What are steps people can take to lessen the likelihood of illnesses when traveling?

If you’re going to be traveling, the last thing you probably want to deal with is being sick while on your trip.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recommends the following tips for reducing your risk of getting sick while traveling:

  • Leg problems – Avoid blood clots in your legs by doing leg exercises in your seat to increase circulation. You can also stay active by moving around the cabin when it is safe. Wearing compression socks and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated also can help.
  • Infections from germs in close-quarters – It can feel tricky to avoid illness when the person seated next to you spends the whole flight coughing, but there are a few steps you can take to decrease your chances of getting a virus or other sickness. Wash your hands regularly with antibacterial gel and do your best to either clean or avoid armrests, tray tables and seat pockets, which can be full of germs.
  • Jet lag – Getting plenty of sleep before you leave and getting as much sunlight as possible on the day you arrive may ease jet lag symptoms.
  • Motion sickness – If you’re someone who battles with motion sickness, make sure to prepare before your trip. Talk with your doctor about the best over-the-counter or prescription options for you. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol while flying, and drink plenty of water.

In addition to these steps, make sure to take any medications you think you might need along with you on vacation, because you might not have access to the same medicine while on your trip, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For more information about how to stay healthy on a trip, talk with your doctor.

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