Now that spring is finally in full swing and warmer weather is fast approaching, countless people are itching to book vacation plans before all the best deals are gobbled up. After all, an estimated 96% of American workers claim that vacation time is important to them.
But if you’re one of the many people planning a trip this year, it’s essential that you take care of your health while traveling.
While you’re putting the finishing touches on your vacation itinerary, it can be easy to forget basic sanitary needs and health goals during your trip. Even if you pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer, you never know what potentially hazardous health issues could arise during your travels. We’re going to show you a few ways to stay healthy while traveling.
In fact, one recent Delta Airlines passenger was put in this exact predicament. As Matthew Meehan identified his seat, he was shocked to find that the floor and seat were covered in animal excrement.
An ill service dog was the culprit, but passengers were allowed to board the plane before cleaning crews arrived. When Meehan asked for support from the airline staff, he was simply offered two paper towels and a small bottle of Bombay Sapphire.
“She said to me, ‘Well, that’s not my problem.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry?’ She says, ‘Well, if the cleaning crew didn’t clean your seat, I don’t have any control over that,'” Meehan claimed.
“I have never in my entire life felt more dehumanized. I felt like an animal. Words can’t even describe how awful it was, and they had so many opportunities to make it right.”
Affected passengers were offered a refund, but an investigation was launched following the incident.
The nasty little number brings us to our first point on the list…
Airline seats aren’t the most cleanly of chairs, especially when you’re traveling on them for extended periods of time. In fact, aisle seats are among the dirtiest seats of all, according to a 2008 investigation whether they’re covered in dog poop or not.
During this study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that passengers resting in aisle seats are more likely to contract a virus from other passengers. They think this is likely due to the fact that people rest their hands on aisle chairs for support and balance as they pass by, exposing the seat to more germs. Whether you’re flying in an aisle seat or otherwise, however, a seat liner is one way to stop germs from dog poop in its tracks. While that’s certainly on the more extreme end of the spectrum, the point remains. Whether germs or other microbial nastiness, tightly woven fabrics are essential in repelling dirt and stains, acting as a barrier between you.
Between sun damage, insect bites, and the dry air of an airplane, your skin can take a beating. It’s vital that you drink the proper amount of water during your trip in order to promote skin health and elasticity. However, you need to make sure that it’s filtered so you aren’t exposed to any local pathogens or parasites.
You should also use a strong sunblock with a high SPF whenever you venture outdoors. It’s known that an estimated 120,000 terawatts of solar energy hit the earth every day, some of which can cause serious damage to your skin. This is doubly important for people who wear makeup. A simple layer of sunscreen can prevent your face from looking like a tomato at the end of the day. If you’re sweating a lot or swimming during your vacation, you should try to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.
For those bountiful bugs, don’t hesitate to buy a strong insect repellent. A nasty bite or itchy bump is the last thing you want to worry about on your vacation.
If you happen to suffer any serious skin damage during your trip, keep in mind that there are over 7,000 urgent care facilities throughout the United States. Even if it seems like going to the doctor can put a damper on your vacation fun, taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do.
Though we’ve talked about physical health, mental health is just as important (if not more). One of the major reasons people travel in the first place is to unwind, relax, and eliminate high levels of stress associated with their day-to-day lives.
If you’re one of the many people hoping to relax on their vacation, try to limit your social media use. A digital detox is good for your brain and it allows you to enjoy being in the moment during your travels. Leave the phone in your hotel room and try basking in the experiences a new place has to offer.
Taking care of your health is vital when you go on vacation. The next time you’re planning for the trip of a lifetime, don’t forget these simple ways to stay healthy while traveling, and have fun.