Sometimes you just need to get away, and the best way to ensure that you return home with that picture-perfect memory of a fantastic trip, is preparation before you go – and being travel smart while you’re gone.
So before you make the great escape, consider the following tips and plan ahead:
Get some shut-eye: Start hitting the pillow at a reasonable hour a couple of days before you start your journey. Added rest will refresh you, and also help counteract time differences (and jet lag) from place to place. Consider a neck support pillow for plane or train. Eat healthy and hydrate with water! Avoid large meals, excess alcohol, and caffeine.
Lighten up: Ditch the weighty, oversized bag that’s bad news for your neck, shoulders, and back. Choose a lightweight-yet-durable compact one with wheels and a telescope handle that meets “carry-on” standards if you’re flying. Zip through the airport or toss it in the trunk for a weekend road trip (or go for the smart duffle bag if it’s a short jaunt).
Write it down: That means not only what you’ll be packing (like any prescription or over-the-counter-medication that you normally take – or those for motion sickness), but your location and contact info, plus any emergency numbers for those that you might have looking in on your home while away. Remember your tickets, itinerary, and passport, as applicable.
Timing is everything: Purchase a timer light for a couple of rooms at the house to make it appear that someone is there. Never announce your trip on social media! It’s an open invitation to burglars.
Move it: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur when sitting for extended periods in confined spaces like work stations, planes, and trains. When this happens, blood clots may form in the veins of the arm, lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. The clot may travel through the blood stream, where it may make its way to the lungs, stopping the blood flow before it gets there. Avoid crossing your legs; raise and flex them up off the floor while sitting. Stretch your arms too. Walk for 10 minutes or longer every two or three hours. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Compression socks can provide added calf support.
If traveling abroad: Avoid anything raw, undercooked, unpasteurized, unpeeled, or unwashed. Stick with bottled versus tap water! Be sure to ask your doctor about any antibiotics or vaccinations you may need well ahead of your trip.
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano
Sources include www.cdc.gov.