Headed Home for the Holidays? How to Travel Safely.

Headed Home for the Holidays? How to Travel Safely.

Travel Safety Tips for Holiday Homecomings or Getaways

Whether you’re heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house, back to the old neighborhood to visit family and friends or have planned a perfect getaway vacation, these tips can help keep you and your family safe and healthy on your trip. And that will make everyone’s holiday happier!

First, the No. 1 rule for healthier travels: stay home if anyone in the travel party is sick. No one likes to cancel holiday plans or disappoint loved ones, but there are very good reasons to reschedule your trip:

  • It’s uncomfortable to travel or stay anywhere other than home when you don’t feel well.
  • The stress of traveling could worsen the condition, necessitating a visit to a doctor or emergency room away from home and delay recovery.
  • You spread germs to everyone you come in contact with – and cold, flu, or childhood diseases are really lousy hostess gifts!

Ready to go? Whatever your mode of transportation, here are some basic tips to follow:

  • If you are pregnant or have a chronic health condition, get your doctor’s clearance to travel.
  • If you take prescription medications for a chronic condition (asthma, allergies, diabetes, etc.), ALWAYS:
    • Pack medications (in their original prescription or over-the-counter packaging) in carry-on luggage or in a bag you can access easily if driving.
    • Pack enough for the duration of your trip plus a few extra days in case of delays.
    • Stick as close to your regular medication schedule as possible while traveling.
    • Carry a list of your medications and your physician’s contact information with you in case you need to visit a doctor or an emergency room during your trip.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water and eat sensibly to help avoid headaches, stomachaches and digestive problems.
  • Stretch your legs periodically to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), a serious condition that can result from staying seated for prolonged periods of time.

Special Tips for Holiday Road Trips:

  • Make sure your vehicle’s brakes, tires, windshield wipers, lights, oil, and fluid levels are road-ready before you leave.
  • Avoid accidents by practicing courteous, safe driving – that includes NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING – and stopping for rest breaks.
  • Carry a cell phone and charger with an adaptor for the car. Always keep your phone charged.
  • Stop only at well-lit, busy gas stations or rest stops and always go to the restroom with children.
  • Pack an emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, flashlight, water, snacks and blankets.
  • If you have car trouble, pull over to the shoulder, activate your flashers, call for roadside assistance and wait inside the vehicle.

Special Tips for Flying:

  • Avoid flying if you have an ear, nose, or sinus infection to prevent pain or damage to eardrums.
  • Wear comfortable, non-constricting clothing on the plane.
  • Periodically move your feet and ankles while seated. On long flights get up and stretch your legs.
  • Drink water and use moisturizer, hydrating eye drops and saline nasal spray to reduce the effects of low humidity in the air.

Happy and safe holiday travels everyone!

For fast, emergency help when you need it most, look to one of our many Medical City ER locations across North Texas. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you or call our free 24-hour Ask-A-Nurse hotline.

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Sources:
The AAA Guide to Trouble-Free Travel, AAA.com
Health Tips for Airline Travel, Aerospace Medical Association
Staying Healthy on a Cruise, CDC.gov
MedicineNet.com