By: Lauren Durden
Traveling often involves long flights, public transportation and crowded events which can lead to elevated exposure to germs. As cold and flu season creeps into the United States, and the weather starts to cool, travelers’ immune systems are especially vulnerable. If you are planning holiday travel in the coming months or want to ensure you stay healthy throughout your next vacation, here are tips to stay well on your next trip.
Before you embark on your getaway, here are a few tips you should follow to boost your immunity to travel germs.
Get Vaccinated Before You Go
Whenever traveling to foreign destinations, always check the CDC or State Department’s information on recommended vaccinations. Schedule an appointment with your health professional to ensure that you are fully vaccinated well ahead of your travel, so all vaccines are administered in time to take effect.
Take a Vitamin C Booster Before You Travel
Taking vitamin C booster tablets have been shown to aid the body in its ability to fight off airborne illnesses. Passengers confined to small, dry areas on trains, buses or planes can easily boost their immune systems by taking a few tablets before and during their travel.
While traveling, especially on long flights, travelers can employ these tips to keep the germs at bay.
Stay Hydrated When Flying
One of the most important ways to stave off illness is to keep your body hydrated, especially during long flights which can be particularly dehydrating to the body. Staying hydrated will not only help minimize the chance of headache and fatigue, but will also help strengthen your immune system. Avoid drinking sweet, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages throughout your flight to ensure your body achieves maximum hydration.
Bring a Nasal Mist & Sanitizing Wipes On Board
Airplanes are notorious for the amount of microorganisms covering the tray tables, arm rests, seats and entertainment screens. Bringing antibacterial wipes on board and wiping down your space before settling in, will ensure fewer germs in your area.
Your nose and throat are the first in line to be bombarded with germs when traveling – especially while in flight. Recycled airplane air can dry out the nasal passages, which are essential in aiding the body in flushing out germs. Keeping a small spray bottle of nasal mist in your carry on will help keep your nasal passages moist and ready to flush out any airborne germs so they don’t make their way into your system.
Once you have arrived at your destination, there are a few more habits to help you stay healthy.
Drinking Filtered Water
When travelers fall ill due to drinking water overseas it’s not because of contaminants within the water. Rather, the upset stomachs are usually due to local bacteria present in the water travelers are drinking. Even if you are traveling to a developed destination with seemingly updated water facilities, it’s still best to only drink filtered, bottled water. This goes for brushing your teeth as well. Keep a few bottles by the bathroom sink for easier access.
If you don’t want to spend money by constantly purchasing bottled water throughout your trip, consider purchasing a water bottle with a built-in filter feature. This way, you can ensure for yourself that all water going into your body has been properly filtered for all bacteria before imbibing.
Carry Hand Sanitizer
Many times when traveling it’s difficult or impossible to wash your hands as often as needed to keep away illness-inducing germs – particularly when traveling to remote locale. Carrying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the next best thing when you aren’t able to find a proper sink.
Lastly, keeping your regular, everyday habits while on the road will help to keep your body in balance.
Get Enough Sleep
Late nights exploring the bars, nightclubs and neighborhoods of your destination might be a fun part of your vacation, but making certain that your body is well rested and ready for the days of travel ahead will also ensure that your body has time to repair itself each night – and keep your immune system in tip top shape. A few late nights here and there won’t hurt, but don’t make a habit of staying out until the wee hours of the morning for your entire trip.
Forget Your Medications or Vitamins
If you regularly take medications or vitamins, it’s obvious that your body still needs these aids while on vacation. Portion out the needed amount of medication or vitamins, and divide into pill boxes or plastic bags so you don’t have to carry the entire quantity with you during your travel.
Changing your diet too drastically while traveling can lead to an upset stomach and possible illness. While partaking in the local food flavors is an essential aspect of any trip for many travelers, ensuring that you are getting the needed amount of vitamins and minerals from your daily intake of food will help keep your body fueled and ready to take on the next leg of your trip. Enjoy that churro and chocolate, but don’t forget to bolster your dinner with a few extra greens to make up for the indulgence.