If you’re backpacking across Europe (or any other desirable destination, for that matter), you probably have a number of checklists that you’re working through and trying to complete. It could feel overwhelming to try and experience as much as possible before you go, but you also want to make sure that you know how to stay healthy while you’re on your trip. After all, nothing holds up an active overseas journey quite like an untimely head cold!
Here are a few tips for backpackers on how to stay healthy while traveling:
Eating healthy while traveling:
Trying to eat as healthily as you can while backpacking can be difficult, but if you plan the trip out correctly and learn how to pack efficiently, you’re going to have a lot more energy and you’re going to feel like you can get through every single day ready and raring for the next. Make sure to have some cash with you – then, you can go sample some of the local cuisine while getting some crucial nutritional value. If you are able, ask a local where a good, wholesome place to eat is that won’t break your bank; this way you’ll be able to find good food while avoiding tourist traps.
Focus on getting enough sleep.
Sleep is very important, and with all of the hostels across Europe, there are plenty of places for you to rest your head comfortably without hurting your trip budget. Even if you don’t stay at a hostel, you should try your best to get the most restful sleep that you possibly can. A comfortable sleeping bag and a supportive sleeping pad can help with this immensely when you can’t find a mattress or couch to crash on. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, if not more, so that your immune system is able to stand up against whatever the weather and your interactions may throw at you.
“Take a Zero” at least once a week.
If you’ve never heard that term before, you’ll do well to learn and heed its advice! The term “take a zero” refers to taking a day where you don’t hike or trek at all. These days are meant for physical recuperation, restocking on any supplies that you may be low on, and seeing sights. Taking a zero doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t push forward in your travels, though; affordable car rentals can be surprisingly cheap in many European countries and provide a great way to cover ground in comfort and relaxation. Look into prices online and you might find the alternative more viable than you previously thought – there are even specialized options for those looking to rent a car under 25.
Be Smart About Packing
The less time you spend packing, the more time you have for exploration. It's important to have a good travel organizer, which will reduce your stress and frustration. The PACK Backpack Organizer let's you unpack in 10 seconds, and is perfect for your backpack or carry-on.
The most important thing that you can do for your mental health during a backpacking trip is to have fun while you’re doing it. While backpacking is a test of mental and physical endurance, you don’t need to be miserable the whole time that you’re doing it. Have fun, see the sights, and give your mind a rest every once in awhile. That way, you’ll be able to stand up against those rough days that you may have during your adventure abroad.
These are just a few of the things that you can do in order to stay healthy while traveling. Just make sure that you learn how to focus on the way you’re feeling and functioning – you’ll be a lot better off and you’ll be able to enjoy your backpacking trip across Europe a lot more than you would have otherwise!