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Winter is here and that means it’s time for the dreaded cold and flu bugs to start making their rounds. Our family often travels during the winter months, and that brings with it a greater risk of being sick while on vacation. A bit ago we were taking a family trip to New York during the peak of cold and flu season, and I really wanted to keep everyone as healthy as possible. Knowing we were going to be trapped on an airplane with recirculated air, using various forms of public transit throughout the week, and staying in hotel rooms, I knew germs were bound to find us and try to ruin our fun. In an effort to keep sickness at bay, I researched ways to help avoid getting sick while traveling, including talking to my kids pediatrician. My research led to several great tips and the creation of a Travel Bug kit that I now carry with me everywhere we go. Here’s a tutorial so you can create your own kit and a few tips to help you protect yourself and your family while traveling, so you can stop worrying about catching a bug and instead enjoy getting the travel bug out of your system.
I picked up a clear cosmetic bag which makes it easy to take through security since you can see everything that is in it. Most of these items are available in the health and beauty section at Target, the Wet Ones Antibacterial Travel Pack can be found either with the travel size products in a bin, or on the aisle in the grocery section by the paper goods.
Don’t forget to use Target Cartwheel at checkout to get an extra 15% off Wet Ones Travel Packs or Wet Ones Big Ones now through January 23rd. The water bottle in your kit doesn’t have to be a fancy one, I often just use an empty disposable bottle.
In my Travel Bug Kit:
A Clean, Empty Water Bottle:
Carry a water bottle with you everywhere and use it. With TSA security measures you can’t carry a full bottle through security, and buying a bottle at the airport can be expensive, so carry a clean, empty bottle with you and fill it once you get to your gate. Drink a bit of water every chance you get. One of the biggest things you can do to help yourself is to stay hydrated while traveling. If you use a disposable bottle, it enables you to switch it out throughout your vacation which is healthier too.
Wet Ones are a must have for cold and flu season in our house. Think about all of the surfaces that you touch on an airplane, in a hotel room and while using public transit. Elevator buttons, tray tables, remote controls…just a few of the surfaces that you are sure to touch that are LOADED with germs and rarely cleaned. Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes kill 99.99% of germs and clean better than hand sanitizer. Since most cold and flu germs spread the fastest by us touching our faces with our dirty hands, I make sure to clean my own hands and the kids hands before and after eating on the plane, using the bathroom, riding the subway, and touching just about anything else that may be carrying germs. These aren’t just my traveling companion, they are in my purse, in my gym bag, in my glove box…you name it, year round. I keep a travel pack in my car, singles in my purse, and a canister at the house.
Travel Pack of Tissue:
Cold weather brings sniffles and runny noses, but carrying a small pack of tissues with you also helps you avoid touching germ ridden surfaces. Before grabbing a door handle or lifting a toilet seat, pull out a tissue and use it as a barrier between your bare hand and that dirty surface. Go one step further and remember to sanitize your hands after touching any public surfaces.
Petroleum Jelly and Cotton Swabs:
It’s natural to think that the guy sitting three rows in front of you and coughing up a lung on your flight is probably infecting everyone on board. You hear him coughing and it’s almost like you can feel the germs coming out of the air vent over your head, invading your space. Surprisingly enough, the recirculated air isn’t always the culprit. It’s the dry air! When you are flying at high elevations, the humidity is sucked right out of the air making your nose and throat dry. The moisture in your nose and mouth help keep your body more equipped to fight germs, and keep them out of your system. Swab a small amount of petroleum jelly in the inside of your nose using a cotton swab to help it stay nice and moisturized.
Saline Nose Spray:
Another great way to help your sinuses stay equipped to fight off germs and keep them from invading your system.
A few other things I recommend that will fit in your kit and are useful for a healthy, happy trip:
Bandages (blisters and scrapes are sure to appear at inconvenient times while on the go)
Lotion (a small bottle will help with dry cracked hands and heels while your body adjusts to different climates)
Cough Drops or Gum (for dry throats)
Vitamin C, Zinc and/ or Multi Vitamins
Keep this kit in your carry-on, camera bag, purse, glove box…it’s a great size and fits anywhere making it convenient to have with you at all times. It would also make a great Bon Voyage gift for someone heading out on a vacation or extended trip. Just for fun, I created these Travel Bug tags which will make it even more fun to put together a kit of your very own. You can download them here:
Don’t forget to stop by your local Target and take advantage of the Cartwheel offer at checkout to get an extra 15% off Wet Ones Travel Packs or Wet Ones Big Ones now through January 23rd. I hope you have safe and happy travels this season and stay healthy!