The importance of hygiene when traveling during the holidays
Holiday travel may increase your risk of coming in contact with influenza, or another type of seasonal illness as travel spikes when people go to visit family or vacation. The CDC recommends that holiday travelers take the following actions to maintain hygiene and health as they travel far and wide during a peak vacation season:
- Learn about your destination and see if there are any current public health issues to consider.
- Make an appointment with a primary care provider, health specialist, or travel health consultant to evaluate any potential health risks.
- Pack a health travel kit that contains sanitizer, needed medications, over-the-counter medicines, and first-aid supplies.
- Monitor the health status of a location to see if any breaking news or media outlets report developing public health concerns.
Most importantly, make sure that you are properly vaccinated with the appropriate travel vaccines. These preparation steps may help holiday travelers keep up with their hygiene and prevent any health complications during their trip.
How to maintain hygiene during your holiday trip
Many holiday travelers want to visit an exotic location to experience an early cold snap in the tropics, but they should consider using these basic tips to maintain health and hygiene during their trip:
Eating and drinking in a new location could create new health risks such as dehydration, gastrointestinal issues, and potentially dangerous microbial infections. Holiday travelers may want to stick with bottled watered and fully-cooked food to prevent food-borne illnesses. Make sure to also only eat whole foods such as fruits and vegetables that are not at risk for contamination.
Environmental factors including temperature and insect bites can also impact a traveler’s hygiene and their overall health. Those traveling to hotter climate areas should make sure they have proper clothing, sunscreen, and medication to prevent heat stroke and sunburn. Also bring special EPA-approved repellents to limit the risk of insect-based diseases such as Malaria and Zika virus.
Use sanitizers, cleaners, and other products to maintain a clean living area during your holiday travels. Regularly cleaning your lodging, hotel, or other living space greatly reduces the chance you may contract the flu or other common illnesses while abroad.