Getting ready to travel for the holidays ahead? Nothing can derail a fun family trip more than an unexpected cold, flu, or some other illness. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your chances of staying healthy and on the go this year. Read on to find out what we recommend.
Get Your Flu Shot Ahead of Time
We’re in the thick of flu season, and the seasonal flu vaccine is one of the easiest and best ways to protect yourself and your family. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone in your family over 6 months of age can get vaccinated (assuming they’re in good health), and it’s something that most insurance plans make available at little or no cost to consumers.
It’s important to remember that it can take up to two weeks before your body is able to develop an antibody response to the vaccine, so be sure to plan ahead if you can. But even if you’re traveling within the next two weeks, it’s still important to get it as soon as possible. It’ll help to keep you (and those most vulnerable to the flu) safe throughout the winter ahead, so it’s never too late.
Make a Quick Visit to Your Doctor
No matter where or how you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to stop by your primary care provider ahead of time for a quick checkup or to get any vaccinations you might need if you’re traveling abroad.
Practice Frequent Hand-Washing
This is something you should be doing already, but it’s even more important for protecting your family from sickness during the holidays.
As more people from different areas come together in places such as airports, malls, and family gatherings, you’ll want to take some time to keep your hands clean. Whether that means you take extra opportunities to wash your hands before your next meal or simply carry around a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, it’s especially important to practice good hygiene this time of year — for yourself and everyone around you, too.
Make Healthy Choices
We’ve all been there before. Fast food and other less-than-ideal food choices always seem like the most convenient. But even though you may be on holiday, your immune system isn’t, and it still needs nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and low-fat proteins to perform at its best.
Whenever you can, opt for water over sugary, high-calorie drinks such as soda or juice, even if they come with the promise of high vitamin C. The calories and sugar aren’t worth it, and your body functions best when it’s hydrated with the right fluids. When it comes to what you eat, consider looking for lighter options along the way or simply pack your own food ahead of time if your travel plans allow. If fast food is your only option, consider going for some of the lower-calorie menu items available.
Take a Deep Breath and Relax
This might be the most underrated tip on the list, but it’s absolutely vital: Take a deep breath and relax as you get ready to travel. Everyone knows how hectic and stressful this time of the year can be, but stress has been shown to be one of the most destructive forces to a person’s overall well-being.
Take some time during the holidays to relax, unwind, get some exercise in, or simply focus on your favorite activities. And most importantly, get plenty of sleep. It’s one of the best ways to keep your body in shape to fight off all the viruses and bacteria it’s sure to encounter this holiday season.