5 Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy While Traveling This Summer

It’s summer! That means backyard barbecues, longer days, outdoor activities, and best of all: vacation. If you have a vacation on the horizon, you’re probably itching to hurry up and get there, soak up the sun, and relax.

But before you go, you should know that traveling is a big risk factor for contracting viruses and bacterial infections (we all know that airplanes are filthy). But at First Choice Urgent Care, love our vacations, too, so we put together a list of some ways to keep your family healthy while traveling this summer.

Before you pack your bags, heed these travel tips from Dr. Yadwinder Kang, MD:

1. Prioritize healthy eating

While enjoying new foods — especially in new cultural regions — is a key aspect of vacation, try to fit in a few servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Eating healthy on vacation isn’t as hard as you might think. Try these tips out on your next trip:

Before your trip, fuel up on nutrient-dense fruits like vegetables and lean protein to get yourself and your family off to a good start. Your immune system functions best when you eat a healthy diet, so you’ll be less susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections on your trip.

2. Pick active attractions

The best part about vacation is sightseeing. While we’re the first to encourage ample relaxation time, try to schedule in a few activities that require physical movement. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore: Go rollerblading, hike to a cool viewpoint, swim or surf in the water, or simply walk around the town you’re visiting. Your body (and your kids) will thank you.

3. Stay hydrated

Water: It’s the key to a healthy body, glowing skin, smooth digestion, and so much more, yet most of us chronically need more of it. Staying hydrated on vacation is often  the one thing that prevents common vacation woes such as constipation, fatigue, and heat exhaustion. And stick to plain water — juices, sodas, and energy drinks often contain frightening amounts of sugar. Travel with a reusable water bottle and refill it whenever you can.

4. Wash your hands often

Enforce this rule with your little ones especially. As straightforward as it sounds, hand washing is the antidote to many common illnesses. In fact, studies have found that regularly hand washing can prevent up to a third of diarrhea cases and a fifth of respiratory infections. In addition to thoroughly washing your hands, carry a small container of antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer on your excursions. You never know what you might come into contact with.

5. Get travel vaccinations

If you’re flying out of the country, you should get vaccinations to protect yourself and your family from region-specific diseases (like Zika virus). Getting travel vaccinations is the most effective action you can take to protect yourself from illness abroad. Plan to get vaccinated at least one month before you depart, as it takes a few weeks for vaccines to fully protect you.

Additionally, all international travelers six months or older should be vaccinated against measles with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children older than one year should get two doses of the vaccine a month apart before international travel.

Ready for takeoff?

At First Choice Urgent Care, we’re happy to provide you with all the information, tips, or preparation you need before hitting the road (or the sky or the cruise ship). To learn more about what we offer, call our Bakersfield clinic or request an appointment online.

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