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Ugh. The flu. Have you had it?

I got sick with the flu in the early 90’s and wow, was I ever miserable. It’s an experience I hope to avoid in future. With the flu season already in full bore this year, anyone considering travel can use these tips from Clorox to try and stay healthy.

Before You Go:

  • · Pack a “Healthy Travel Kit” with the Essentials. Vitamin C, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, tissues and pain reliever are all good to have handy when you travel.
  • · Get a Good Night Sleep.Although it can be tempting to stay up late handling last minute travel preparations, getting the recommended seven to nine hours will help keep you healthier.

En Route:

  • · Remind Everyone to Wash Their Hands Thoroughly. That means 20 seconds using warm, soapy water, especially when using public restrooms at rest stops, in train stations and on airplanes, which studies have shown to be particularly germy.
  • · Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • · Consider a saline nasal spray if you are flying. A recent study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research showed that you’re 100 times more likely to catch a cold when you’re flying. Low humidity on planes can cause your nasal membranes can become dehydrated, making you more susceptible to germs.
  • · Assess your surroundings for any germ hot spots. Use a disinfecting wipe on hard surfaces in the car and near your seat on the bus, train or plane that multiple people have touched. Studies have shown that tray tables in particular are incredibly germy.

At Your Final Destination:

  • · Keep up the healthy habits! A 2011 Clorox survey of women aged 25-54 showed that only 42% always spent time disinfecting to help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses during the holidays. It’s easy to slack off on this while traveling at other times of year as well. Taking simple steps to help stay healthy while you are visiting family and friends will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the fun.

Disclosure: I received information about travel tips from Clorox.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to stay healthy while traveling.