This article was last updated April 2020.

Notice that you get sick a lot when you travel? You’re not the only one. While it can be difficult to stay healthy on the road, it’s extra important to take care of yourself as we approach cold and flu season. Follow these 10 tips for helping your immune system survive travel germs.

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Take supplements prior to (and during) your trip

It’s important to build up immune system health prior to travel and maintain it while you are on the road. Consider taking extra vitamins to help protect your body. There are products that provide extra Vitamin C, such as Emergen-C, an easy to use powder you mix with water, Also, a probiotic is never a bad idea; it can help regulate your gut and hopefully prevent any stomach issues you might encounter while traveling.

Check if you need vaccines

If you are traveling out of the country, it is possible you might need vaccines. Common travel vaccines include Hepatitis A and B, typhoid and yellow fever. Check the Passport Health website to see required vaccinations based on your destination.

happy traveler waiting for the flight in airport

Wash your hands often and have anti-bacterial wipes handy

Washing your hands is no-brainer—your mom nagged you about this for a reason! But wipes can serve several purposes. For example, everyone knows you should wipe down your tray table, but do you really do it? If not, now is the time to start. Those trays aren’t deep cleaned after every flight, so you are risking illness by not proactively wiping it down. Those wipes may also come in handy for sticky fingers and cleaning up small messes.

Washing Hands with Bubble Unsplash

Photo: Unsplash

Eat healthy

Vacation can seem like an excuse to eat anything you want, but that doesn’t mean you should. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables in your diet, and try and stay away from high-fat and fried foods. We’re not saying you can’t eat them; just do so in moderation. Pack your own healthy snacks, so you know you will make a few good choices along the way.

Drink plenty of water

Traveling to different elevations and environments can cause dehydration. Travel with a reusable water bottle, so it is always close by. If you plan to spend extended time in the heat, be sure to drink more water than you think you’ll need. Also, be sure the water is safe to drink at your destination, and if it is not, be sure to only drink bottled water.

No one sees the benefits of the recycle and reuse mantra like travelers. Those who are passionate about seeing our planet also want to protect it.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Don’t overdo the alcohol

It can be very easy to have a drink with lunch or dinner on vacation, but be conscious of the quantity. Not only can it prevent sound sleep, it can leave you feeling terrible the next day. Everything in moderation!

Make time for exercise

It’s a good idea to travel with exercise bands so you can workout in your room if there isn’t a gym. If there is one, be sure to use it. It’s also a good option to walk as often as possible instead of taking a taxi or mass transit. Another helpful tip is downloading an exercise app, and putting it on the first page of your phone. This way you will see the app every time you turn on your phone. Daily Yoga, 5 Minute Pilates and Freeletics are all great exercise apps. They don’t require equipment so you can do them right in your hotel room.

Yoga at sunset Unsplash

Photo: Unsplash

Wear sunscreen

If you have ever had a terrible sunburn, you know it can ruin a vacation. Be proactive and pack sunscreen and a hat, and use it every time you’re in the sun to keep from spending your vacation in pain.

Stress less

Travel is meant to be a relief from our daily lives. If you’re working while on vacation, burning the candle at both ends, overscheduling yourself, or not taking care of yourself, that’s when everything breaks down. Slow down and enjoy the travel; don’t try to see everything—it will never happen. Just relax and be in the moment.

Clean everything when you get home

Our family policy is that everything in suitcases gets emptied on the laundry room floor the moment vacation is over. We wash our hands, shower and clean luggage with antibacterial wipes. By doing this, we’re making sure we didn’t bring home any germs, bedbugs or anything else that might get us sick post vacation.

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Traveling exposes us to all types of germs we don't encounter in our daily lives. To prevent illness on vacation, follow these tips on how to stay healthy. - Kirsten Maxwell Travelocity


Kirsten Maxwell

Kirsten Maxwell

Kirsten Maxwell

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