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What to do when you’re ho-ho-hoping for healthy holiday travel

What to do when you’re ho-ho-hoping for healthy holiday travel

Whether you’re traveling to see family or headed on an adventurous vacation this holiday season, the last thing you want to do is get sick. Taking a few precautions during holiday travel can help you stay healthy.

The University Medical Center New Orleans team shares our best tips for healthy holiday travel below, so keep reading!

What to do before holiday travel

Some advance preparation is needed no matter where you’ve traveling or how you’re getting there. Consider your destination, though—if you’re traveling out of the country, for example, you may need to get certain immunizations before you travel.

Beyond that, you’ll want to carefully consider what you’re taking along with you. Pack appropriate clothing for the destination, including layers. You should also pack a first-aid kit filled with commonly needed medications, bandages and other must-haves. That’s in addition to taking along any medications you need.

Whether you’re traveling by air or in the car, you’ll benefit from carrying along a reusable water bottle. If flying, just fill up the bottle after you go through security. You can also pack healthy snacks to keep you from grabbing fast food or unhealthy snacks.

What to do during holiday travel

When you’re on vacation, it’s entirely normal to simply want to abandon your real life for a while! When it comes to your habits, though, it’s a good idea to keep some of the healthy ones around even as you travel.

The same lifestyle habits that keep you at your healthiest on an everyday basis serve an important role in keeping you healthy—and illness-free—during holiday travel.

  • Move your body as much as possible during your trip. Even if you aren’t getting in a formal workout, a walk after dinner, a hike on a local trail or even dancing in the kitchen can help you stay active.
  • Prioritize healthy eating. Fill a good portion of your plate at meals with fruits and vegetables, which will keep you fuller longer and provide you with immune-boosting antioxidants. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, even if you aren’t feeling particularly thirsty.
  • Stick to a sleep routine, if possible. Going to bed and waking up near your regular time can help your body get the quality sleep it needs.
  • Wash those hands! Good hand hygiene is important for fending off illnesses, so wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. If you don’t have access to running water or soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, but wash your hands when you can.

What to do after holiday travel

The trip is over and you’re back home. Now what? It’s time to find your equilibrium again.

While a vacation is supposed to be a stress-reliever, holiday travel can sometimes be completely overwhelming and stressful. Too much stress diminishes your immune system, rendering it less able to fend off contagious illness.

When you get back home, take a little time to do something relaxing and calming, such as reading or doing a yoga routine. Once you’ve settled back in, pick your healthy routines back up and run with them. Your body will thank you!

Feeling under the weather? Schedule a primary care appointment at University Medical Center New Orleans today to get a good look at your health.