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Category: Travel / Topics: Advice, Guidance & Mentoring COVID-19 Holiday Season Optimal Aging Travel Wellness

How to Avoid Gettig Sick During Holidy Travel

by Kristen Nunez / Conde Nast Traveler

Posted: October 15, 2022

Simply following a few healthy habits will greatly reduce your chances of catching something…

Editor's Note: With trees turning brilliant colors and leaves swirling around us here in the Chicago area, it's hard o believe that another holiday season will soon be upon us (or is already here if you walk into your local big box store. With many having reduced travel during COVID, travel plans are once again being made, but with caution. Kristen Nunez, writing in Contde Nast Traveler, provides some tips on staying healthy while traveling. Hers is not a long article, but we'll give the bullet points here and you can follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the full article an get more information.

When you’ve got gifts to buy and family to see, getting sick is the last thing you want during a holiday vacation. After all, catching a bug puts a damper on any vacation, let alone a trip to celebrate the season with friends and family.

“There’s always an uptick in illness during the holiday season,” notes Eric Ascher, DO, family medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. This is due to several factors, including an increase in virus activity and more frequent social interactions, he says.

Luckily, by focusing on the following healthy habits, your chances of getting sick are greatly diminished—so go forth and travel confidently during the upcoming holiday season, and enjoy the festivities with peace-of-mind.

Wash your hands frequently

Regular hand washing is one of the simplest ways to stay healthy while traveling. “Wash your hands with soap and hot water before meals and after using a toilet, just as you would at home,” says Scott A. Weisenberg, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health in New York City. . . .

Sanitize frequently touched surfaces

To avoid picking up germs, bring a travel pack of disinfectant wipes so you can sanitize high-touch surfaces, such as your phone, credit cards, wallet, keys, headphones, and handle and zippers on luggage. You should also wipe down surfaces that you’ll come into close contact with, such as the headrest or tray table on a plane. For best results, Dr. Ascher recommends using wipes that are antibacterial, antiviral, or indicate that they protect against flu and COVID.

Stay hydrated

Pack a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated on the go. This will help “your body flush out unwanted toxins that can lead to disease if [they linger] too long in your body,” explains Dr. Ascher. Proper hydration also allows oxygen to flow into cells, helping your body to perform its most basic functions. . . .

Prioritize sleep

Although it’s easier said than done, prioritizing sleep is key for staying healthy during holiday travel. “Your body needs sleep to prevent infection and keep your immune system strong,” explains Dr. Ascher. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, will reduce your body’s ability to produce infection-fighting immune cells. . . .

Give your immune system a boost

Before and during travel, give your immune system a boost by “maintaining a well-balanced diet, keeping hydrated with a safe water source, getting enough sleep, and not overindulging in alcohol,” says Dr. Weisenberg. It’s also worth talking to your primary care doctor before traveling, especially if you have a chronic condition that increases your risk of contracting infectious illnesses. They may recommend certain supplements, such as vitamin C, as well as a frequency and dosage for your specific situation.

Wear a mask

“Wearing a face mask is your best line of defense against illnesses when traveling,” says Dr. Ascher. This will reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, the flu, and other common cold viruses. For optimal protection, find a well-fitting N-95 or level 3 medical grade mask with a tight grip on the face, which will prevent particles from entering your respiratory tract.

Read the full article and get other resources at Conde Nast Traveler

Search all articles by Kristen Nunez

Posted: October 15, 2022

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