Staying healthy on the road is top of mind for families these days, whether you’re heading to the mountains for a winter getaway or driving to visit relatives for the holidays. While it’s a good idea to follow those pandemic protocols we’ve all grown accustomed to—maintaining physical distance in lines and wearing masks in public places—there’s more you can do to boost your immunity and keep sickness at bay while travelling.
We’ve all gone through bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer over the past two years, which is a great way to keep your germ-collecting mitts clean when you’re on the go. But nothing beats washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (coach the kids to sing Jingle Bells while they’re doing it). Remember that tots touch everything, so hand hygiene is especially important before meals (hit the washroom prior to sitting down) or after you’ve been in a busy public place like a mall or playground.
It’s tempting to gobble down fast food and processed snacks on the road because of their convenience, but whole foods will better support your immune system, and so will drinking lots of water. Washed and pre-cut veggies make healthy snacks, as do trail mix, apples and oranges. Bring reusable water bottles and sip from them regularly—water not only flushes toxins, it helps keep our mouths and noses moist, which prevents viruses from getting in. And when it’s meal time, research restaurant menus online and decide what healthy dish you’re going to order in advance.
The break from routine that comes with travel can impact sleep, especially for kids who might miss naps or stay up past their bedtime from all the excitement. But studies show that people who don’t catch quality zzz’s (or get enough shut-eye) are more prone to becoming sick if they get exposed to seasonal viruses, so sticking with sleep schedules when you’re travelling is important. Plan the drive or flight to coincide with naptime, let kids get their yayas out after you arrive so they’re tired at night, and follow familiar bedtime rituals such as a relaxing bath, bedtime story or song. Honibe Melatonin Gummie Bees are a great option to bring with you if you’re worried about someone in your family having a hard time falling asleep in an unfamiliar place.
Kids between the ages of three and 12 are most susceptible to getting carsick, so if yours complains of an upset tummy on a road trip, pull over and walk around in the fresh air until the feeling passes. Choose a straight—rather than winding—route, if possible, and instruct your child to look out the window instead of down at a screen. A light snack can also help with the butterfly feeling. (If your kid is chronically carsick, consider giving them an anti-nausea medication beforehand.)
These days, flight attendants give each passenger a sanitary wipe when boarding the plane, so be sure and use them to clean the tray tables, armrests and seat belt buckles in your row. Federally mandated mask-wearing helps everyone keep germs to themselves, but you can further reduce risk by blasting your individual air vents throughout the duration of the flight to promote better air circulation (bring layers to stay warm!). Try to avoid the lavatory on short flights, but if your kid’s got to go, make sure they wash their hands thoroughly afterward.
For an extra immunity boost when you’re on the go, consider bringing along multivitamins. Honibe makes convenient resealable travel packs that each contain a week’s supply of multivitamin gummies in kid or adult formulations with Vitamin C, D, zinc and more, among other vitamins and minerals. They can easily fit into a purse, backpack or carry-on. (Honibe also makes Vitamin D3 and melatonin travel packs.)
The gelatin-free, planet-based gummies are made without any additives, preservatives, artificial flavours or common allergens like soy, dairy and gluten. What they do contain—in addition to their essential nutrients—is 100 percent real Canadian honey sourced from local beekeepers, rather than sugar or fake sweeteners.
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