Vacation checklist? Check. Teladoc app? Check. Planning a summer getaway? Don’t forget the swimsuits, masks—and this advice on staying healthy. Check out these 9 summer travel tips.
Sunny summer is finally here—school is out, and it’s time for vacation (perhaps your first real one in a couple of years)! If you’re planning a trip with family or friends, remember the flip-flops and these 9 tips to help you stay well while traveling this summer 2021.
9 travel tips to stay healthy
1. Before you pack a thing
Download the award-winning Teladoc mobile app onto your smartphone or tablet. If you get sick, you can reach us 24/7 anytime, anywhere.1 If you forget any of your prescription medication, you may be able to have a Teladoc doctor send an emergency refill prescription to the nearest pharmacy.
2. Ward off flying critters and creepy crawlers
No matter where you travel this summer, you’ll want to protect yourself from insects, especially mosquitoes, so be sure to keep the right kind of bug repellent handy. Stings and bites from bees, wasps and spiders are not only painful but also can be dangerous if you’re allergic to them. When you’re cooking or eating outdoors, plan to protect food from germ-carrying flies by keeping dishes covered or using netting.
3. Take your own healthy snacks
Whether you’re flying or driving, you’ll feel better—and save money—by packing nibbles like nuts, popcorn, fresh fruit and veggies. When you peel, core and cut produce into bite-sized pieces ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about discarding anything while you’re in transit. (In the case of foods that turn brown after they’re cut, like apples, just toss them with a little lemon juice.)
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4. Drink lots of water
Dehydration can happen faster than you think, especially when you’re flying. Remember to take a sip before you feel thirsty. A good rule of thumb is to drink about a cup every 30 minutes when you’re engaged in physical activity. If water isn’t your favorite beverage, buy a variety of flavored water enhancers and stash one or two in your backpack, beach bag or glove compartment so they’re always nearby.
5. Keep your hands clean
Make a habit of washing your hands frequently, not just before eating. Illness-causing bacteria are transmitted most often by contact. Soap and clean, warm water are most effective, but alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel will work in a pinch. Whether you wash or use the gel, always dry your hands thoroughly. And remember to clean under your nails too!
6. Practice sun safety
Safeguard your summer skin by paying attention to overexposure; keep yourself and your family covered with sunblock and other protection (sunglasses, clothing with long sleeves) even when the sky is overcast or the weather is cool.
7. Store your insurance and COVID-19 vaccination cards
Include your photo ID and a printed list of your medications and emergency contacts in a waterproof baggie. If you’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, don’t forget your vaccination card. If you’re going out of the country, drop in a copy of your passport too.
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8. Update your immunizations and get the COVID-19 vaccine
You’ll want to make sure your flu and tetanus shots are current before traveling this summer. To protect yourself and fellow travelers, if you have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, make an appointment far enough in advance so that you have full immunity before the start of your trip. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for any travel-related COVID-19 protocols or testing requirements. You should also check the U.S. State Department’s website for information about your destination, including recommended or required immunizations and vaccines and whether they are allowing foreign visitors due to COVID-19. (Helpful fact: You can register your trip online with the U.S. embassy in each country you’re planning to visit.)
9. Don’t forget a mask
Even if you’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccination, some areas, public transportation and 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.
Have fun and stay well
Vacations should be memorable because of all the fun you had, not how sick you got. Keep this checklist close by while you’re packing for summer travel 2021.
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And throw in an extra charger for your phone, just in case you need to reach the doctors at Teladoc. You can even get a sturdy travel case that doubles as a charger.
Updated June 1, 2021