Traveling for work or play often comes with the risk of picking up a bug. Going somewhere new, sitting on an airplane (or in other close quarters) with several other people, touching high-contact surfaces—it’s coming down with the cold or flu (or worse) waiting to happen. That’s why we’ve gathered some tips for keeping your immune system in fighting shape to stay healthy while traveling and avoid catching anything more than your flight.
- Keep up with your personal hygiene routine. When you take a vacation from daily life, make sure you’re not also taking a vacation from your grooming and hygiene. Shower and brush your teeth at the same rate you would if you were at home.
- Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands more often than you would when you’re at home. Staying healthy while traveling can be difficult thanks to all of the high-contact surfaces in public spaces. Washing up—or using hand sanitizer—before and after mealtimes, when arriving at or returning to your hotel room, or after touching a particularly suspect surface (think public transit) will help keep those germs at bay. Don’t forget to avoid touching your face, too!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Getting enough water is important no matter where you are, but it’s easy to forget to hydrate when you’re on the road and having an adventure (or staying busy with work travel). Most of the major systems in the body rely on water to function correctly , so don’t leave anything to chance by underhydrating. Consider bringing a refillable water bottle with you so you can hydrate on the go.
- Try not to overindulge. Who doesn’t love treating themselves to a special dinner, a long brunch, or a dessert (or several) when on vacation? Enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it. Sticking to a balanced diet as much as possible can help ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs—but you can still give it some of what it craves.
- Find ways to stay active. You don’t have to hit the gym on the same schedule you keep at home, but finding some time to get activity into your schedule is important. Thankfully, several vacation activities are perfect for getting the heartrate up.
- Get some rest. Being well rested will always make you feel better—especially when dealing with the stressors that come with traveling (running to gates, spending more time than usual outdoors and on your feet, lugging around your bags). Look for opportunities to nap, especially if you’re not sleeping the same amount that you typically would at home.
With these tips in your travel bag, it’s easy to see how you can stay healthy when traveling. But sometimes coming down with something is simply unavoidable. If that happens, put the local pharmacy on your list of sights to see to find some symptom relief for cough and congestion—like Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough + Chest Congestion DM.
- Water: Essential to your body. Mayo Clinic Health System. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/water-essential-to-your-body. Accessed May 7, 2020.