Family vacationing together

How to stay healthy while traveling

Summer is the perfect time to pack your bags and set off on a family adventure. But nothing is worse than getting sick while traveling.

Dr. Aaron Carlisle, family medicine physician at Community Physician Network, encourages families to take these precautions before traveling in order to avoid illness.

Vaccinate before going out of the country
It is important to plan ahead before traveling overseas, and to schedule an appointment with your physician.

"Your physician’s office may not have all of the vaccines in stock needed for your destination," said Dr. Carlisle. "By calling ahead they can be prepared and have all of the necessary vaccinations ready for you."

He also noted that malaria prophylaxis often has to be started two to three weeks prior to the departure date when traveling to malaria endemic areas of the world.

Practice proper hygiene
Respiratory infections are everywhere and the best way to prevent them is to wash your hands frequently, especially when traveling.

Keep moving
Travelers on flights longer than four hours have a greater risk of developing a venous thromboembolism (blood clot) compared to the general population.

The best way to prevent this?
"Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol while traveling," said Dr. Carlisle. "Walk the cabin for five minutes of every hour as safety permits, and/or flex and extend your feet at the ankles to exercise your lower legs."

Bring medication
Not only is it important to pack any and all medications that you take frequently, but to prepare for the flight itself. 

"If you have nasal congestion before a flight, this can cause difficulty equalizing pressure in the ears during take-off and landing," said Carlisle. "If not medically contraindicated, use of decongestants may provide for a more pleasant flight."

For more healthy travel recommendations and TSA prescriptions regulations, visit the CDC website.