Person packing a suitcase

Break is just around the corner and for some of us that means travel. Whether you’re heading out of town by car, bus, train or plane, there are a few things you should keep in mind to stay healthy when traveling.


Between jumping time zones and hauling luggage, travel can wear us out. That’s why it’s important to make sleep a priority when traveling. Aim to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, and don’t feel bad if you need to work in a 20-minute power nap during the day.

Wash your hands

This is a popular time for travelers, which means you might be exposed to more germs than usual. Keep yourself healthy and protected against illness by washing your hands often: after using the bathroom, before eating and between destinations. If warm water and soap aren’t available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative. You can pick up a free travel bottle from Health Promotion on the third floor of Wardenburg Health Center.

Stay hydrated

Traveling can increase your chances of dehydration, especially if you’re traveling long distances. Drinking plenty of water is a great way to help us feel our best, stay energized and protect ourselves against illness. Remember to bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at the airport or train station. It may also be helpful to set reminders on your phone to make sure you’re drinking throughout the day.

Bring a mask

Whether you’ve been fully vaccinated or not, it’s important to be aware of and follow guidelines for wearing a mask. Indoor locations like terminals, airplanes, train stations and other enclosed areas may still require masks. It may be helpful to review policies for airlines and other transportation companies before heading out. Unsure about requirements? Pack a mask just in case.

It’s also a good idea to practice good hygiene to avoid a variety of illnesses while traveling:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your face.

Before you arrive at your destination, be sure to check local and regional guidelines and public health orders. Some areas may require a self-quarantine period for travelers. Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for more information.

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