I have stayed fairly healthy over my years of travel, but I consistently succumbed to one very bad cold each year. Whether I got these colds from germs on the road or just a worn-down body, I’m not sure. But I have stayed healthy for over two years by taking some simple precautions.
- Traveling with an instant hand sanitizer is also a great idea. Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer (available at www.minimus.biz) meets the FDA’s standard of effectiveness, which is a minimum alcohol concentration of 60%). Be sure to wash your hands often as well. It is unbelievable how many women leave the ladies’ room without washing their hands – yuck! And then we touch their door handles, etc.
- You have most likely heard that the hotel room’s remote for the television is a prime incubator of germs. After staring at the remotes in the past several hotel rooms I have been in, I am definitely agreeing with this. They are oily and gunky, and this is without actually ‘seeing’ the germs. I am now carrying disinfecting wipes that I use to clean the remote control before I will use it. There are many travel-size wipes that will not fill up your luggage (or 1-quart sized plastic bag of liquids in case TSA categorizes these as ‘liquid’). See www.minimus.biz for their selection of anti-bacterial wipes.
- I also do not let the recirculated air on a plane blow on me. If it is really hot on the plane before take-off, I will turn on the air slightly, but turn it away from my face. And then I will turn off the vent just as soon as the plane cools down.
- Vitamins: I travel with Vitamin C, as well as an overall daily vitamin (and remember to actually take them on most days!)
- Supplements: I bring Airborne single-tablet packs. This is good to take before going into crowded areas (like planes) or at the first sign of a cold. I also keep Emer’gen-C with me, which is a concentrated dose of vitamin C and minerals.
- Drink lots of water. Keep soft drinks, alcohol, fruit juices, coffee and sweetened teas to a minimum.
If you are traveling to other countries, check out the Center for Disease Control’s Travelers’ Health site (www.cdc.gov/travel) for tons of information on vaccinations, water and food safety, traveling with kids and/or pets, clinics, and more. For lots more ideas on keeping the germs at bay, see
And of course, always travel with your health insurance card just in case you need it.