As you gear up for December travel, these holiday safety travel tips can help you stay healthy as you visit loved ones.
Stay healthy before, during, and after your travel with these simple healthy holiday tips.
Making a drive this holiday season? Make sure you’re prepared.
Sudden snowstorm popping up on your holiday drive? Be prepared and know how to drive in the snow with these winter driving tips from AAA.
Fly nonstop whenever you can. People are more likely to get stranded at airports during holiday storms in layover cities. If you’re worried about being stranded, book a hotel reservation you can cancel ahead of time so you’re not scrambling when the storm hits.
Keep your phone or devices charged so that you can keep track of delays and the weather, call loved ones for help, or book emergency hotel reservations. Keep your chargers and a charging battery handy if you have battery issues.
Follow the airline and airports on social media and check their feeds before and during your travel. You’ll be the first to get info about delays and gate changes, and they may be able to help you if you contact them with travel issues.
If you have an emergency while traveling this holiday season, know that you’re covered as a Health Alliance member with our partner Assist America.
If you’re not careful navigating the holidays, you can easily get sick and ruin your plans. Assist America, our emergency travel assistance partner, has healthy holiday tips to keep you healthy while traveling this holiday season.
From getting all of your last-minute holiday shopping done, to decorating the house, attending holiday events, and packing to visit family, the holidays can take a toll on your immune system. The changing weather and cold temperatures can also affect your health, and whether you travel by car, train, or plane, you may be in contact with germs that you’re not used to. Taking these easy steps can help protect you.
First and foremost, get your flu shot.
Getting your flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. While flu season begins in late October, it usually peaks from December to February. Crowded places where people are close to each other a stretch of time, like shopping malls, airplanes, or trains are prime spots to pick up the flu.
Take a daily vitamin.
While vitamins may not prevent you from getting sick, taking vitamins and supplements throughout the year can help boost your immune system. Talk to your doctor about which vitamins are best for you, and combine them with a healthy diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats to be your best.
Prepare a travel kit.
While packing for your trip, prepare a small travel kit. You can include individual disinfectant, alcohol, and antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, a pack of tissues, bandaids, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. You can also use small plastic bags or a pill organizer to pack your usual vitamins, so you don’t stop taking them while traveling.
Watch what you touch.
Be aware of what you’re touching when you travel. Door and suitcase handles, public bathroom faucets, and money are touched by people all day long. Make sure not to touch your face after touching things like these and wash your hands with soap and water regularly. If you can’t wash your hands, use your hand sanitizer.
Clean your surroundings.
Tray tables, plane touch-screen monitors and remotes, armrests, restaurant tables, and many other surfaces you touch during your trip are infamous for being covered with germs. Use cleaning or alcohol wipes to clean off these surfaces before you get settled. Then, wash your hands again after using them for extra safety.
Avoid physical contact.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with the flu can spread it to others up to roughly 6 feet away, so while it may be difficult to do in a crowded space, try to avoid close contact with the people around you.
Once you’re with your loved ones for the holidays, avoid sharing glasses and silverware during meals, and use a strict single-dipping policy.
Take a shower as soon as you get to your destination.
To wash off all the germs you might have been exposed to during your trip, take a well-deserved shower as soon as you get to your family’s or hotel. Change into a clean set of clothes after, and you’ll feel clean, refreshed, and ready to enjoy holiday celebrations!
Eat healthy food.
We all know too well that the holidays are no time to diet, however, you can be mindful of the types of food you eat. Make room for vegetables and fresh fruits at every meal. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, oranges, pears, and other exotic fruits are all in season in December, and they’re all a great source of healthy vitamins.
When you’re in an plane, car, or train for a long time, your body can get dehydrated. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of liquids throughout your travel.
During celebrations, you should also make sure you continue to drink plenty of water in addition to all the alcoholic and sugary drinks you may be tempted by!
By taking these few simple steps, you’ll give yourself and your family a better chance at enjoying a germ-free holiday season.
Still, if you do get sick while traveling during the holidays, remember to contact Assist America, our emergency travel assistance partner who is available 24/7 to help you find a qualified doctor near your location or secure prescriptions at a local pharmacy. To talk to an Assist America coordinator, download the Assist America Mobile App or call 1-800-872-1414 or +1-609-986-1234 (outside of the U.S.).
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It’s National Breastfeeding Month, and we had more information and tips about breastfeeding for new and expectant moms all week long.
What can breastfeeding do for you and your baby? Learn more.
Everything you need to know about breastfeeding in one handy guide.
For many women, pumping and storing breast milk is key to going back to work after they have a baby. Learn more about the basics of pumping breast milk.
If you’re a new mom, you might not know these surprising facts about nursing your newborn.
