Don’t Get Tripped Up on Travel

With the holidays just around the corner we’re heading in to peak travel season.  Many will be making their way to destinations all over the world in order to spend time with family and friends.  While travel can be exciting, there are a few things we need to watch out for.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the Ebola virus on the news, but the chances of catching it are extremely slim.  On the other hand, the chances of coming down with a nasty cold or virus when traveling are far more likely.  Still, there are things we can do to protect ourselves.  Here are a few travel tips to help you stay well:

  • Wipe down your seat with antibacterial wipes.  Don’t be embarrassed to take this precaution.  Who cares if you look OCD?   Trains, planes, buses—all forms of public transportation are on tight schedules, and they don’t always have time to clean between trips.  Have you ever gotten on a plane or train and found pillows, blankets, candy wrappers, or newspapers lying on the seats? That’s a sure sign the crew didn’t have a chance to tidy up before you boarded, so don’t be afraid to wipe down those seats.  That’s fewer germs you’ll need to fight later. 
  • Don’t sniffle if your nose is runny—just blow.  Do you know that by sniffling you are actually pulling the microbe-filled mucus back into your nostril cavity, and that cavity acts like an incubator for germs to thrive and multiply?  It’s no wonder we get sick.  But you can avoid a virus by blowing into a tissue and disposing of it properly. 
  • Drink lots of water.  Staying hydrated is good for our body in so many ways, but for the plane traveler it’s especially important.  Plane air is recycled throughout the cabin and tends to be very dry.  It parches your nose, throat, and lungs, and then your body tries to remedy this with a runny nose.  As previously mentioned, a runny nose can cause trouble, so bring along a bottle of water and stay healthy.
  • When using the restrooms on any mode of transportation, don’t wash your hands in the sink.  Carry a small bottle of anti-bacterial soap and use that instead.  All public transport vehicles fill their water tanks wherever their service route takes them, and some of these areas have poor water filtration.  If you’re traveling to an area where you aren’t comfortable drinking the water, then you probably shouldn’t be washing your hands in it either.
  • Stop touching everything.  This is the most simple of recommendations, yet one of the hardest to do.  So many of our actions are second nature that we don’t think about them, we just do them.  We press our face against the window of a train or plane.  We hold the railings getting on and getting off.  Our hands are almost constantly in motion, so it’s important to be more mindful of the surfaces we’re touching to avoid getting sick.  

If you will be one of the many thousands of holiday travelers this season, remember these simple precautions.  They can help to ensure your holidays are happy and healthy.

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