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Healthy summer travel

5 tips for Portlanders hitting the road

With the arrival of gorgeous weather and summer vacation, it’s one of the peak times of year for travel. But whether you are off for a day at the coast or cruising through the Caribbean for two weeks, an illness or injury can ruin your adventure. The good news is many common ailments that crop up while on vacation can be prevented with a bit of planning.

Consider these five tips as you pack up before you take off this season:

Pack some snacks: Eating out and trying local cuisine while on the road can be one of the great treats of a vacation. But, you can never be too sure about dining options when you’re away from home. For one, if you or someone in your travel party has nutritional sensitivities, like an allergy to gluten, you may have trouble finding safe options everywhere you go. In addition, a flight delay, an extra-long hike or a surprise traffic jam can leave you with a growling tummy. Avoid these risks by packing some easily transported snacks in your bag. Foods like raw almonds, protein powder or dried fruit make excellent on-the-go treats.

Stay hydrated: Traveling, especially by airplane, can be dehydrating, which can lead to fatigue and slow your metabolism. Combat this potential pitfall by drinking plenty of water. If possible, carry your own bottle with you to refill as you go.

Sunscreen: A single bad sunburn can ruin your vacation, but it can also greatly increase your risk for skin cancer. If you are headed somewhere sunny, make sure to pack a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays (SPF 30 or higher) that you apply every two hours or after you swim.

Move: If your trip involves a long car or plane ride, make sure to take breaks to stretch and move around. Sitting for too long can cause health risks like blood clots as well as leave you feeling foggy and stressed. Take a break every 2-3 hours to stand up, stretch and walk around.

Pack a first aid kit: Few things can ruin a trip like a nasty blister or a pounding headache. Don’t rely on a hotel gift shop or airport sundry store to have the meds you need. Before you leave, pack a first aid kit with standard medicines and treatments in case something crops up. We recommend pain relievers, antacids, bandages of varying size, antibacterial ointment and moleskin for those darn blisters. It’s also smart to bring some extra doses of your medication in case you get stuck somewhere due to travel delays.

Of course, if your travels take you outside of the United States, make sure to talk with your doctor about any potential health advisories you should be aware of or vaccines you need to receive. To learn more about how to keep yourself and your family healthy on vacation, or to make sure you are up to date on any vaccines before you hit the road, please do not hesitate to call The Portland Clinic and schedule a checkup at 503-223-3113.