It’s cold, flu, and now coronavirus season. We’re all becoming more conscious of what we touch, how often we wash our hands, and our distance from other people. But, frequently when traveling, many of these precautions are out of our control.

Our recruiting team members scour the globe every year to find the best teachers for our schools–resulting in many days spent traveling. Over the years, they have all developed their own strategies for staying healthy while traveling. As we all begin to travel again, read on for some helpful hints for healthy travels.

1. Use hand sanitizer

This may seem very basic, but many travelers forget the importance of using hand sanitizer before eating, touching your face, or many other tasks.

2. Wipe down airplane tray tables with antibacterial wipes

Even though the cabin is cleaned between flights, it never hurts to be extra careful of any surface you will eat off of. It’s also a good idea to wipe your seat and armrests as well. There isn’t always time for the cleaning crew to sanitize these surfaces, and you’ll feel better knowing you are sitting in a clean seat for the duration of your flight.

3. Wear closed toe shoes

Wearing closed toe shoes will not only help protect your feet from being stepped on by a fellow passenger heading to the restroom midflight, but also from any dirt, grime, or germs you might encounter on the floor throughout your travels.

4. Pack your travel clothes separately

When packing your suitcase, put clothes you plan to wear when traveling in a separate plastic bag inside the suitcase. This way, anything that you may encounter in the environment while traveling is kept separate from your clean clothes.

5. Neosporin

Many people struggle with their sinuses and nostrils drying up in the cold, recycled air on a plane. To remedy this, rub a little Neosporin around your nostrils and it will help to keep your nose from drying up.

6. Don’t touch your face

One of the easiest ways for viruses and bacteria to spread is through the (on average) 16+ times we touch our face every hour. No matter how often you wash your hands, if you touch a contaminated door handle, then scratch your nose, rub your eyes, adjust your glasses…you’ve presented an easy opportunity for viruses to spread. For some people, wearing a mask while traveling discourages this from happening, though it is important to note that the mask itself is often not an effective way to avoid airborne sicknesses.

7. Stay hydrated

Dry, recycled air on a plane, combined with tiny cups of liquid from the airplane drink carts, are a recipe for dehydration, which never helps overall health. Bring a large water bottle on board with you and make sure you drink regularly to keep your body hydrated.

8. Don’t eat the food

Airline food will never win a Michelin star, but in an attempt to counteract the decreased ability to smell and taste and altitude, many airlines resort to salty stews or spicy curries. Salt and staying hydrated (see tip #7) never go well together. Instead, bring protein bars and other healthy snacks on board to get you through a long flight.

9. Double check COVID-19 regulations (if applicable)

Even though many parts of the world are easing their COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, some locations may still have regulations in place. Make sure you are informed and prepared for any regulations or documents you may need for both your airline an destination. Document requirements can include vaccination status, recent COVID testing and possible quarantine requirements before leaving as well as upon arrival at your destination. It is smart to have both hard and electronic copies of COVID-related documents as some countries or airlines may require you to upload the documents prior to traveling.

While there are no guarantees that you won’t pick up a virus or other illness while traveling, with these 9 helpful tips, you can certainly do your part to minimize your risk, and help you enjoy your trip and destination. Healthy travels!

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