Regardless of where you are, germs are sure to follow. Travel obviously increases your exposure to bacteria and viruses as everything from planes and trains to hotels and apartments are frequented by a high volume of travelers. Rather than stay home in fear of catching something, here are 5 things you must do to stay healthy when you travel. We swear by each of these, as well as staying hydrated, (and we are on the road more than most people).
Let your inner germaphobe shine. We always travel with packets of bleach wipes so we can disinfect anything we touch. As soon as you get on a plane, train, bus or somewhere you will be sitting for an extended amount of time, whip them out. Wipe down arm rests, tray tables, seat belt buckles, walls…anything you know you will be touching or leaning against.
The same goes for any hotel room or home you rent. Light switches, door handles, faucets and (especially) the remote control need a good wipe. Sure, the cleaners have likely come through already, but there’s no way they got everything. Do it for peace of mind, if nothing else.
Of course, the second you try to consciously avoid touching your face, you probably do it 10 times more than you normally do. It’s natural. Supposedly the average person touches their face 90 times a day! Yikes. Itchy nose? Try to use your t-shirt or a scarf instead of your fingers.
Think about everything you touch just going through the course of a day. Try to avoid touching things with your hands if you can. Open doors with closed fists or your hip. Turn lights on and off with your elbow. You get the picture.
Wash your hands…correctly
Wash. Your. Hands. There is nothing easier, or more important, that you can do to stay healthy when you travel. It is so simple, yet you need to make sure you’re doing it right.
Wet your hands, apply soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. A good way to time it is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice (after you’ve applied soap and water). Make sure to get everything…your palms, the backs of your hands, your fingers and underneath your nails. Don’t worry about the temperature of the water, just make sure you scrub long enough.
When you don’t have immediate access to hand washing facilities, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Take your supplements
We wholeheartedly believe in the power of homeopathy, natural supplements and good old-fashioned vitamins to keep you healthy when traveling. We never, and I mean never, travel without a bottle of oregano oil capsules. A natural anti-bacterial, you can start taking these the instant you feel a cold or sore throat coming on. Within a day or two you will feel infinitely better, we promise.
In addition, we always keep essential wellness vitamins, echinacea, Vitamin C tablets that dissolve in water, zinc lozenges and apple cider vinegar with us. If allergies kick in while you’re on the road, find some local bee pollen and sprinkle it on anything.
Check travel health advisories
Before jetting off to another country, it’s always wise to check in with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding traveler’s health. A quick visit to the CDC website will tell you what travel vaccines or medications are recommended to stay healthy when you travel. They also have good resources outlining how to avoid country specific concerns like typhoid or altitude sickness.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement or other health remedies.