Stay Healthy During Travel Season

It’s almost time to travel home for Thanksgiving. Crowded airports, public restrooms, taxi cabs and trains make it even harder to stay healthy during cold and flu season. If you aren’t careful (and sometimes even if you are) you could return from vacation and be too sick for class. Here are a few ways to avoid getting sick during your holiday travels.

  • Pack your own snacks. Immune boosting foods that are rich in antioxidants will help you fight off germs.
  • Too much caffeine and too much alcohol will dehydrate you. Green tea, 100 percent fruit juice and water will all keep you hydrated and help boost your immune system.

  • Exercise boosts your immune system as well, so give yourself enough time to workout! Fit physical activity into your plans if you have to take the stairs, park far from the door, etc.
  • Get plenty of rest during the days before and after your travel dates. I know this one can be difficult to achieve, but a well-rested body has an easier time fighting off disease.
  • The combination of traveling and exams inevitably leads to stress. High stress levels hinder the effectiveness of your immune system so don’t sweat the small stuff and keep everything in perspective.
  • Keep hand sanitizer, wipes, moisturizer and tissues handy.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue (and throw it away) or the inside of your elbow. Coughing onto your hands is only okay if you wash them or use hand sanitizer directly afterward.
  • If you see others coughing and sneezing, politely ask them to cover their mouths. If you’re uncomfortable being so forward, simple say “bless you” or “excuse you” and hand them a tissue or offer them a wipe or dollop of hand sanitizer. That should get your message across without being rude.
  • Wash your hands often but especially after using the restroom or before eating.
  • Keep your hands moisturized. Winter weather (and over washing) can crack the skin on your hands and make it easier for germs to enter your body.
  • Don’t over sanitize! Overusing antibacterial products can yield undesired effects. Bring wipes (baby wipes work great!) that aren’t antibacterial so that you can alternate.

I wish you happy (and healthy) travels!