Travel Healthy Vietnam – Part 2: Tips to Boost Energy and Stay Well When Traveling

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The key to a stellar vacation is making memories while enjoying each day away from home with energy and focus. This is your getaway for new adventures, meeting interesting people, exploring amazing sites, experiencing new foods, and making the most of your vacation dollars. Feeling exhausted, jet-lagged, and oversleeping on your precious vacation days can be avoided by implementing simple preparations a few weeks before traveling. Switching up your routine and making a few changes before you leave will benefit you in the long run. Take control of your body through better breathing and healthier eating to reach the goal of feeling good, having a clear head and good energy, day to evening in any time zone.

4 weeks ahead of travel:  Increase activity, boost your immune system, get a small juicer

Get moving 3-4 times each day in short, 15-20 minute increments to get oxygen pumping and adrenaline flowing through your body in new ways. Brisk walking, biking, jump roping, swimming and deep breathing will increase your oxygen flow. Talk with your doctor about adding a daily multi-vitamin, and an over the counter probiotic supplement to regulate stomach acid and boost your immune system. Buy an inexpensive juicer to squeeze fruit daily.  Challenge yourself to keep this routine going throughout your trip, and afterward. Your energy level will increase, you will offset extra pounds, and most importantly you will have the satisfaction of taking control of your body.

3 weeks ahead of travel:  Modify your diet and start hydrating

Put thought into every meal, snack and beverage you consume prior to your trip. Three weeks ahead, cut all fried and salty foods, chips, snacks, soda, sugary drinks, desserts and hard liquor. Reduce coffee, beer, wine to half your normal intake. Eat 3-4 servings of raw fruit and vegetables every day with a small glass of unsweetened juice at each meal to feel fuller. Eat smaller portions of meat, carbs and bread. Vietnamese food is fresh, spicy and filling.

Get your palette ready for the unique flavors before you arrive. Sprinkle lemon, lime or dry spices on your meat and veggies at the table. Keep a small container of sliced fruit in your fridge to add into water or tea throughout the day. Buy small containers of spices for your dinner table such as cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, ginger, curry powder or cinnamon to add flavor and zest to your meals. Your body will thank you as you enjoy a non-bloated vacation weeks later.

  • Hydrate frequently during your day with water, green tea, coconut water or low-sugar juices (not from concentrate). Add slices of cucumber, watermelon, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, mint, honey or fresh berries into your drink. Snack on low salt crackers, pita bread, hummus, cheese, pumpkin seeds, and water-based fruit and vegetables such as strawberries, blueberries, melon, celery, peppers, cucumber or crunchy jicama.
  • Eat a Vietnamese-inspired salad once each day. Cilantro, parsley, mint, lime or honey mixed into dark greens will keep you full with a flavor-packed salad. Add nuts, chilled garbanzo, kidney or other beans, seeds, croutons or cheese for a heavier salad.  Keep the dressing light and fresh. Vietnamese dressing is a simple base of rice vinegar, chili pepper, lime, mint leaves and sugar.
  • Swap carbs out and increase vibrant vegetables at each meal. Try raw, slightly cooked, or chilled carrots, beans, peas, beets, mango, avocado, kale, spinach, pineapple, banana, and fresh squeezed juice of any kind.

2 Weeks ahead of travel:  Finalize your agenda, complete work and home tasks, pack it up

Make a list of tasks you need to get done before your trip for both work and home. Hold mail, banking, pay bills, pet sitter, notify a neighbor to watch your home, arrange a ride to and from the airport, make a copy of your flight agenda, passport, visa and accommodations and give it to a friend or relative.

Shop to get necessities and start packing, as light as possible.  Fine tune your travel agenda for day trips, evenings out, contacts you want to meet, and your list of sights and things to do in Vietnam. Other things to consider for the trip:

  • Give your feet a well-deserved break. Take a plastic bag to put your street shoes in and store them under your seat during the long flight to and from Vietnam. Put on a comfy pair of socks to help your feet rest and relax on the journey. Do not go barefoot at any time on the plane.
  • Pack several small containers (under 3 oz.) of 50% alcohol-based hand sanitizer and travel-sized tissues or wipes. Put one set in your carry-on, and the rest in a sealed zip bag in your checked luggage. Use these generously on the trip on your hands as well as your seating area on the plane, train, bike or car you travel in.  Wiping down your tray table, air vent and window-seat wall are wise.
  • The Centers for Disease Control warns that certain strains of viruses can live up to four weeks on surfaces, and droplets from coughs and sneezing can be airborne for six feet. If a passenger near you appears to be sick, ask for a different seat. The dirtiest places on the plane are aisle seat armrests, dining trays, seat pockets, and the toilet area. Wipe these down discretely before using them.

1 Week ahead:  Treat yourself, get plenty of rest, and mentally prepare for a fantastic trip

  • In the days leading up to your trip, all of your preparation will come to fruition. Being hydrated, getting to bed early, feeling physically in shape, and being packed up alleviates stress and most last minute concerns.
  • Treat yourself to a haircut, manicure or massage during this week.
  • Finish eating or freeze any food perishables in your kitchen.
  • Leave your home clean, and come home refreshed, relaxed and ready for another adventure very soon.
  • Enjoy beautiful Vietnam, and share a few photos with us on facebook, twitter or at

Discover the New Vietnam!

Go to to start your Vietnam trip.

Did you know there’s a Sheraton in Saigon? For all available hotels in Vietnam, take a look at 

Want to make your friends envious? Tell them “I stayed in a Bed & Breakfast at Ho Chi Minh City.”

Last of all, don’t forget Travel insurance.  Like glue, boring but necessary.



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