Whether you're planning on taking your honeymoon the day after your nuptials or weeks (or even months!) later, staying in optimal health is key to ensuring you and your spouse have a safe and fun time. After all, stress, lack of sleep, and changes in diet all have a direct impact on your personal health and wellness, which is why experts agree you need to plan ahead. To help, we're sharing the best pieces of travel-related advice doctors give their patients ahead of the honeymoon.
Don't wait until the last minute to plan.
If you're traveling internationally or will be gone for several weeks, it's important to give yourself enough time to get your personal health in order before you depart. If you're traveling internationally, Sally Rafie, Pharm.D., a pharmacotherapy specialist, suggests scheduling a travel health visit a few months beforehand to get any vaccines, medications, or health advice you may need for your trip. "It takes your body about two weeks to get the full benefit from any vaccines and some vaccines require multiple doses, so the sooner you can get this taken care of, the more at ease you can be," she says.
Pack extra medication.
"If you take any regular medications, you'll want to plan to have enough supplies to get you through your honeymoon and a couple days after," says Rafie, which accounts for any delays or changes in plans. To ensure that this happens, she suggests sharing your travel itinerary with your local pharmacy and requesting extra supplies or early refills. "They will be able to help you ensure you can stick to your usual medication regimen," she adds.
Know the risks of where you're traveling.
If you're pregnant or planning to try to become pregnant on your honeymoon, Kristine Arthur, M.D., internist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, strongly recommends avoiding any countries with active Zika, as this virus causes significant birth defects and there is no vaccine against it. "If you are going to a country with malaria, you can get a prescription to protect yourself, but it has to be started before you leave and continued once you come back," she says. That's why it's so important to research ahead of planning, which is the only way to ensure that the location of your honeymoon is not putting you at risk of contracting any dangerous disease.
Don't let time zones trip you up.
Traveling to different time zones can be confusing for women taking certain birth control pills, warns Sherry Ross, M.D., OB/GYN, women's health expert, and author of She-ology. "Oral contraception can be the most challenging, especially if you are taking a progesterone only pill which requires a more timely dosing," she says. "One of the easiest ways to ensure you are taking your birth control in a timely fashion is to set your phone to help keep you on track when traveling in different time zones."
Pack antibacterial hand wipes or sanitizer in your carry-on.
Dr. Ross suggests wiping off common surfaces such as the tray table in the airplane and TV remote in your hotel to prevent yourself from getting sick while on your honeymoon. "When using the restroom, wash your hands with the wipes or soap and water and always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and anyone around you who is coughing or sneezing," she says. "While it might sound extreme, the most effective way to prevent colds and flus during air travel is to wear a face mask on the airplane."
Do yoga or meditation daily to minimize the effects of stress
"A daily practice of meditation and yoga can be an excellent way for you and your spouse to stay healthy," says Michael Galitzer, M.D., author of Outstanding Health. "By meditating together, you will not only calm your mind, but also deepen the positive emotions of love and joy you have for each other."