December is a month of heavy travel for many people. Whether you’re heading south to someplace warmer, visiting the in-laws for a holiday celebration, or embarking on international travel, you may be spending time on public transportation, surrounded by crowds of people, or in public venues such as rest stops, train stations, or airports.
Unfortunately, this travel also coincides with cold and flu season, and an unexpected illness can wreak havoc on an upcoming visit with family or long-anticipated vacation. Luckily, a little prevention goes a long way.
Four Ways to Avoid Illness When Travelling
- Get the flu shot. The flu shot is still your best defense against this dangerous virus that often spreads like wildfire this time of year. When you’re traveling, you’re exposed to many more germs than usual, so your flu risk increases. Make sure you get your shot before you depart.
- Wash your hands frequently. People often underestimate the importance of hand-washing because it’s so simple. The fact is, it’s still the best way to protect yourself from illness and prevent the spread of germs. Handwashing is especially important when you travel since you come in contact with dozens of surfaces that numerous people touch on a regular basis. Door handles, light switches, faucets, railings, etc. are all teeming with microscopic germs that can make you sick. And remember, there’s a right and wrong way to wash your hands. So, make sure you’ve got your handwashing technique down pat. If you don’t have access to a sink, hand sanitizer is a good alternative.
- Wipe down surfaces. Public transportation brings you in close contact with countless germs. Wiping down tray tables, headrests, and armrests with disinfectant wipes can help reduce the number of germs you come in contact with. Another tip for airplane travel? Turn off the overhead vents. This prevents germs from going airborne.
- Pay attention to your mental health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you’re feeling overly stressed, anxious, burnt out, or depressed, your overall health will suffer. Stress tends to go into overdrive around the holidays so it’s more important to tend to your mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re feeling off.
What if you take all the above precautions and still come down with something? That’s where GeoBlue international health insurance comes in handy. GeoBlue protects you when you travel overseas, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be protected no matter what comes your way.