With the newscasters talking about viruses spreading through the area and the flu season just around the corner, the thought of traveling can be a bit daunting. You’ll be exposed to endless coughing strangers on planes, in restaurants, and at attractions. That doesn’t mean you need to give up your travel plans. If you take some extra precautions, you have a better chance of getting away without getting sick in the process.
1.Start Out Healthy
While getting ready for a vacation, we often work extra hours, eat on the run, and don’t get enough sleep. It’s a terrible habit that needs to be broken. Before you send your body into time changes, long flights or car rides, or excess eating and alcohol, you want it in the best possible shape. Don’t skip regular, healthy meals or workouts and make sure you get enough rest.
2.Pack the Antibacterial
As you travel through everything from amusement parks to hiking trails, you are going to run into one thing everywhere – germs. Head to your local drugstore and pick up a half dozen small antibacterial gel bottles. They should be in everyone’s bag. Whenever you have a doubt, use it. Most of all, it should become habit in public restrooms for your hands (that soap dispenser has been touched with many germs), door knobs, and even toilet seats.
3.Don’t forget the Snacks
Don’t count on there always being healthy snacks around, bring your own and avoid temptation. It’s a vacation so you are entitled to splurge a little, but you want to make sure your body gets some nutrition too, especially if you are participating in the vast selection of outdoor sports in the Midwest. Protein bars and protein shakes are always good to have around. You can also bring trail mix, though you should go easy on this because it’s usually loaded with calories and sugar. Look in your supermarket for non-perishable options such as apples and peanut butter, or crackers with protein-filled spreads.
4.Take Your Vitamins
You should always check with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements. This is especially true when you are about to travel. Let your physician know you are going away and what you plan to do. If you are exploring the Black Hills of South Dakota, he might have different suggestions than if you are heading to Chicago. A multivitamin is usually a good idea and having some extra Vitamin C might give your immune system the boost it needs to stay healthy.
5.It’s Not Always Good to Share
While you probably grew up with the notion that it’s good to share, you want to make sure you aren’t sharing germs. Everyone in your traveling party should have their own cups, straws, toothbrushes, and utensils. If you want to share something, pour it into another cup, do not hand the bottle that your mouth has been on back and forth. That is the quickest way to pass along illness from one person to another.
Don’t let your vacation get ruined by paranoia, but be vigilant about your surroundings. If there’s someone coughing throughout your plane ride, it might not be the time to be helpful and ask if you can get his (germ-filled) bag down. If the waiter in the restaurant is sneezing into his notepad, he’s probably sneezing into your food, so you might want to find another place to eat. Make sure children have tissues and cover their mouths. If you encounter other children who are obviously sick it may not be a good time to send yours off to play with them. Is it worth having an ill child on vacation? Maybe it’s time to suggest another activity.
If you follow these tips you should be able to get through your vacation with fond memories instead of illness.