Tips for healthy and comfortable travel

May 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Simple tips from Samantha Brown, host of the Passport Series on the Travel Channel, on how to stay comfortable and healthy during your next family vacation.

What to wear for the car and plane travel
Easy on and off shoes - Get through security without the hassle of shoe strings, clasps, tiny buckles or zippers. Great for cars when you're making a quick pit stop.

What to bring on the plane
A zipfront hoodie and long pants-not jeans and no shorts - People dress for summer to get on the plane but the plane usually has early spring like temperatures.

Your own food! Whether you pack your own or buy at the airport, bringing your own food on a plane allows you the convenience of eating when you want. You are not at the mercy of when the food cart gets to you.

What to bring in the car
Cooler of food - Eat when your hungry and not when a restaurant comes along. This helps you eat healthier and saves. money.

Frisbee - To avoid the restlessness of long car rides, bring one for fun breaks at a rest stop.

Children's Books - The long car trip is the transition from being an overscheduled family who hasn't spent a lot of time together in the last few months to a family reconnecting on a vacation. Make the car ride count.

Advice on getting vaccinations (International travel)
Go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines. In terms of vaccinations, see what the country you're traveling to requires. Most are just suggestions to stay healthy while others are mandatory when traveling from country to country. When traveling, make sure to keep the statement from your doctor about the vaccinations.

Staying away from certain foods (international travel)
When you're advised to refrain from drinking the water, you should also avoid eating fruits and vegetables with a lot of water in them. Lettuce and strawberries are the biggest culprits. Fruits that have protective layers like mangos, papayas, and bananas are perfectly fine once peeled. Drink bottled water - it's usually easy to find. In some countries, you may want to brush your teeth with it also.

How to deal with jet lag (domestic and international travel)
This is my absolute no fail jet lag reliever - I don't drink any coffee, tea or caffeine beverages starting two days before I leave on a trip. This lets all the caffeine out of your system. When you get to your destination and you think you're going to fall asleep standing, go get a cup of coffee. It will hit your system like a team of race horses!

How to deal with motion sicknesss (cruise travel)
First and foremost - stay off boats. This is the only way I know how to avoid it - I get terrible motion sickness and nothing, whether it's wristbands with magnets or chewing ginger, has helped. Dramamine is great, but it knocks you out. Take the 24 hour kind the night before. You'll get a good night sleep and you won't get woozy.

How to deal with high altitudes (international)
When I was in Cusco, Peru at an elevation of 11,000 feet, I ate a lot of chicken soup and drank Coca leaf tea. This was the advice from the locals and I felt great - it's always a good idea to talk to people who live there for advice. Of course you also need to take it easy and slow, as it feels like your heart is in a constant state of aerobics.

Book signing

Come see Samantha at Macy's Union Square. Saturday, May 31st at 10am.

Macy's Union Square
170 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
415-397-3333


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