This year we spent the week of Thanksgiving with Mr. Crumbs family in Outer Banks, North Carolina. 8 adults and 7 kids shared 3 floors of an AirBNB rental on the beach and everyone had a blast.
This Christmas we’ll spend a week in Chicago with my side of the family. Six of us will bunk up in my grandma’s home that has likely gotten smaller as I’ve gotten older.
We make sure to include simple ways to stay healthy in the winter as part of our normal routine, but with all the travel going on this year, it’s anything but normal! If your holidays are anything like mine, use this list of ways to stay healthy during holiday travel to stay well this season.
6 Ways to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel
1. Eat, Drink and Consume Probiotics
80% of the immune system lies in the gut so give it a boost and a protective barrier by consuming probiotics on a daily basis. It does take some time for the good bacteria to flourish in your gut, so if probiotics aren’t a part of your health routine already, plan to include them 2-4 weeks before you travel.
At home I do this with yogurt and a probiotic in my daily smoothie. I also drink kombucha as part of my daily routine.
When you’re traveling, aim to eat yogurt at least every other day and take a good probiotics supplement. I have this one in addition to finishing up the last of a powder I found when we moved, and this one is great for the kids.
2. Don’t Skip Out on Sleep
Obviously you need sleep to function, but according to this article,
Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.
How do you stay caught up on sleep while traveling?
- Don’t stay up past 10pm
- Get 30 minutes of sunlight every day
- Rest when you’re tired instead of pushing through
- Avoid excessive sugar, caffeine and processed foods (they can interfere with moods and digestion)
On a side note: I learned the hard way when writing Grocery Budget Bootcamp that sleep deprivation can take a toll on the immune system. Getting enough sleep is hard to do when life is busy or there are fun things to do. But it’s still super important and shouldn’t be skipped!
3. Use Maty’s
We’ve been using Maty’s Healthy Products for over two years now and it’s saved us on trips numerous times. For our Thanksgiving trip I packed both the all-natural vapor rub and the organic cough syrup like I always do – just in case – and wouldn’t you know it, we ended up using both!
Then two days later my niece’s throat started to hurt. Although she wasn’t coughing, my sister-in-law was comfortable giving her Maty’s organic cough syrup because of the list of natural ingredients, including honey (which is known to help with sore throats), apple cider vinegar and immune-boosting spices. My niece never mentioned a sore throat again!
You bet I’ll be packing these again for our Christmas trip.
4. Pack Essential Oils
Anytime I travel, I pull together an “essential oil kit” that includes the oils I use most often at home that keep us staying healthy.
- Peppermint to keep our heads clear and focused
- Eucalyptus, RC or Raven for respiratory support
- Lavender and Orange to encourage calmness and peace of mind
- Digize Vitality to support healthy digestion
Along with rest, these oils work wonders for us and tend to keep us out of drugstores.
Note: I know there are a lot of essential oil companies out there and I’ve certainly tried my fair share of brands. But after testing and researching and more testing, only one is worth spending money on (in my opinion). For a couple years now I’ve been committed to Young Living oils, and you can read more about their oils and my decision HERE.
5. Moderate the Sweets
I know the cookies and pastries and cakes are hard to resist and I’ll be the first one to throw caution to the wind and eat pie all day, but since our health relies so much on what we eat, let’s establish a guideline.
- One sweet per day
- After a piece of fruit
Maybe it’s the mom in me coming out with this rule, but I’ve found that moderating my intake of sweets really does make a difference in how I feel and my body’s ability to fight off icky stuff.
Plus allowing myself one sweet each day doesn’t deprive me – it just forces to be intentional with what I’m eating and choose the sweet I REALLY want.
Could you eat the whole plate of cookies? Of course you could. But then you wouldn’t feel good OR fit into your pants. You’re welcome.
6. Drink More Water
“Drink more water” probably sounds like hogwash and a broken record, but like sleep, your body really does need water to function well and it’s one reason why I gave it its own section in my book.
Extended mornings with pots of coffee and holiday cocktail celebrations in the evening are fun, but your body needs water. Here are a couple tricks I use to make sure I drink enough during the day:
- Get a water bottle you like to drink out of (I have this one)
- Drink water with dinner
- Drink a glass when you wake up and a glass before you go to bed.
7. Get Out of the Car and Wash Your Hands
Imagine a family sneezing, coughing and otherwise spewing germs into a closed area for 3-4 hours at a time. If you have any travel plans that include driving, THIS IS YOUR CAR!
Anytime you fill up for gas, get out of the car and wash your hands. Let fresh air into the car to clear out the germy, stale air and wash your hands to kill whatever ickies you might be carrying.
I don’t recommend using hand sanitizers because of the ingredients, but a batch of homemade hand sanitizer would be nice to have, just in case.
With a little bit of planning ahead, you can easily stay healthy during holiday travel and truly enjoy the season!