Tips to Help You Stay Healthy for Your Vacation

It’s no secret that it’s flu season. It’s everywhere and there is simply no escaping it. The only thing worse than getting the flu is getting the flu when it’s time to take your much anticipated vacation or while you are actually on vacation. Ugh!

The travel Channel recently talked to doctors to find out the best ways to stay healthy and what you should know about this year’s flu season.

Here’s what they had to say:

- This year’s flu season is no worse than previous years. In fact, the vaccine this year is very effective and there is nothing too much to be worried about. 

- The difference between a cold and the flu is that you have a higher fever and widespread, body-wide aches with the flu. With a cold, it is more centered on the respiratory area -- throat and nose with not body aches.

- If you feel like you are too sick to travel; you are. You seriously need to stay home for your own health as well as the people around you! 

- You should get the flu vaccine as soon as flu season starts. The longer you take it before a trip, the longer the time your body has to build the immunity. Also, you want to be sure you are taking zinc -- that is critical for the vaccine to take hold. Doctors suggest 15 to 25 milligrams of zinc before and after you get the vaccine.

- The same flu vaccine you get at home will protect you from the flu no matter where you are. 

- If you do happen to get the flu while you are out of the country, you should do the same thing you would do at home -- go to bed. Drink warm fluids to flush and wash out the virus. I recommend zinc throat lozenges -- 20 milligrams, 4 times a day. Zinc stimulates immune systems.

- To avoid getting sick when flying, staying hydrated is the number 1 thing to do. Next, turn off the overhead air jets to stop all of those germs from blowing around.

The easiest way to catch the flu bug is by touching places where people are putting their hands, like doorknobs and handrails. The main way the flu is spread is with people sneezing into their hands and then touching a doorknob. The flu is spread hand-to-mouth, mouth-to-hand. Wash hands after being in public places. And avoid touching your mouth while traveling.

- Prevention -- get your sleep. Quickest way to suppress your immune system is to sleep-deprive a person. Get good sleep. In fact, I love red-eye flights; I am asleep on the plane by the time it takes off and I’m awake when the wheels hit the tarmac. Melatonin helps you sleep and helps with jet lag, too. 

Stay healthy and happy travels!

Tucker MarCom