The perfect finish to business or vacation travel is to return home in good health. In other words, energized by the experience and free of a cold or flu. That goes for their symptoms as well, such as scratchy eyes, a runny nose or achy joints.
Catching an illness while traveling is strongly associated with air travel, which is why many travelers focus on trying to keep their seats and tray tables germ-free. Not a bad idea, but it is perhaps even more important to focus on some practices that keep us healthy whether traveling or carrying out the duties of everyday working life. Those would include getting plenty of quality sleep, eating nutritious food, exercising at least moderately, and staying hydrated by drinking a steady stream of the right fluids. All of these practices boost the human immune system so it can fight off the germs we inevitably come into contact with during daily life. They also reduce stress, which is the enemy of an optimally functioning immune system.
Everything about the human system operates better when well rested. And the well-rested body and mind is less prone to eating junk food and drinking sugary beverages, and skipping exercise. Fatigue also tends to raise the stress level. So you would do well to consider sleep the foundation for making the other healthy practices achievable.
Start every trip with a good night’s sleep. Get to the airport or other transportation hub early to avoid stress. It’s also important to remember that vitamins are not a substitute for healthy food. The National Institutes of Health says there is no conclusive data that large doses of vitamin C will prevent colds, although it might reduce the severity or duration. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us that the influenza can be prevented with a flu vaccination.
Now that you have fortified your immune system, take on the germs. The staff of The Rose Hotel understands travelers’ concerns about germs to prevent illness and cleanliness so one can feel comfortable in their environment. That is why we place tremendous emphasize on keeping our rooms and common areas clean and sanitized — an effort that is paying off, based on the many compliments received on TripAdvisor and our Guest Comment cards. People clearly notice and appreciate an immaculate facility.
Even in the cleanliest of environments, frequent hand washing remains the best way to avoid germs. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are fine too, though individual packets of sanitizing wipes are easier to get through airport security. Wipe down the tray table, armrests and lavatory door handles when on the plane.
Many travelers worry about airborne germs and contaminants as well. Thankfully, planes are not as teeming with germs as you might think, thanks to air filters that help reduce the number of microscopic viruses and bacteria, according to Frommer’s, publisher of travel information guide. In fact, Frommer’s quotes Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious disease expert with the Mayo Clinic saying that travelers are more likely to catch something in the airport than on the flight.
It is when we do come into contact with airborne germs that hydration becomes especially important, Dr. Virk says, because it keeps the respiratory tract moist and more protected against germs.
Build your natural defenses. Call in flu shots and hand sanitizers as reinforcements. And enjoy some happy and healthy travels.
Written by Mike Consol