Tips for Staying Well During Peak Travel Season

November 03, 2010

Safe family travels

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

It's the holiday season, which is the most popular time of the year for traveling. The holidays are also the most popular time of the year for spreading germs and sickness.

There are many ways you can protect yourself from getting sick. So before you pack up the car or get on an airplane, make sure you put the following tips on your holiday list. By being informed, you can make this a healthy holiday season.

Before you go

The beginning of the holiday season is also the beginning of the flu season. It's a great idea to get a flu shot before you travel. Flu shots are now available at your doctor's office as well as many workplaces, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other retail locations.

It's good to get plenty of sleep before you travel, too. Also, eat something healthy before you leave on your trip. A healthy and rested body is one of your best defenses against getting sick.

Once you've prepared yourself for a healthier trip, there are a few tips to remember when you board an airplane or get in the car.

Traveling by air

Many people believe that bad air in a jet cabin is the reason they often get sick. However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the air in the cabin is not bad. The reason you get sick is that people around you are sick. But there are ways you can protect yourself from catching something contagious.

When people close to you are coughing or sneezing, ask them to cover their face with a tissue or cough into their elbow. According to medical professionals, these actions can stop the spread of germs. If asking people to change their behavior is uncomfortable for you, you may want to carry a facemask with you on the airplane. Facemasks are the best way to keep from breathing in harmful germs.

Other than having fellow passengers cough or sneeze on you, the part of the airplane that has the most risk of making you sick is the bathroom. Moisture spreads germs, so the lavatories on jets can spread a lot of germs based on the amount of people who use them.

The best way to protect yourself in airplane bathrooms is also the easiest. Just use some hand sanitizer when you go back to your seat. This simple step will help you protect yourself and keep your holiday cheer.

Traveling By Car

As far as staying healthy during holiday travel, one of the advantages that a car provides is that you know the people around you, so you can protect yourself easier.

But there are still many potential health risks in car travel. The good news is that - just like traveling by air - there are plenty of ways to take care of your health and safety.

Eat a healthy breakfast with whole grains, protein, and fruit before you leave. A hearty morning meal will keep you full longer than a quick breakfast sandwich, and you'll be more awake and alert on your trip.

Pack your lunch in a cooler. You can also take some healthy snacks like string cheese, fruit, and trail mix.. That way, you can avoid the high-calorie, high-fat choices at the gas station.

Take breaks to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Even a short walk at a rest stop will help your blood move and increase your oxygen intake. A short walk also makes you more awake and alert, which makes you a safer driver on the road.

Water is important. Road trips are rough on both your mind and body, and water will keep you hydrated and also cleanse your system of many of the germs that can make you sick.

So now you're ready to go! Follow just one or two of these helpful tips, and you'll have a much healthier and safer holiday season.

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