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Tips to Stay Healthy when Traveling


young woman traveler walking with rolling suitcase at the airport

The things that keep us safe and healthy at home are the most important things we can do to stay healthy when traveling. If you or your family has a trip coming up, here are some tips from IEP Urgent Care to make sure everyone avoids potential illness and has a great time.


Wash your hands


The most important thing you can do, whether at home or on the road, is to wash your hands thoroughly and often. And by washing your hands, we mean vigorously washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soap and water. It’s the friction of your hands rubbing with the water and soap that keeps your hands clean. According to the CDC, “hand sanitizer does not work well against norovirus. You can use hand sanitizer in addition to hand washing, but hand sanitizer is not a substitute for handwashing, which is best.”


Bring disinfectant wipes and use them


Just as you would want to regularly disinfect all the high touch areas in your home, do the same thing as soon as you arrive in your hotel room or rental. Wipe down the TV remote, door handles, door switches and knobs. Remove that duvet cover from your bed. It likely was not washed prior to your arrival. Consider not using any of the glasses provided in your room. Here’s a great list of everything you can do to make your hotel room as safe as possible.


Make sure your vaccinations are up to date


Check with your primary care physician to make sure all your vaccinations are up to date, especially if you are traveling overseas. IEP Urgent Care can also provide you and your family with any needed vaccinations before your trip.

 

Take photos on your phone of your medical information


Take a photo of the front and back of your health insurance card along with photos of any medication you may need during your trip. If something is lost or stolen, you will have a backup to get what you need.


Don’t touch your face


We all do it, and it's hard to avoid, but touching your face, especially with hands that are not clean, is a major way we all pick up infections. It becomes even more important not to touch your face when traveling. Infection prevention expert Connie Steed as quoted in USA Today article, offers some tips to help avoid touching your face:


  • Keep your hands busy. One way to fight the urge to touch your face is by using a stress ball to keep your hands occupied. Others have had success fiddling with a rubber band wrapped around their wrist. Or if you're really struggling, you might try tucking your hands under your legs while sitting – then you know for sure they won't drift up to your face.

  • Have a buddy. Ask someone to help you by pointing out when you're touching your face – you can use a code word to help. 

  • Pay attention to triggers. One common one: Nail biting. If that's an issue for you, there are other tips for stopping that habit.

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