Healthy Travel Tips for Your Family

At our house, Halloween through New Years Day is pretty much a blur. Our calendars are booked with rehearsals for The Nutcracker, Christmas concerts, travel, and out-of-town-guests. When we’re in constant motion, it can be hard to eat right and stay healthy.

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This holiday travel season, try these tips for keeping everyone in the family healthy.

Lately, our lifestyle has definitely left something to be desired – lots of meals on the go, foods heavy on carbs and sweets, and little time for exercise. The last thing I need is to worry about is getting sick.

How will my family survive this holiday season with our health still intact? Here are a few simple tips I plan to follow:

1. Bring healthy foods as travel snacks.

When traveling, it’s easy to eat on the run or in the car, opting for unhealthy fast food options. Packing travel snacks like fruit, nuts, and bottled water will help you avoid this trap. Also, make sure that you stay hydrated because water flushes the system and helps to remove toxins from the body.

2. Sweet Dreams.

I know that it’s nearly impossible for me to get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep on a good night at home. Make that hopeless when I am in a strange bed far from home. But we all need to rejuvenate between those holiday parties and catching up with loved ones. Can’t get at least six hours of sleep? Try sneaking in quick 30-minute naps.

3. Exercise to boost your immune system.

Exercise might sound like a lofty goal when traveling, but it doesn’t have to be time logged at the gym or out hitting the pavement. How about making it a family affair and suggesting a walk with your sister or helping your mom finish up her last minute shopping? By moving and getting your heart rate up, you’ll have more energy and boost your immune system.

4. Practice good hygiene habits when taking mass transit

Airports, train stations, subways, and bus depots are especially busy during the holiday season and contact with all those people in confined spaces can expose you to more germs than usual. Practice hygiene courtesy by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with your elbow, not your hand, to reduce the transmission of germs to your face and other people’s airspace. Make sure to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Use antibacterial when there isn’t a sink nearby to wash your hands.

5. Just breathe.

Holidays are stressful enough. Not everyone needs to contend with an unexpected traffic jam or canceled flight due to bad weather.  But if they happen, just breathe and have a healthy dose of perspective handy. High stress levels can cause you to lose sleep and your appetite, each counter productive to maintaining a healthy immune system.

Whatever you do when traveling this holiday season, remember the true reason for all your travels here and there: to enjoy the season with the people you love. That’s hard to do when you are miserable with the flu, so stay healthy and have a happy holiday season.

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood.