Vacations are great for many reasons, including the fact that they rescue you from your 9 to 5 routine. Instead of the daily commute and spreadsheets, you have the chance to enjoy new foods, beautiful scenery, incredible architectural sights, and evenings of leisurely aperitifs. 

Recent research confirms the health benefits of taking vacation time seriously. Workers who clock in more than 55 hours per week were found to be 33% more likely to suffer a stroke.

As important as getting away from routine is, however, vacations should not mean a departure from a healthy lifestyle. What happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas… but not when it comes to the choices you make regarding your health. 

There’s nothing wrong with rest and relaxation and letting yourself indulge in a good time. Just be careful not to surrender to excess. Maintaining healthy habits is essential, and it’s easier the more you incorporate them into your everyday life, even on vacation. Here are some of our packing recommendations for healthy travel.

Exercise Tools

There’s no need to throw a pair of free weights into your luggage. But packing some basic fitness equipment allows you to work out in any hotel room. Some of the most convenient and effective tools include:

  • Resistance bands
  • Jump rope
  • Weightlifting or yoga gloves
  • Athletic shoes

These lightweight pieces of equipment are easy to bring with you and will encourage you to stick with your exercise routine while you’re on the go.

Water Bottle 

Having water on hand at all times is extremely important. Most people don’t feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to serious complications, especially if you’re an older adult or live with a chronic illness. Healthy adults should be drinking at least 2.7 to 3.7 liters of water per day. 

If you’re physically active or spending time in a warm climate, your daily water needs only increase. Packing a water bottle helps you drink enough water wherever your journeys take you.


If you take prescription medications, pack them in the original labeled bottles, even if you’re not sure you’ll need them on your trip. Make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality by packing a stash of useful over-the-counter drugs if you’re going to be away from a pharmacy:

  • A pain reliever like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen
  • Antihistamine medication
  • A digestive aid like Pepto-Bismol
  • Antacids for heartburn relief

It’s also smart to bring a small first aid kit (if possible) and items like hand sanitizer, insect repellant, sunscreen, and sunglasses, depending on the nature of the trip.