If you’re struggling to produce milk but still want to breastfeed, these natural ways to boost milk production could help.
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, your diet is still very important! These foods can help you get the nutrients you need.
Natural disasters can be especially hard on you and your baby if you’re breastfeeding. Have a plan in case of emergency.
August is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month! The first thing to do to make sure your little one is ready to start school is to check out our Summer Health Checklist.
Double-check which shots your little one needs before they start kindergarten.
Make sure they’ve had their annual physical before they start. What happens at their next annual well-child appointment? We can help.
Read books with your child to help them get ready for their first day of school.
Walk your child by the school, play on the playground, and if possible, give them a tour to make them feel more secure.
Plan their sleep schedule ahead of time so they’ll be adjusted to their new morning schedule for school.
If you can, take a practice bus trip or walk through their morning trip with them so they’re ready on the first day of school to tackle getting there.
Traveling is amazing! What’s not to love about discovering new places, meeting new people and trying new foods? But, traveling also means that your fitness, eating, and sleep habits are disrupted, which can affect your overall health. Assist America, our travel emergency assistance partner has tips for helping you stay healthy while traveling.
- Adopt a Go-To Travel Exercise Routine.
If you travel regularly, create an exercise routine that can easily be adapted to your environment and that you can commit to when you’re on-the-go. Your routine should be simple and short, with exercises you can do in a hotel room, a gym, a park, or even on a beach.
If you are a runner, make sure to pack your running gear with you. Running is a great way to discover a destination from a different angle.
If working out isn’t your thing, simply set aside 10 minutes in the morning to stretch before you start your day and another 5 minutes at night to wind down. It will help you relax and energize your body.
- Choose Walking Over Cabs or Public Transportation.
Whenever you can, choose to walk rather than hop in a cab, bus, or subway since walking is beneficial for your health. It helps improve circulation, sleep, and breathing. It also strengthens muscles, supports your joints, and can lead to weight loss.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Reusable water bottles are your best travel ally. Once you get through airport security check points, fill up your bottle at a nearby water fountain and make sure you keep drinking water on the plane.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, fill up before you leave your hotel room if it’s safe to drink the tap water at your destination. If it’s not, ask the hotel for unopened water bottles or buy some at a store nearby. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water at restaurants or even hanging out by the pool.
- Commit to One Healthy Meal a Day
While there’s nothing wrong with trying new foods and enjoying big meals, having several rich meals per day can be hard on your body.
If you’re staying at a rental or an apartment-hotel, take advantage of the kitchen by cooking simple meals depending on your schedule. If you’re going to be eating out a lot, opt for vegetarian dishes, choose grilled options over fried, try some fresh seafood, and look at the salad menu.
Changing time zones, walking all day, carrying suitcases, all of these can be harsh on your body and your energy. Just being away from your own bed can make it hard to fall asleep. Make sure to rest and to get plenty of sleep by blocking out the lights, reducing the noise, and turning your phone off.
If you incorporate these tips into your travel routine, we guarantee you will feel refreshed and full of energy to enjoy each of your trips to their fullest!
Every season, I can’t wait for the next season to be here (like when it’s finally summer, I’m waiting for fall and the cooler temperatures). I’ve always done that, but I’m getting better about living in the moment.
Now that summer is here, I’ve started thinking about a few questions. How do you want to enjoy the season we’re in? What would you like to accomplish this summer that maybe you’ve wanted to accomplish in summers past and haven’t?
Here’s my goal list for a really fun family summer:
I want to camp more, much more. We have a family cabin where we can escape into the outdoors, but it really isn’t the same as camping. I want to work on my camping skills while teaching my children the awesome aspects of nature.
I want to take a nicely planned trip to the beach.
I want to have more family dinners where we eat outside with extended family, share a good meal, and converse. I think the summer season allows the perfect time to do this.
In the vein of family dinners, I want to try more fun summer recipes that will make me a culinary legend in my family’s eyes.
I would like to take more family walks. Not only is being healthy a focus for me and my family, but I would also love for us to have those summer memories of being together, talking, and walking.
While you’re out accomplishing your summer goals, don’t forget about summer safety tips. Remember to never leave little ones or animals in any hot car or hot area, drink plenty of water, and make sure that your loved ones are getting enough hydration as well (fur family included).
If you happen to take walks later in the evening or early morning when the light is lower, remember to wear light or bright clothing, and maybe have a reflective light or flashlight with you (or a reflective vest) so that people can see you and you stay safe.
Sunscreen is always important, no matter what time of year. Don’t let a cloudy day fool you when it comes to sun protection. Wearing sunscreen on cloudy days is as important as wearing it on sunny days, but on cloudy days, the sun is being sneaky, and you don’t realize how much sun you’re getting.
Have a safe and goal-filled summer!
Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a small-town girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world.