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Safe travels

Four steps to healthy travel

Is there anything more divine than an upcoming vacation? You scrimp and save, all the while imagining yourself sipping a drink from a pineapple and swaying on a hammock. But far too often, we return from these trips sapped from a hectic itinerary or a virus we picked up en route. Here’s a four-step plan for a healthy and rejuvenating retreat:

Be sure to pack sunscreen, acetaminophen or Aspirin, bandages and antibiotic ointment, tummy medicine such as antacids, anti-diarrhea and anti-motion sickness pills, and, if you’re going tropical, mosquito repellent with DEET.

Holiday hot spots such as Mexico and the Caribbean may also be high-exposure areas for dengue or typhoid fever. Yet, a recent survey conducted by the European Travel Health Advisory Board found the majority of travellers didn’t know they were at risk of contracting travel-related diseases. Click here to find out which vaccinations you may need, and the travel clinics near you that offer them.

Research from the University of California at San Francisco found that about one in five passengers came down with a cold within a week of flying. Fight back by drinking lots of water to keep virus-trapping mucous membranes in your nose and lungs moist. Since airplane faucets are notorious germ magnets, use an antiseptic gel to keep hands clean. Get up from your seat and walk around every half-hour to boost circulation.

For a truly refreshing vacation, be sure to stay active. Choose a hotel with a pool or a gym and bring running shoes and a waterproof jacket so that—rain or shine—you can explore your destination on foot.