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Staying Healthy During Travel


Man in Airport

Travel gives us a wonderful opportunity to break out of our regular routine. Unfortunately, some travel experiences—crossing time zones, eating different foods, a change in climate—can sap your energy and lower your body’s defenses. The COVID-19 pandemic has made staying healthy during travel an even higher priority.


Want to reduce your risk of getting sick during your trip? Would you like to return from your vacation feeling recharged, instead of run down? Use this packing list to feel your best during and after travel.


REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE

Hydration is key to maintaining energy levels and staying healthy. Stay on top of your hydration by carrying an insulated, reusable water bottle. If you’ll be flying, remember to keep the bottle empty and fill it after you’ve passed through any security checkpoints.


DISINFECTING WIPES

Minimize contact with germs by wiping down your seat area—armrests, tray tables, seatbelt buckles, air vents, and any other buttons or controls. In your hotel room or cruise cabin, disinfect high-touch surfaces such as door handles, light switches, bathroom fixtures, and the TV remote.


HAND SANITIZER

Washing with soap and water is important, but a bottle of hand sanitizer is handy for those times when you can’t get to a sink.

Hand sanitizer and face mask.

FACE MASK

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened our eyes to the idea of wearing a mask for reducing disease transmission, including illnesses like influenza or the common cold. Many travelers say they will continue to wear one—even after mask mandates are eliminated—especially in situations like large crowds, on an airplane, or while riding public transportation.


VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Taking extra Vitamin C, probiotics, and other supplements may help boost your immune system. Ask your medical provider for recommendations and appropriate dosages.


PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

Never put essential medications in your checked luggage. Carry enough of a supply to last a few extra days, in case of a travel delay. It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of your prescriptions or be able to access them online, in case you need a refill on the road.


SLEEP AIDS

You can’t always control how much light or sound enters your hotel room or cruise cabin. Create a more restful sleeping environment with items like a sleep mask, ear plugs, and essential oils. A white noise machine or phone app can also drown out street noise or loud neighbors.


SUN PROTECTION

The sun is more intense in tropical locations, at higher altitudes, or when it reflects off water, sand, or snow. Protect yourself with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.


FIRST AID

A small first aid kit comes in handy for treating a minor illness or injury. It should include antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, bandages, antacids, pain reliever, and a decongestant. Your doctor may also recommend medications to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other common ailments.


YOGA MAT

Long travel days, cramped airplane seats, and lugging heavy bags can lead to muscle tension. A lightweight yoga mat rolls up for easy packing and gives you a clean space to stretch. Remember to wipe down both sides with a disinfectant wipe before you roll it up and pack it away again.

Woman doing yoga.

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