Traveling this Holiday Season
The COVID-19 pandemic kept many people from traveling or seeing their families the last two years, but if this past holiday was any indicator, that will not be the case for 2022. According to AAA,4.5 million Americans flew over the Thanksgiving holiday. This surge in travel caused many flight cancellations and delays said to resemble pre-pandemic levels. Now, the number of travelers flying during the winter holidays is expected to meet, if not surpass, pre-pandemic levels, with more than half of Americans planning to travel over Christmas and New Year’s. In fact, searches for these holiday travel dates are up 35% versus last year.
Travel surges in combination with record cold, flu and RSV cases this year means precautions need to be taken. If you will be traveling this holiday season, follow the tips below to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy!
Health and Safety Tips
- Keep Up Good Hygiene Practices: Continue practicing all the good hygiene steps that have been implemented since the start of the pandemic, including frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer before using high touch points, and covering coughs and sneezes. While it is no longer required, consider wearing your mask on planes, buses or other forms of public transportation if you have a weakened immune system.
- Get 7-8 hours of Sleep Every Night: Adequate sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It allows your body and mind to recover from a busy day and it also keeps your immune system strong. If you will be doing a lot of driving or traveling this holiday season, then sleep is not only important for your health, but also your safety.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Keep your water bottle with you and refill it as soon as it is empty. Staying hydrated will not only keep you from feeling fatigued, but it will help keep you alert and aware as well as keep your immune system functioning properly.
- Exercise: Throughout the day, be mindful of your activity levels. Take a walk around the rest area when you stop for fuel or food on a road trip, walk through the airport between flights, take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can, and if possible, walk through the town instead of taking a taxi. No matter where you are staying, you can also start your mornings with a quick jog, do sit-ups and pushups in your room, or check out the hotel gym. This will boost your energy levels and keep you feeling your best throughout the holiday season.
- Be Food Smart: Nutrition plays a major role in your overall health. Make smart food choices this holiday season and remember the key word; “moderation.” Most accommodations will have healthy options, so aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with your meals. Stick to water as much as possible and choose lean meats and whole grains when you can.
- Stay Aware and Be Prepared: Make sure friends and family are informed of your travel plans, pay attention to weather alerts and conditions, keep your devices charged and pack a first aid kit. To reduce your stress levels, give yourself extra time for all travel plans and have a backup plan. With the high influx of travel this holiday season, there could be delays or unexpected changes. Also, if you will be driving, make sure to have an emergency kit relevant to your location on hand.
- Stay Home if You are Sick: If you or your family members are feeling sick, reschedule your holiday plans. Many airlines are still being very accommodating when it comes to rescheduling due to illness, but just to be safe, we recommend purchasing travel insurance when booking a flight.