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How to Keep the Germs at Bay During Holiday Travel

The holiday season can be hectic and stressful. Last-minute holiday shopping, decorating the house, attending holiday events and packing to visit family can take a toll on your immune system. The changing weather and cold temperatures can also affect your health. And, whether you travel by car, train or plane, you may be in contact with many germs your body isn’t used to. If you’re not careful, these holiday hazards may make you sick and ruin your holiday plans.

Assist America, our emergency travel assistance partner, shares tips to stay healthy during holiday travel.

Germ Free
Stay healthy this holiday season with these tips.

Before Travel

Number 1  Get your

Getting your flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Beginning in late October, the flu season peaks from December to February. Crowded places such as shopping malls, airplanes or trains are prime spots to pick up the flu.

Number 2  Take a daily vitamin

While vitamins may not keep you from getting sick, taking vitamins and supplements throughout the year can help boost your immune system. Talk to your doctor about which vitamins are best for you. Combine them with a healthy diet high in fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.

Number 3  Prepare a travel kit

When packing for your trip, prepare a small travel kit. You can include disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, a pack of tissues, alcohol wipes, antiseptic wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash. You can also use mini plastic sleeves to pack your vitamins, so you can take them easily while traveling.

During Travel

Number 1  Watch what you touch

Be aware of what you are touching when you travel. Door handles, suitcase handles, public bathroom faucets, bills and coins are touched by people all day long. Make sure not to touch your face after touching such objects and wash your hands with soap and water regularly. If you do not have access to a sink, use your hand sanitizer.

Number 2 Clean your surroundings

Be careful of tray tables, airplane touch-screens and remotes, armrests, restaurant tables and other germ-ridden surfaces. Make sure to use wipes to clean your surroundings before getting settled. Then, wash your hands again for extra safety.

Number 3 Avoid physical contact

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away. So, while it may be difficult to do in a crowded space, try to avoid close contact with people around you. At holiday meals, don’t share glasses and silverware and establish a strict single-dipping policy.

After Travel

Number 1 Take a shower as soon as you get to your destination

To wash off all the germs you might have been exposed to during your trip, take a shower as soon as you arrive. Change into clean clothes so you’re refreshed and ready to enjoy the holiday celebration.

Number 2 Eat healthy food

We all know that the holidays are no time to diet, but you can be mindful of the type of food you eat. Make sure to include vegetables and fresh fruits. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, oranges, pears and some exotic fruits are in season in December. They are all great sources of healthy vitamins.

Number 3 Stay hydrated

When you are on an airplane or any other mode of transportation for a long time, your body gets dehydrated. In addition to drinking throughout your trip, make sure you continue to drink lots of water in addition to those tempting alcoholic and sugary drinks.

Member exclusive typeSometimes even the most careful traveler can’t avoid germs. If you’re injured or sick, remember that our travel emergency partner, Assist America is here to help. You can download the free Assist America Mobile App. With it, you can access your membership details, membership ID card and list of our services. And you can call 24/7 Operations Center with the tap of a button.

Download it now before you're in an urgent situation. You'll need your HAP-exclusive code - log in to your account and select Assist America from the Quick Links.

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Content brought to you by our partners at Assist America.
Categories: Get Healthy