The last thing you want when you’re on vacation or a business trip is to get sick.  Travel exposes your immune system to more germs and bacteria, especially in crowded places like airplanes and popular tourist destinations.  Follow these precautions to stay healthy the next time you travel.


Get vaccinated before you go.  The flu shot remains one of the best ways to prevent respiratory infections.  If you’re traveling internationally, the Centers for Disease Control website allows you to search by destination for additional vaccines and other health precautions.


Carry hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.  It’s simple, but many people don’t think to use these when they travel.  Protect yourself from germs by frequently applying hand sanitizer and wiping down hard surfaces in planes, restaurants and hotels.


Make sleep a priority.  Sufficient sleep has consistently been linked with immune health, although this can be a challenge when your sleep routine gets interrupted by early morning flights, time zone changes and busy travel schedules.  Plan ahead to ensure you have time for a full night’s sleep as often as possible.


Pace yourself.  Whether you’re traveling for work or a vacation, be conservative with your plans and know your limits.  Schedule some down time during work trips to relax and unwind.  Reduce the number of sights and activities you want to experience on vacation so you can slow down and enjoy them.  If possible, add an extra day to your trip for rest and recovery.


Drink plenty of water.  This age-old advice is still among the best tips for staying healthy.  Adequate hydration alleviates cold and flu symptoms and may even help prevent illness so remember to carry a water bottle with you and refill it often.


Choose fruits and vegetables, which supply your body with necessary vitamins and nutrients.  Look for plant-based menu items when dining out to make sure you’re getting the recommended 5-6 servings per day.  Fresh fruit is easy to carry and makes a great snack or breakfast when you’re on-the-go.


Make plans in case you get sick.  Should the worst happen, you’ll want to be prepared.  Research local urgent care facilities and pharmacies before you leave just in case you need them.  Ask about insurance coverage with your provider and don’t forget to carry your ID cards with you when you travel.



Kevin Arnold


Kevin Arnold writes about health, wellness and travel.  For more tips and information, check out all of his posts at

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