Holiday travel is fun and exciting, but it comes with its share of headaches. Holiday travelers often find themselves contending with crowded roads and airports, stressful delays, limited food choices and long hours of inactivity – and that’s all before you arrive at your destination. Add in the stress of navigating a new environment and it’s easy to see how those headaches can turn into full-blown holiday sickness.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about the crowds or canceled flights. But there are steps you can take to stay healthy as you brave the holiday travel season! Whether you’re visiting your loved ones or taking a family trip, use these tips to stay in good holiday health.
Wash your hands.
You’re going to be touching a lot of suspect surfaces on your journey, so you’ll want to wash your hands frequently. At minimum, wash your hands well (that’s at least 20 seconds) with soap and water before and after eating; after using the bathroom; before you touch your face; and after touching high-risk areas like door handles, gas pumps, tables, and security bins.
Pack travel snacks.
Nutritious choices can be hard to find on planes, trains, and automobiles, but you don’t want to rely on fast food. Pack some healthy snacks like popcorn, baby carrots, apple slices, and trail mix to keep good options in easy reach.
Keep it moving.
It’s easy to fall off the fitness wagon when you’re traveling. But regular physical activity is a key part of overall health, and that doesn’t stop during the holiday season. Take frequent breaks when driving or flying to move your muscles. When you get to your destination, take advantage of the hotel pool or local parks, or choose to walk to nearby attractions instead of catching an uber.
Get plenty of sleep.
It’s common to stay up later than normal when you’re on a holiday trip. But sleep deprivation is known to increase your risk of getting sick, and it happens faster than you think. While one late-nighter isn’t usually a problem, aim to spend most nights getting 7 to 9 hours of good, quality sleep.
Drink in moderation.
Holiday cocktails are a great source of cheer, but only in moderation. Excessive alcohol use suppresses your immune system, interferes with sleep, and leads to a host of chronic health problems. If you do choose to imbibe, sip a glass of water between each drink and be sure to designate a sober driver.
Take your meds.
If you have a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes that requires medication, you’ll need to do some planning. Be sure to pack any rescue medications you need for emergencies in easy reach. If you have allergies, check the local pollen counts and don’t forget to take your sublingual allergy drops (they’re TSA approved!).