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Holiday Travel TRAVEL TIPS & INTEL

Happy Travels! 8 Easy Tips For Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Written by Lauren Saccone

This blog post was updated on November 17, 2022.

The holiday season is finally upon us! And odds are, you’re going to find yourself hitting the road at some point to visit family or friends. Travel can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health, and doubly so during the hectic holidays. Whether you’re stuck in the car with cranky family members for hours on end or soaring cross-country with a bunch of strangers, your health can take a serious beating if you’re not careful. Add in the exhaustion and stress of travel, and the holidays suddenly aren’t looking so jolly?

Luckily, there are ways to travel during the holidays while managing to take good care of your health. Here’s a few healthy holiday travel hacks to help you get through the season in top condition, no matter how far you may go!

Stay Hydrated!


We cannot overstate the importance of staying hydrated. It’s a good life tip overall, but even more relevant when you’re on the go. Keeping hydrated will help your body stay strong and energized, and let it fight off any pesky diseases from your fellow travelers. It can also help satisfy food cravings and keep you from snacking between meals, which is great if you want to watch your weight during the holiday season.

Finally, sipping on water instead of imbibing alcoholic beverages helps keep you from getting dehydrated and hungover…not a great combination when you’re stuck on an airplane. Pro tip: If you’re traveling overseas, stick to bottled water whenever you can!

Keep It Clean


Maybe you pride yourself on being a hygienic person on a daily basis, but put that instinct into overdrive when you travel. Airports, rest stops, and other public places are a goldmine of all sorts of undesirable germs and bugs.

So bring along hand sanitizer and wet wipes for emergencies, and make sure you wash your hands regularly. Using hot water and washing regularly has been shown to help fight off everything from the flu to norovirus. So wash up whenever you can; your fellow travelers — not to mention your family and friends — will thank you!

Pack Provisions!


Give your immune system a fighting chance! In between packing presents and festive outfits, don’t forget to pack some vitamins. You may already be taking a daily multivitamin — talk to your doctor about which one is right for you — but adding some additional Vitamin C to your intake will help you stay healthy during those rough winter months. You might also grab a saline nose spray the next time you stop by the pharmacy; this will help keep the cold, dry air from wreaking havoc on your sinuses no matter where you go this season.

Rest Easy


When you’re traveling, your regular sleeping schedule pretty much goes out the window since you’re too busy having fun and exploring to worry about getting a full night’s sleep. This goes double for the holidays, when every waking moment seems packed with events and time spent with family and friends. And while you may be having a fun time, it’s important to get enough sleep…even when you’re in the midst of the holiday party season!

Lack of sleep will leave you feeling run down faster than almost anything else. It also ends up leaving your immune system compromised, vulnerable to all those travel germs you’ve been trying to avoid. So do your best to get a solid night’s sleep as often as you can. You’ll feel a lot better, and be able to appreciate the celebrations even more!

Get Up and Go!

It’s easy to fall out of your regular exercise routine during the holidays. However, during this time it’s more important than ever to be diligent about getting in your daily exercise. The key to making it work is to find ways to make the physical activity a part of your holiday schedule.

Maybe you can consider starting a new family tradition of heading out for a hike before your Thanksgiving dinner? Or perhaps you want to invite family members to go for a walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights? There are a number of ways that you can work in physical activity during this busy time that will not feel like work!

You may also like: Worried About Getting Sick While Traveling? These Wellness Tips Will Protect You!

Do Not Skip Meals

Many people make the mistake of skipping meals with the goal of saving those calories for a bigger indulgence during the big holiday feast. This strategy can often backfire and make it more likely that you end up overeating later because you are starving. While it might be helpful to eat a lighter breakfast or lunch if you know that you have a large holiday celebration in the evening, you should never skip meals entirely.

Eating a snack rich in fiber or protein will help to stave off excessive hunger without filling you up. Good snack ideas include string cheese, yogurt, an apple, or a handful of nuts. The goal is to curb your appetite so that you do not make a mad rush for the buffet right as you arrive at the party.

Practice Portion Control!

Rather than skipping meals to bank calories for later, it’s a better strategy to practice smart portion control when eating. You do not have to forego your favorite holiday dishes just because you are trying to eat wisely. Instead, leave room on your plate to enjoy the foods that will bring you the most joy. For instance, maybe you want to indulge in your grandma’s famous candied yams but skip the ordinary green bean casserole dish?

Smart portion control strategies include using a smaller plate so that you trick your mind into thinking that you are eating more, being selective with the foods that you choose for second helpings, and resisting the urge to pick at leftovers on your child’s plate.

Lean Into Self-Care

To sum it up, the holidays can be physically and mentally draining for many people. Even if you managed to save money by booking those cheap flights in November to spend quality time with your friends and family, it might be exhausting to keep up with all of the activity. Taking time to practice self-care during this time will elevate your energy levels and increase the odds that you do not end up feeling sick or rundown.

A good goal is to set aside at least a few minutes every day for yourself. For some, self-care may be hitting the gym for an intense sweat session after work. For others, the key is spending time in meditation or soaking in a bubble bath at the end of the day. Whatever your choice is, just remember to spare a few minutes to do what you love!

Do you have a tip for staying healthy during the holidays that should like to share? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Lauren Saccone

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