The country is opening up a little again, and as more people get vaccinated and travel restrictions ease, many of us are planning long overdue summer travel. Whether you are driving a couple of states over to visit friends and family or hopping on a plane to see the sights, you’ll want to stay as healthy as possible when traveling this summer. Below, you can watch a video from Dr. Sabari Sundarraj as she discusses traveling safely.
Here some tips and tricks to help you travel safely this summer:
1. Consider wearing compression gear
If you have to fly or ride in a car for more than two hours while traveling this summer, you may want to get a set of compression socks or leggings to help promote circulation and prevent blood clots while you’re sitting still. Make sure to move and stretch and stay hydrated as well. More than 350,000 Americans experience blood clots each year.1
2. Move and stretch
And while we’re on the subject of sitting still while traveling, remember to move and stretch if you’re flying. Get up and walk the aisle at least once every hour. If your summer travel plans include long drives, plan to make a quick pit stop every two hours. Have everyone get out of the car, walk around and stretch for a couple of minutes. If walking on the plane or stopping the car isn’t convenient, try wiggling your toes, rotating your ankles and raising your knees toward your chest.
3. Don’t forget your mask
Even if you’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccination, masks are still required on most modes of public transportation (including planes, trains and buses). Make sure to pack a few so that you always have a clean one on hand. Hotels and other businesses may still require you to wear a mask, so don’t get caught without one. And if you are traveling this summer with unvaccinated kids or family members, make sure they are wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
4. Build your own travel bag
Whether your summer travel plans include flying, driving or taking the train, unavoidable delays can happen. Stock an easily identifiable backpack or tote bag with items to help you stay comfortable, sleep and pass the time while traveling this summer:
- travel pillow
- collapsible water bottle
- hand sanitizer, wet wipes
- surgical or cotton masks
- sleeping mask
- prescription medications
- lightweight blanket
- change of undies
- travel socks/footies
- toiletries: mouth care, deodorant
- non-perishable snacks: granola bars, raisins, trail mix, nuts, gum, flavored drink powder
- eyewear: sunglasses, contact lenses and case, cleaning solution
- first-aid kit: bandages, tape, antiseptic, pain reliever, decongestant, antihistamine, throat/cough lozenges, eyedrops, eyewash
- “old school” entertainment: playing cards, paperback novel, crossword puzzle book, journal, travel-sized games that two to four people can play
If you’re traveling by air, make sure that all the contents will clear TSA security.
5. Wash your hands
We’ve all had this drilled into us over the past year but washing your hands often is even more important when you are traveling this summer. Make sure to always carry some hand-sanitizing gel in case you can’t access soap and water.
6. Disinfect things you touch
Speaking of things we have learned how to do this year. When traveling this summer, keep those disinfecting wipes handy for airplane seats and tray tables and doorknobs. If your summer travel involves renting a car, clean the interior surfaces—including seatbelt straps—as well as door handles, with sanitizing wipes. Then spritz a disinfecting spray all over the car and give it time to dry.
7. Stay hydrated
Most of us will spend a lot of vacation time eating rich foods, so remember to include water with your meals when traveling this summer. You might also want to get in the habit of starting each day with a glass of water, and either sipping a water bottle throughout the day or setting a reminder on your smart device to drink a glass every few hours.
8. Be prepared
Download the Teladoc app to your phone or tablet before you begin traveling this summer. In case of a non-emergency illness, our U.S. board-certified doctors can help make diagnoses and suggest treatments for you and your family 24/7, anywhere you are.1,2 Go ahead and make sure your account is updated with the latest info on primary care doctors, eligible dependents and medications.
Updated June 28, 2021