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Unfortunately, flu season tends to coincide with winter travel. There’s nothing worse than being sick, especially being sick away from home and your own bed! Check out the tips below, compiled to help you avoid illness this winter and make the most of the snowy season.
- Get a seasonal flu shot: According to the CDC, this is the single best way to protect against the flu. Generally, flu shots are most effective when administered to older children and healthy adults. This is likely because younger, healthier people have stronger immune systems than those who are older or have unhealthier habits. Overall, the CDC counts the flu vaccine as roughly 60% effective in terms of flu prevention.
- Wash your hands. A lot: Need I say more on this one? Germs can stay on surfaces up to 72 hours post contact. If you’re traveling by car or plane, pack antibacterial wipes for an on the go refresher when you aren’t near a sink.
- Stay hydrated: Sipping water throughout the day helps ward off dehydration, which can cause headaches, an upset stomach, cramps, tiredness and more. This is a more effective way to stay hydrated than drinking large quantities at once, and can also help to boost your natural immune system.
- Create a germ barrier: Stick a travel size of anti-bacterial mouthwash and saline spray in your carry on. Using a mouthwash or nasal spray while in flight can aid in protecting against germs, since a majority of bacteria enter the body through the nose and mouth. Wearing socks to the airport can also help to prevent bacteria getting on your bare feet while going through security. While in flight, keep your overhead air vent on full blast to create an air barrier while in close proximity to those around you.
Stay active: Aside from endorphins and that “natural high” you get from physical activity, keeping in motion stimulates white blood cell production. This strengthen’s the body’s immune system and therefore the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Traveling to a major city? Check out fun exercise events that are often hosted in metropolitan areas, like the uber-popular ” Color Run.”
- Get plenty of sleep: Before, during, and after travel, be sure to get enough rest. A tired body is more susceptible to illness, and it’s important to take the proper time to recharge. Many working parents (like me!) get the most done after the kids have gone to bed, and therefore have a hard time sticking to this rule. Try to aim for at least 7 hours a night, and listen to your body in order to take necessary breaks when you feel physical aches and pains.
John K. Hart
Founder and CEO of StaySmarter
A purpose-driven and results-focused leader, John is the Founder and CEO of Imagine If, a team of hotel insiders that is the maker of the StayFaster and StayAtHand websites and apps, a powerful suite of tools that are the smartest way to get your hotel stay. They provide consumers the world’s fastest, most powerful way to book hotels. They provide hotels a new pricing model, support for their rewards programs, and significant opportunities for brand differentiation.