Tips to Stay Healthy on Vacation

Don’t you hate it when you’ve spent months working with your travel agent to end up with a virus of some sort on vacation? You want to be out enjoying the sun, sights, beach, or activities you were looking forward to but you are stuck in your hotel (or worse) stateroom. Not the best vacation.

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The news media is once again bashing cruise travel by stating how many people were sick on a cruise ship. The headlines make it sound like the entire ship was full of sick people and it’s the cruise lines fault. The headline reads something like 500 people sick onboard ABC Cruise Line. There may have been 500 people sick on the cruise ship, BUT there were 8800 people onboard. If we do the math, that is .056. Less than 1%.

It's cold and flu season and people get sick. Go anywhere and touch things and you could also fall victim.

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I looked at recent sanitation inspections of all the cruise lines. Even ships that scored a 100% on their inspection have had sick passengers. Illness comes with people. The guests may not be showing signs at embarkation. The symptoms may develop a day or two into the cruise. When you are questioned at embarkation if you have had any signs of illness, to assist in not passing on anything to other passengers, don't lie. The cruise line will most likely not prevent you from traveling. They may quarantine you for your 1st day if your symptoms warrant.

One thing I recommend to my clients prior to traveling is to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Their Resource for Travelers section has everything you need to know and then some about the area you are traveling to.

Below are some precautions you could take prior to and on your vacation.

  1. Wash your hands. All the time.

  2. Avoid touching your face. Touching your face transmits what you picked up from someone else.

  3. Hand Sanitizers. They help a little. I personally don’t like how they dry our my skin and they aren’t as effective as washing your hands. I do like DoTerra's On Guard spray. It fits in my backpack and I can spray everyone down between hand washing. Cruise ships, grocery stores, fitness centers, and some airports have hand sanitizing stations as you walk in. Use them when you see them.

  4. Anti-bacterial wipes. When I was a training facilitator for Hilton, I flew 5-6 flights a week and could not get sick. I would wipe down my seats and trays before sitting down. In your hotel or stateroom, it can't hurt to wipe down things that people touch frequently - light switches, TV remotes, fitness equipment in the gym, elevator buttons.

  5. Drink bottled water/Stay hydrated. In foreign areas, the water is treated differently and may be upsetting to your stomach. In the US, Amazon or grocery delivery services will deliver to hotels. You can order bottled water to be delivered to your stateroom from most cruise lines. Hydrating your body will help build your immune system so your body can fight infection. If you are increasing elevation while on vacation, hydration is vital. Many people go from sea level to Vail, CO and don’t realize how the elevation will affect them. Within 24-36 hours they can begin to show signs of altitude sickness.

  6. Visit your doctor prior to your trip. Make an appointment with your doctor if you are feeling under the weather prior to your vacation. Traveling out of the country, some countries may require you to have vaccinations prior to entering their country. For adventure travel, make sure you talk to a doctor prior to travel. Our family has a medical bag that we keep packed all the time. The bag holds over the counter medicines such as TUMS, Imodium, Ibuprofen, cough medicine, and Peppermint & Lavender essential oils, so we don't have to try to locate these items while on vacation. (Travel insurance is great to have just in case someone is too sick to travel).

  7. Get plenty of rest. Do you tend to try to squeeze in everything you can? Do you stay up late and wake up early? This is the perfect way to lower your immune system. Try to stick to your normal sleep schedule as much as possible. Take a nap if you are able. I know it’s hard. For me, when I visit Walt Disney World I don't want to miss a moment. I’m there before the gate opens and stay until it closes.

  8. Buffet stations. This is tough. All-Inclusive resorts, cruise ships, and theme parks all have buffet stations. They are fun. So many foods to try. The containers that hold the silverware can be where germs are spread the most. I suggest washing your hands after plating your food and prior to eating OR hand sanitize OR use a hand spray/wipe. Most buffets have silverware at the table.

  9. Avoid food sharing. Sharing food can also prove difficult. He has a delicious treat on his plate and you only want a bite. Your kids don't finish their meal and you don't want it to go to waste. They may not be showing symptoms yet and you just ate their germs.

  10. Guest laundry. When using guest laundry machines (especially in high use hotels/cruises) use the hottest water and drying settings for the longest washing times your clothes will allow to kill the microbes.

I wish you safe and healthy travels!


MTT Toby

Toby is an avid traveler, primal eater, wife of an adventurous soul, and homeschooling mom of two. The four travel bugs live in Southern Colorado. They love to visit theme parks, national parks, various countries, and donut shops. Toby loves to assist her clients in designing vacations that reduce stress and bring everyone together.