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Healthy Holiday Travel Tips You Need!
We know that traveling during the holidays can sometimes feel overwhelming, and that the common cold and seasonal flu can be difficult to avoid when you’re spending long stretches of time in airports or on public transportation. However, instituting these tips and lifestyle changes will help boost your immune system before, during, and after holiday travel, so that you can relax and focus on enjoying the season without sacrificing your health.
Wash Your Hands
It sounds simple, and you may feel odd washing your hands multiple times during a long plane or train ride, but this is one of the best — and easiest — ways to ward off germs. We recommend washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or after touching commonly used surfaces like handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, or kiosks. New TSA guidelines recommend washing your hands before and after completing the security screening process at the airport.1 If you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer (made with at least 60% alcohol) or moist wipes are a great alternative. Try packing some travel sizes in your carry-on bag so they’re easily accessible while travelling.2
You know you should drink plenty of fluids when you’re actually sick, but staying properly hydrated before you catch a cold or the flu is essential for a healthy immune system. Since water makes up around roughly 50%-70% of your body weight, it is essential to replenish your body’s water supply through regular water intake. Other beverages like milk, juice, and herbal teas are also helpful in staying hydrated, as these drinks are comprised mostly of water. Try drinking some fluids with and between every meal, around your exercise sessions, and whenever you feel thirsty. You might want to increase your fluid intake if you’re travelling somewhere with a warmer climate, as you lose additional water through sweating.3
Take Action at the First Signs of Illness
As soon as you start to feel the beginnings of a sore throat or the sniffles, be proactive in treating the symptoms, especially if you’re traveling. Help ease symptoms when you’re on-the-go with Theraflu’s Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Hot Liquid Powder, which comes in single-dose packets that are convenient for travel. Dissolve the contents of one packet into 8 oz. hot water and sip while hot for quick, comforting relief from even the worst cold and flu symptoms.
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is one of the best ways to keep your immune system in tip-top shape, which is why making sleep a priority during stressful periods can do wonders for your health! Going to bed a little earlier than usual, and doing your best to limit screen time late at night, are two great ways to prioritize quality shut-eye. A healthy amount of sleep for adults is at least seven hours a night, which most adults can achieve by staying in bed for around 8 hours a night (to allow time for falling asleep). Sticking to a regular sleep schedule during your travels will make falling asleep and getting up easier, as it reinforces your sleep-wake cycle. Try to avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, as these can all disrupt your sleep and make it harder to fall asleep.4
If you do contract a cold or flu while travelling and your symptoms are keeping you awake, you can find relief with Theraflu’s Nighttime Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Hot Liquid Powder. Just mix one packet into a glass of hot water to ease your symptoms before heading off to bed.
Eat For Vitamins
There’s the temptation to just grab convenient packaged foods during holiday travel, but when you make a conscious choice to eat for vitamins (i.e quality, healthy meals that include lots of fruits and vegetables), you’re nourishing your immune system and helping it stay strong in the face of germs.
Follow the Guidelines for Travelling During COVID-19
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available in the U.S., travelling is once again on the horizon for many people. However, it is important to keep TSA guidelines in mind while travelling and to do your part to limit the spread of diseases. Wearing a mask in the airport and on the plane (unless eating or drinking) is required by the TSA to help limit the spread of germs. The TSA is also asking travellers to maintain a social distance of six feet between other people when possible. If you have come into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, then please consult with your healthcare provider before travelling.1
Getting Your Flu Vaccine
We know that the flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu and complications from getting the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone above the age of six months get a flu vaccine yearly, usually at the onset of flu season. Please get vaccinated two weeks in advance before traveling, because it can take up to two weeks for your body’s vaccine immunity to develop after you get your vaccine.5
Holiday travel can sometimes turn even the most easy-going person into a ball of stress, but the more you can relax and breathe through tough moments, the less run-down you’ll feel at the end of the day.
While big crowds and congested spaces are often an unavoidable part of the holiday travel season, with a little bit of preparation, you won’t have to sacrifice your health to deal with them!
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information. Transportation Security Administration. https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus. Accessed 6/1/2021. Reference text is indicated in source PDF.
- COVID-19 (coronavirus) travel advice. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-safe-travel-advice/art-20486965. Accessed 6/1/2021. Reference text is indicated in source PDF.
- Water: How much should you drink every day? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256. Accessed 6/1/2021. Reference text is indicated in source PDF.
- Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379. Accessed 6/1/2021. Reference text is indicated in source PDF.
- Influenza Prevention: Information for Travelers. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school-business/travelersfacts.htm. Accessed 6/1/2021. Reference text is indicated in source PDF.