As parents, we recognize that one of the most critical parts of our roles as caregivers is to keep our children safe and healthy - and we do a pretty good job at it! Additionally, we know that it's essential for children's development and physical and emotional well-being to have fun! You want to show the world to your child, expose them to different cultures and help them form core memories that will last a lifetime. With summer upon us, many families make their travel plans with lots of anticipation and excitement for all the fun our children will have. With that, though, does come some additional worry. While you may be well versed in general traveling tips with children, you may want to have another list for keeping them healthy. Let us look at easy ways to ensure your little ones (and you) stay healthy and safe on your next grand adventure.

Staying Hydrated 

With the human body being sixty percent water, it's essential for us to stay adequately hydrated at all times - hence the "eight glasses a day" guidance. When we're traveling, though, we're prone to fatigue, jet lag, and contact with all types of germs and viruses in airports and hotels. Making sure you and your family drink plenty of fresh water will keep your mood boosted and your body healthy. Pack stainless steel water bottles for the entire family to use en route to your destination and once you get there. Having your bottles on hand is not only a sustainable option but keeps you reminded to be getting in that essential hydration. When you do need a pick me up, opt for healthy and organic energy drinks instead of coffee that can lead to you crashing after an hour or two. 

Eat Local Produce 

Choosing to eat fresh and local on your vacation boosts the local economy of where you're visiting, but it also makes sure you're getting all the vitamins and nutrients your bodies need to stay healthy. If you're visiting a tropical location, indulge in all the fresh fruit that may not be native to where you're coming from. Fruits like acai, jackfruit, and soursop are nutritional powerhouses, not to mention delicious. Eating locally also makes it more likely the food you're eating is organic and possibly even no or low spray produces - something you may opt for at home. On top of all the benefits above, we know what it's like to reach for convenience and fast foods when traveling, but these will only make you feel sluggish and lower your immune system. Opt for local restaurants, farmer's markets, and smaller shops while traveling. 

Head To Bed 

While late nights are bound to happen while on vacation, it's a good idea to try to get as much sleep as possible - especially if you're traveling with young kiddos in tow. Rest provides a valuable time of restoration for your brain and your body, but it also keeps your immune system function at peak levels. So, enjoy a few late nights, but reign it in on others to maintain a healthy balance. 

Move Your Bodies 

Just as rest is an excellent thing for the body and your overall health, so is physical movement (but you already knew that). Make sure you and your family create memories through plenty of excursions and ensure that many of those are physical activities. Horseback riding, snorkeling, and long walks on the beach - are all great ways to get your muscles moving and explore while you're vacationing. Time spent outdoors provides your body with the critical Vitamin D it needs and gains from the sunshine. If you're already an active family at home, keep up with your daily workouts even when you're on vacation. Sure, you're there to relax, but your body will feel tired, and your mood may suffer if you're not giving yourself the usual burst of endorphins you get from exercising at home. 

Practice Gratitude 

Another important aspect of our overall health is our mental health, and practicing gratitude has been shown to impact emotional well-being significantly. Recognize the privilege you have to even be on vacation and experience all that you are together as a family. Not everyone can afford to get away and enjoy time off with one another. Even expressing gratitude to see the ocean in the morning or waking up in a cabin in the woods can do wonders for your mental health. 

Staying healthy is a balancing act, but a lot of what we need to do is common sense. But, life gets in the way, and often the simplest things are the ones that get put on the backburner. Use the methods outlined above to keep you and your loved ones healthy as a gentle reminder to put your health first so you can enjoy your life and your vacation. Happy Trails!