Travel Clinic / Healthy Travel Tips

Healthy Travel Tips

The Vanderbilt Travel Clinic is offering the Yellow Fever vaccine and will continue to carry this vaccine through 2019.
In addition, we are now offering the cholera vaccine.

As more Americans find themselves traveling, it’s more important than ever to take some simple steps to ensure your family’s health and comfort. Here are a few tips to make your trip memorable and safe!

Car Travel

  • Help prevent motion sickness by eating a light meal before you travel and be sure to pack plenty of water. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications are also available – check with your doctor for recommendations.
  • Wash your hands! Avoid catching colds by washing your hands or using hand sanitizer after stopping at rest stops, gas stations and interstate service plazas. You can find hand sanitizer in both bottles and wipes.
  • Plan for healthy meals. When packing car snacks, opt for fruits and vegetables. Protein or power bars are easy to pack and have less sugar than cereal bars. If you have to eat fast food, opt for grilled chicken sandwiches or salads (without the mayonnaise or heavy dressings) and look for restaurants that offer soups, apples and other alternatives to french fries.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Schedule breaks every two hours and avoid sedating medications and alcohol. If you find yourself getting tired, find a safe place to take a 15-20 minute nap.

Air Travel

  •  In addition to hand washing, staying hydrated and getting enough rest prior to your trip will help you avoid catching colds.
  • Reduce stress by scheduling at least a 45 minute layover between flights.
  • Avoid neck and shoulder fatigue (which can contribute to headaches) by packing heavy items in either a roll-aboard or your checked luggage. Many companies now make ergonomic backpacks and messenger bags that will help you avoid muscle aches.
  • Stretch often. While seated you can stretch your torso, flex and relax your muscles and loosen up swollen feet by slowly turning your ankles in circles. When the seatbelt light is off, stretch your legs by periodically walking the aisle.
  • Let your hair down – wearing hair pulled back with rubber bands or clips will dig into your head and can contribute to headaches.