Stay Healthy During Winter Travel
Winter travel can be a great escape from cold, harsh weather. There are also so many great outdoor winter activities to participate in like skiing, ice skating, hiking, snow shoeing, ice fishing, sledding, snowmobiling, and more. With the Winter Olympics right around the corner, you might be inspired to try something new.
Related: A Medical Emergency Plan protects you and your loved ones from expensive medical bills in the event of illness or injury when traveling. Don’ have a plan? Get a Plan.
Tips for staying healthy during winter travel
Wash your hands. This is your best defense against getting sick. It can’t be stressed enough that you should wash your hands frequently when traveling. One trick is to use the back of your elbow if you have to touch high-germ count areas like elevator buttons, tray tables, and remote controls. Carry an alcohol-based sanitizer as well, just to be safe.
Rest up. The days leading up to winter travel can be exciting, as well as stressful and busy. Be sure to get plenty of sleep so you are prepared for travel and your body isn’t too run down to fight off viruses.
Wear a disposable face mask. Most likely you will be seeing more travelers wearing these. While they certainly don’t look cool, being sick isn’t so cool either.
Load up on vitamins before you go. If you eat really well you might not need to take extra vitamins, but it can’t hurt to take extra doses of Vitamin C before and during winter travel. Most of us tend to eat a little more indulgently on vacation anyway–so it can’t hurt to stock on up on vitamins.
Drink Lots of Water. Staying hydrated is extremely important for your body to function properly, which includes fighting off infection. Airplanes and hotel rooms are typically really dry. Hint: bring an empty water bottle through airport security so you can fill it up once you’re inside.
Additional tip: Avoid a dry nose. Research shows that keeping your nasal passages hydrated is effective in boosting your body’s own system of germ eradication. Carry nasal mists and saline nasal sprays with you, especially on long plane flights.
Pack a first-aid kit. Create a mini first aid kit for your carry-on. Some suggested items to include are:
- a thermometer
- allergy pills
- eye drops
- nasal spray
- anti-diarrhea pills
- antacid tablets
- motion sickness pills
Bring your own pillow and blanket. If you like to get comfy on a plane or train, bring your own travel pillow and blanket. Never use the ones provided–you have no way of knowing how often those get washed.
Air Circulation. Lack of air circulation is a big contributor to the spread of germs. Open the air vents in a plane, crack a window in a car or train. Bring a small fan if you can. Anything to get the air around you moving.
Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol will dehydrate you and can increase jet lag. Try to avoid it while traveling and wait until you get to your destination to toast your vacation.
If you do get sick during winter travel…
Protect you wallet with an emergency medical plan. You will be transported home to be treated by your own doctors so you can recover at home. Peace of mind does not have to be expensive.