iStock 000004733311 SmallDuring the cold winter months, it’s not uncommon for parents (and kids!) to contemplate a holiday vacation to escape the chilly temperatures outside. The problem? Many families have the same idea!


When planning your family’s warm-weather excursion, it’s important to take extra care to stay well — especially during cold and flu season, when germs are at an all-time high. Whether visiting with relatives out-of-state (such as sunny California), or venturing off on that long-awaited tropical vacation, follow these tips to stay healthy on-the-go:


Check in with your family’s doctor. If your family is traveling long distances (either in the country or abroad), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends scheduling a medical check-up four to six weeks before your vacation. Provide your family’s doctor with a detailed description of your travel destination and the type of travel you will be doing. Will you be traveling by plane? Car? Cruise ship? Prepare for the visit ahead of time with a list of questions covering a range of common travel-related concerns, including motion sickness, altitude sickness, travelers’ diarrhea and jet lag. Don’t forget to ask if your child’s immunizations are up-to-date — especially important if traveling overseas. 


Pack the medical essentials. Prepare a travel kit, including all prescription medications with enough, or preferably more, of everything you’ll need for the entire duration of the trip — and to be on the safe side, pack medicines for allergies, colds, coughs, rashes, fever and pain. Keep all relevant phone numbers, as well as copies of all prescriptions, immunizations records and a detailed medical history for each child, in a safe and secure place.


Don’t overdo it. A run-down body is more susceptible to the all-too-common cold than a healthy body is. That’s why it’s important to listen to your body’s needs — and your family’s — right from the start. On long car rides and flights, encourage your kids to give their arms and legs a gentle stretch every hour or so, and pack plenty of H20 to avoid dehydration.


Bring antibacterial wipes and sanitizers along for the ride. Wherever you go, keep your environment as clean as possible. Use antibacterial wipes to clean your hotel room — doorknobs, light switches, remote controls — and areas where you’ll be dining and traveling often. Though hand-washing is the most trusted and effective way to combat sickness and other icky germs, antibacterial hand sanitizers (containing at least 60% alcohol) are your family’s second best bet when warm water and soap aren’t readily available. 


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author and should not be construed as the opinions of Whitsons Culinary Group or any of its affiliates, accuracy or completeness of this information.  It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual.  It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.  You should not rely on the information in this blog as a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention