10 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling with Kids
Germs are simply a part of life, particularly if you have a family with small children. From a summer cold to the dreaded stomach flu, there are many different ways that little ones can get sick – even when the sun is out and temperatures are high. Planning a summer vacation? We’ve collected some tips from bloggers and other sources to help you keep your family healthy and full of energy while you’re on the go.
Keeping your Family Healthy on Vacation
Visit the local farmer’s market when you get into town One of the big reasons we get sick when we travel is that we deviate from our usual healthy eating routine. Three meals of fast food a day means a dramatic decrease in fruits and veggies. Create the tradition of visiting a local farmers’ market when you arrive at your destination(s). Not only is it a fun way to get to know the locals, fresh fruit (or other produce) provides an irresistible way to eat healthy while out of town.
Pack water bottles every day Your body needs hydration, particularly on hot summer days. Avoid sugary beverages by making sure each family member has their own labeled water bottle for the trip. It makes drinking water an easy habit, and they only take a few seconds to wash each evening for the next day.
Focus on a healthy breakfast One of the best parts about vacation is being spontaneous. Of course you should stop and sample local gelato or check out a new pizzeria. You can worry less about your family’s nutrition if you know everyone ate a healthy breakfast to start off the day.
Schedule down time Sometimes vacations can be anything but relaxing. We pack activities into every hour until we collapse from exhaustion at the end of the night. That is a recipe for a weakened immune system. Instead, plan some down time into each day – whether that is an unscheduled morning of exploring a quiet local park or extra snuggles with books or movies one evening.
Move! By the same token, kids need movement! If you have been cramped in trains, planes, and automobiles all day, then everyone needs to stretch their legs. Get outside to walk and play or spend an hour at the hotel pool. Even if you are skipping workouts, you’ll know that you at least got your heart rate up each day.
Consider packing lunches and snacks for the road While not always possible, packing healthy snacks for the road is always a smart idea. Too much junk food makes tummy aches happen. Healthy snacks keep blood sugar more stable and energy levels high.
BYO supplies wherever possible Being able to change a diaper without a (possibly dirty) restroom or clean up a mess without a panicked run for paper towels, for example, can be a lifesaver.
Crash early to maximize sleep At home or on the road, children do not always understand the concept of sleeping in. If you know your little ones will rise and shine each day, then you owe it to yourself and your whole family to get to bed early each night. Burning the candle at both ends is asking for an overtired crew and increases your chances of getting sick.
Wash, wash, wash those hands Good hygiene is extra important while traveling. Wash before you eat. Sanitize each time you get back in the car after a stop. And some parents swear by wiping down airplane seats and seat backs to avoid germs.
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst You never want to think about your kids getting sick on vacation, but in reality, it will probably happen at some point. Having the supplies you need on hand lowers everyone’s stress levels and helps you avoid local drug store runs for over-the-counter medications . Stock your basics and have a back-up plan if your kids need to spend a day in the hotel room or rental house (e.g. extra movies, new coloring books, etc.)
If someone in your family does get sick when you are away from home, remember to keep your FamilyWize prescription savings card or Rx discount app close by. It works at major chain pharmacies and independent drug stores across the country on all FDA-approved prescription medications.