8 Tips How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation

How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation

If you're planning a high altitude vacation in the mountains, altitude sickness is a risk that ca quickly put you out of commission. As a company based in Colorado that sees visitors commonly struggle, we'll share with you essentials things to know and our best tips how to prepare for high altitude vacation.

How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation

From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to international destinations including Peru and ski resorts in Europe, altitude sickness is a common threat. In Colorado we observe visitors often struggling with high altitude, and even worse when flying in from sea level.

The symptoms of altitude sickness on your vacation could include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia or sleeping issues
  • feeling ill

With over a decade of high altitude experience, we'll share with you the essentials things to know and our best tips how to prepare for high altitude vacation. With proper preparation, including things like acclimatization and natural remedies, you can maximize your high altitude experience with less worry.

Read below to learn our eight best tips.

8 Tips How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation

Learn our best eight tips how to prepare for high altitude vacation so you can have the most enjoyable time.

From our experience in Colorado, some tips require preparation and others are steps you can take while you're on your vacation. Overall, the more of these tips you can follow the more it could help you.

Here's 8 Tips How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation:

1. Acclimate In Stages

The more sudden and faster you climb in elevation, the higher chance it leads to altitude sickness. If you give your body time to adjust gradually by acclimating slowly in stages, you can lessen the risk and stress you'll experience.

Plan your itinerary to include a day or two at a lower elevation before ascending further. For example, well prepared visitors of Colorado will stay in Denver for a night or two at 5,280 feet before heading to higher altitude vacation destinations such as Aspen (7,908 ft), Vail (8,150 ft), and Telluride (8,750 ft).

2. Adequate Hydration

Lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes have been shown to lead to increase water loss through increased respiration. Research shows that fluid loss can happen twice as fast when compared to sea level.³

Get adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water before and during your trip. Many experts recommend drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day.

TIP: To maximize your hydration, you can add sea salt (naturally containing minerals) to your food/drink, and taking Zaca's hydration chewables that can help increase water absorption.

3. Get Plenty Of Sleep

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of preparing for a high altitude vacation. Science proves that sleep not only helps recovery, it can even aid oxygen and blood flow in your body.⁴

Aim for a full night's sleep before and during your journey, 7-9 hours each night. To help maximize sleep quality, get sunlight exposure during the day which can naturally help melatonin production at nighttime.

4. CBD

While there's no direct evidence to show CBD helps with high altitudes, the benefits displayed in research appear to be useful for mountain trips.

Studies have shown both an improvement in sleep⁵ and nauseas subduing benefits,⁶ which could come in handy when struggling with high altitudes. Although no promising correlation, even the sleep-aiding effects alone are great for traveling.

5. Avoid Alcohol 

It might be tempting to indulge in a celebratory drink when you first arrive to your high altitude vacation destination, alcohol is one of the worst things you could consume. Alcohol can further dehydrate your body, worsen sleep quality, and even affect blood oxygen saturation.⁷

Opt for hydrating beverages like water and tea instead, and avoid alcohol for 1-2 days or at least until you show no signs of elevation struggle.

6. Supplemental Oxygen

In some cases, travelers may benefit from supplemental oxygen. The tricky part is that while canned oxygen have become popular in many mountain stores, it's questionable if it contains enough oxygen to be effective.

A study proved supplemental oxygen to have a noteworthy effect at high altitudes, but this was done with oxygen tanks versus the much smaller oxygen cans.⁸ Replenishing oxygen is certainly beneficial overall, you can be the judge if smaller canned oxygen canisters will be strong enough for you.

7. Limit Strenuous Activity

High elevations challenge your body's ability to perform physically demanding activities. High altitude vacations commonly involve strenuous activities including hiking, skiing, and overall exploring the great outdoors.

Don't be too quick to push yourself. Limit strenuous activity and listen to your body's cues for rest during your vacation. Gradually increase your activity level each day as you feel more confident and free of altitude sickness signs.

8. Antioxidant Supplements

One key factor to be aware of on your vacation is that high altitudes can induce oxidative stress.⁹ Research has even shown high altitudes to deplete glutathione levels, which is your body's master antioxidant.¹⁰

Antioxidant supplements, such as glutathione, can support your body's natural defense mechanisms against the oxidative stress.¹¹ You can include them in your pre-travel routine and during your vacation.

In conclusion, embarking on a high-altitude vacation requires careful planning and consideration for your body's needs. In this guide, we provided eight tips on how to prepare for high altitude vacation — including acclimating gradually, staying hydrated, ensuring sufficient sleep, considering CBD, avoiding alcohol, exploring supplemental oxygen, limiting strenuous activities, and incorporating antioxidant supplements.

Now you can be better prepared for you high altitude vacation, whether alone or with your family, and enjoy your experience without the worry!

How Do You Prepare Your Lungs For High Altitude Mountains?

While altitude tents exist to mimic high altitudes oxygen levels, the prices are very high ($2,699). You'll find athletes training with altitude tens to prepare the lungs, but it doesn't make sense to prepare for a high altitude vacation.

One of the best ways to prepare your lung for the high altitude mountains, is by following number one in our tips. Acclimating in stages can be very effective when possible. If you can gradually increase your elevation before arriving at your final vacation destination, this could better prepare your lungs.

Supplements To Prepare For High Altitude

If wanting a natural remedy such as supplements to prepare for high altitude, CBD, oxygen, and antioxidants are a great solutions to start. Read our tips above for more details on each of these supplements to prepare for high altitude.

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1. Travel to High Altitudes
2. Preparing for Safe Travel to High Altitude - Mayo Clinic
3. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
4. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
5. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
6. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids
7. Effects of Alcohol
8. Supplemental oxygen and hyperbaric treatment at high altitude: cardiac and respiratory response
9. High altitude and oxidative stress
10. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
11. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
12. The Complete Altitude Tent Sleeping Package includes everything you need for Sleeping at High Elevations.
13. How To Prepare For High Altitude Vacation With Supplements