your hands from your eyes or hair ties to keep them from brushing off stray hairs.

10. Comply with safety protocols at all times.

Upon arriving at the airport, you may have to go through thermal scanning, get tested, and answer a health declaration form. At the hotel, there may be a reduced number of passengers allowed in elevators or restaurants.

Amenities may have shorter operating hours since the disinfection team -- outfitted in PPEs--will clean the area every now and then. On the island, operators may have canceled certain sports activities for beach safety at the time of COVID-19.

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All these protocols may be an inconvenience in your travel, but remember that they’re for your safety. The only response expected of you is to comply.

Safe travels under the new normal largely mean being well. If you’re planning to visit a vacation hotspot soon, don’t forget these 10 ways to stay healthy; so you can avoid headaches along the way, literally and figuratively.