An illness can ruin your holiday fun. We gathered our team, especially those who love to travel, and asked them to share a tip or two for you and your families. We hope you have a happy (and healthy!) holiday season!
- Driving – Winterize your car and prepare it for the road trip. Get a full tune-up, including checking the tires, brakes, oil, and other fluids. Don’t forget about the windshield wipers. Determine the best time to travel to miss inclement weather and avoid traffic as much as possible.
- Flying – Give yourself ample time to get to the airport without rushing. Streamline your check-in process by checking bags at the curb instead of inside at the counter. If you’re worried about lost luggage, only pack a carry-on. Download the airline’s app instead of worrying about a paper boarding pass. Wear slip-on shoes, don’t wear a belt, and keep your pockets empty after check-in. Hate airport security? Register for TSA Precheck and skip the lines.
- Immunizations – The holidays coincide with peak flu season, so get the flu shot. Ask your doctor about a pertussis booster and the pneumonia vaccine. If traveling abroad, check the CDC website to see which immunizations are recommended.
- Health Insurance – Carry current insurance cards. Also, know your policy and how it covers you when you’re far from home. If you have a condition that requires frequent health service needs, make a short-list of in-network providers in the area where you’ll be traveling.
- Wash Your Hands – Doing so regularly is essential to staying healthy. Lather with soap and then rub your hands together for twenty seconds, or as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice. No matter how often you wash your hands, keep them away from your face at all times.
- Eat Immune-Boosting Foods – Maintain a healthy diet before, during, and after your trip, including plenty of protein, healthy fat, and a balance of vitamins and minerals. Skip processed ingredients and sugar as much as possible.
- Hydrate – Drink water throughout your trip. Don’t overdo it on alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks such as soda and coffee, which can further dehydrate the body, especially during air travel. Air systems on planes work quite well at filtering out germs, but the air is dry. A thin layer of mucus in your nose and throat normally flushes out bacteria, but the mucus evaporates in dry weather. Drink lots of water to stay adequately hydrated.
- Exercise – Exercise is a powerful mental health tool. Incorporate some exercise into each day of your vacation, a quick walk, stretching on the living room floor, even a couple of sets of push-ups and sit-ups will have you feeling better and more balanced.
- Sleep – Sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system and make your body more vulnerable to infection. Aim for eight hours of sleep each night in the days leading up to your departure date and keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible during your trip.
- Travel Insurance – Nobody wants to cancel a holiday trip, but it does happen. Travel insurance is a great option especially if your trip involves an expensive flight or an adventure abroad. Your travel insurance can cover unexpected illness, bad weather, passport problems, emergency evacuations, and more.
- Pack Light – If driving, ensure all the windows and mirrors are visible to the driver. Pack a basic emergency kit that includes road flares, space blankets, food, and water. If flying, pack then repack. Take out any excess. When you’re bogged down from travel, you won’t want to lug an enormous suitcase around. Bonus points if you restrict your luggage to just a carry-on.
- Organize Your Finances – If traveling abroad, call your bank and let them know so your funds won’t be cut off while overseas. Always have some cash on hand and carry more than one bank or credit card just in case. Check your credit card policies, too, as they usually come with a bit of travel allowance and insurance when it comes to canceled flights and lost bags.
- Share Your Itinerary – Make sure you tell someone your general plans. Having a google document with your itinerary and pertinent information is never a bad idea. Email it to yourself or have it available on the web somewhere for easy sharing. If you don’t arrive on time, or if someone is at your house before you’re supposed to be home, friends and family will know to follow up.