By Diana Gerstacker
January is a month of resolutions and while there's been a lot of talk about health and fitness -- and some big travel roundups too, it's not often that we consider the role of health in travel.
It's clear that travel can derail plans, whether that means catching a cold after a transatlantic flight or interrupting a healthy diet. But there are ways to explore distant countries without breaking from the healthy routines of home entirely.
Perhaps instead of making vague resolutions to improve health or to travel more, we should be thinking about these goals specifically. Lofty goals are met by making small step by step plans and resolutions are no different. To help your grand health and travel plans come together, we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you travel healthier and smarter.
Travel Healthier -- And Smarter
Bring Your Own Pillowcase
If you miss the comforts of home when you travel, have trouble falling asleep or just hate the idea of your face making direct contact with a hotel pillow case, then bring your own. A pillowcase from home barely takes up any space in your bag but it's a familiar comfort that can be invaluable on the road.
From flying in an airplane with limited humidity to walking the streets of a foreign city for hours on end, travelers are prone to dehydration, often without even realizing it. Carry on an empty refillable water bottle and fill it once you're through security (and whenever it's empty) so you’ll always have water handy. Just make sure the water you're using is safe to drink.
Whether you prefer Airborne, Emergen-C or something a little more old school, keep supplements on hand to give your immune system a boost through the flights and long travel days.
Speed Through Security
TSA Precheck -- and other programs -- turn the airport security process from a total nightmare into an almost enjoyable experience. Keep on your shoes, belt and coat and make it to your gate that much sooner.
Wake Up Early
Most of us know not to waste our precious travel time sleeping until noon, but getting up extra early has some often overlooked benefits. Hitting typically busy attractions in the morning will help you beat the lines, you'll be able to capture better photos due to the soft diffused morning light and even dodgy areas are less dangerous in the morning when people are starting to open up shop.
Plan Meals Wisely
Some hotel bundles are overrated, but the deals that include breakfast are always a good choice. Having breakfast included in the hotel rate not only saves you money, but it helps start your day with a substantial meal and healthy options. Fill up at breakfast, eat a moderate-sized lunch and then a light dinner -- it's good for your health and budget.
Cook Your Own Meals
If you're staying in one spot for a while, find a place with a kitchen or kitchenette. You'll save money and can ensure you have access to healthy food.
More From The Active Times:
-- Places to Visit in 2015
-- Fit to Fly—Airports Where You Can Get a Workout on Your Layover
-- Get Fit Getaways: The Best Health and Wellness Vacations for 2015
-- Tropical Vacations Perfect for Escaping Winter's Wrath