Holiday Travel

Healthy Travel Tips to Keep You Safe

Traveling can take a toll on your body, and it’s no secret this is one of the most popular travel times of the year as many people reunite with loved ones for the holidays. Bayhealth Primary Care Physician Preeti Gupta, MD, shares the following healthy travel tips to help you avoid some of the top concerns associated with traveling.

  1. Travel light. This means making sure you have enough clothing and other items, but not taking everything you own. This healthy travel tip is important since lugging a heavy suitcase could lead to several health problems.
  2. Avoid caffeinated beverages two hours before your departure. You shouldn’t drink too much coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages before traveling because caffeine acts like a diuretic, which can make you have to urinate more often. Caffeine can also raise blood pressure and cause restlessness in some people.
  3. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. If clothing is too tight or too loose, you can become distracted trying to readjust it or it can get caught on items around you. It can also create awkward sitting, which can lead to poor posture.
  4. Make pit stops. If you’re driving long distances you need to take breaks along the way to stretch, walk and use the bathroom. The frequency depends on your age, but on average, you should stop every two to three hours.
  5. Wear compression stockings or socks. This healthy travel tip applies to those making long drives or flights. These special socks help lower risk of conditions associated with poor circulation such as deep vein thrombosis or blood clots in the legs.

Dr. Gupta also shares the friendly reminder of allowing plenty of time to get to the airport or your final destination if traveling by car. “Otherwise, you’ll be rushing and putting yourself at increased risk of an automobile accident,” she said.

For those who take medication, Dr. Gupta says you should only take with you what you need plus a little extra. “Typically this is no more than one or two weeks’ worth,” she said. “You should also keep a list with you so you can get more medication if needed.”

Dr. Gupta’s final healthy travel tip is to be sure you carry a medical card containing the contact information for your doctor(s), just in case you or someone else needs to reach them while you’re away from home.

Visit our community health blog for other tips for surviving the holiday season.