Keeping Healthy During Your Holiday Travels

With long lines and long delays, traveling for the holidays can become a stressful time of the year. And no one wants to get sick on top of that, just when we get to share those special holiday moments with family and friends. So skip the cold and flu by following this germ-busting itinerary to keep you and your family healthy this travel season.

1. Before Your Trip

The holiday travel season also falls right at the height of the flu season. Plus, the close and crowded quarters of airplanes and trains can become the perfect incubator for the virus. So consider getting the flu vaccine before your trip.

Before you book, you should also reconsider which seat to reserve for your journey. A new study released this year discovered one way to avoid the flu is to choose the window seat. Travelers in the window seat are less likely to move around the cabin, where your direct contact to germs dramatically increases. One is less likely to get exposed through the system-circulated air, as all planes employ HEPA filters.

2. During Your Trip 

To really keep germs at bay, wash your hands (at least for 20 seconds) and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Research has repeatedly showed hand-washing (when properly done) is the most effective at removing germs.

Also be mindful of what objects you touch during your travels. High-contact areas like door handles and tray tables are hot zones. When hand washing isn’t convenient, travel-size hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes (also ideal for surfaces) make a great alternative.

However, alcohol-based sanitizers need to be at least 60 percent ethanol to be effective. If they proves too harsh on the skin, try an eco-certified sanitizing product, which often uses natural disinfectants like tea tree oil to cleanse surfaces.

3. After Your Trip:

Wherever your final destination may be, it’s likely you will bring some germs along from your travels, despite your best efforts.
So start on a fresh note with a shower and a change of clothes. This will help halt further exposure to germs from your trip. The stress and strain of travel can also be difficult for your immune system, so be sure to stay hydrated and get some solid rest, so your system can recover.