Many people travel over the holiday season. As this is also known as the season for colds and flu, it’s important to be proactive when encountering germs. Here are seven tips to help you stay healthy while traveling this holiday season.
1. Wash Your Hands
The most important step we can take in staying healthy is keeping your hands clean and keeping them away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. You touch dozens of germy surfaces every day, when you travel, multiply that by 1,000. If you aren’t sure you will have access to soap and water, carry antibacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer. Wiping down surfaces before using them can also help in reducing the number of germs you come in contact with.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Flying can be dehydrating due to the altitude change and dry air. You’ve heard it, drink a minimum of 64 oz. of water a day; however you need more when flying. Many people also like to celebrate the beginning of their trip with a glass of wine or cocktail when flying. Wait until you’re on the ground to indulge as alcohol (and caffeine) is also dehydrating and can cause jet lag.
How many hours of sleep do you get when traveling? Whether you’re the type of traveler who is too excited to sleep the night before a trip or the last minute packer, remember you need your rest. We sleep because our body needs it to stay healthy, so be sure you are making time to get enough rest.
4. Get Moving
Whether you’re in for a long flight or drive, it is important to get up, walk around, and shake your legs every hour or so. This keeps the blood circulating and helps prevent swelling and blood clots.
5. Grab a Tissue
The best way to keep germs from spreading when coughing or sneezing is by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue, not your hands or elbow. ABC News even did an experiment to see which method was best to use (hands, elbows, tissue) and they were amazed as how far germs can spread if you don’t use a tissue. Be sure to throw the tissue away after use (don’t put it in your pocket or purse) then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
6. Bring Healthy Snacks
Fresh or dried fruits, nuts, trail mix, and protein bars are healthy snacks that are easy to carry while traveling. These are less expensive to bring with you than buying at the airport and good to have on hand, especially if you land late and restaurants in your area are closed.
7. Small First Aid Kit
Pack a small first aid kit in your carry-on bag. Packing your regular medications are usually a no-brainer, but be sure to pack some items not so top of mind. Items to pack: pain reliever, bandages (assorted sizes), antihistamine/decongestant, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, disposable cold pack or Moleskin (for blisters). It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your medical history forms.
I hope this helps you to stay sane and healthy during your next trip. Now I’d like to hear from you. What are your top travel tips?