Stay healthy with these travel tips

Heading over the river and through the woods this holiday season? (Or over the highways and through the nation’s skies, more like.) With H1N1 influenza widespread and flu season in full swing, take extra precaution and be mindful of your own germs and those of others who might be sneezing and coughing around you.

Don’t travel if you are feeling under the weather or have a fever.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

If you can, avoid contact with sick people. That can be hard, especially on airplanes. So if you get stuck next to Sneezy Sam or Coughing Carol on the way home, ask the flight attendant if you can move to another part of the plane. You can cruise through security with handy travel-sized containers of hand sanitizer (3 ounces or less!), perfect for your plastic baggie.

More than 70 countries have reported cases of H1N1 flu. Are you jetting off to one of those destinations? If you are traveling internationally, stay up-to-date on the latest outbreak information. The best protection is to follow the simple tips on traveling safely and being prepared.

While you are out shopping, remember germs are everywhere and tough to avoid in the bustle of big public places. You can help prevent sickness by washing your hands often. This may, of course, make your hands feel dry. But before being tempted by sample lotions at the stores, beware: Pushing the pumps on lotions or perfumes can add germs to a clean hand. Ask a sales associate to apply samples for you, and be mindful of other ways you and fellow holiday shoppers can stay healthy.

Taking a few extra steps can help ensure you have happy, healthy holidays.

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