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A record-breaking 212 million Americans (approximately 82% of all American adults) are planning to travel for work or vacation this summer. After all, summer is the perfect time to embark on new adventures, explore picturesque destinations, and create lasting memories. However, the excitement of travel can sometimes come with the risk of compromising your health, especially if you’re traveling by airplane, train, or a cruise ship. These healthy travel tips for maintaining a robust immune system and boosting your wellness while on the go will ensure your next trip isn’t compromised with a cold, flu, stomach bug, or all the many other ailments that can waylay even the best-laid travel plans.

Healthy Travel by the Numbers: Age and Your Immune System

healthy travel“More than 75% of adults surveyed are revving up to hit the road this summer, with folks aged 45 to 60 leading the pack — nearly 85% in this age bracket intend to take a road trip,” reports the Atlantic Journal-Constitution. That’s an important statistic when it comes to healthy travel because there’s a correlation between aging and your immune system.

Age significantly impacts the immune system, warn numerous medical studies, often leading to a decline in immune function as one gets older. This process, known as immunosenescence, involves several changes.

For example, as you age, your immune response weakens. This is due to a decline in the production and function of immune cells, such as T-cells and B-cells, which are crucial for identifying and combating pathogens. “The immune system becomes slower to respond,” explains the National Library of Medicine. “This increases your risk of getting sick.”

With the decline in thymic proteins, after puberty and particularly after the age of 40, your body is less able to correctly identify disease. This can lead to autoimmune disease and, in the shorter term, allow disease to circulate longer before your body is able to mount an immune response.

Older adults also often experience a state of chronic, low-grade inflammation called “inflammaging.” This condition can contribute to the development of various age-related diseases and impair the immune system’s ability to respond effectively to infections.

Then, of course, there’s the problem of slower healing. Aging can slow down the body’s healing processes. “Your body may heal more slowly,” reports the National Library of Medicine. “There are fewer immune cells in the body to bring about healing.”

Add on top of this the stress of travel, plus being exposed to germs, viruses, and bacteria while in transit or at your destination, and you can see why healthy travel tips to support your immune system is key for anyone — regardless of your age.

There’s good news: From packing smart and staying hydrated to choosing nutritious foods and practicing good hygiene, there are many healthy travel strategies that will ensure that you enjoy your summer travels to the fullest without any health setbacks. Whether you’re lounging on a tropical beach or hiking through mountain trails, we’ve got you covered with practical advice to keep you feeling your best every step of the way.

6 Healthy Travel Tips For a Great Summer Vacation

From nutrition to stress management, healthy travel requires planning ahead and thinking strategically.

1. Pack Your Supplements

“A few key micronutrients have been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells,” says registered dietitian Jamie Pronschinske at the Mayo Clinic. If you want to enjoy healthy travel this year, she recommends:

  • Iron, because it’s used to build the enzymes your immune cells need to function well
  • Vitamin A, which helps keep your digestive organs, skin, and other tissues free from infections
  • Vitamin C, which helps your body produce more antibodies
  • Vitamin D, because it regulates your body’s antimicrobial proteins which she says “can directly kill pathogens”
  • Vitamin E, since it acts as a potent antioxidant
  • Zinc, which improves your body’s immune response and helps wounds and cuts heal faster

Don’t forget to restock on BioPro-Plus 500 before you leave for your summer trip and keep your thymic proteins topped up!

BioPro-Plus 500 is a unique dietary supplement which is clinically proven to increase CD4 cell counts. CD4 cells (T-cells) are white blood cells which play a major role in your body’s own natural immune system response. Without adequate CD4 cells, preexisting disease may run rampant in your body and you are even more vulnerable to new infection. It comes in an easy vial pack – simply pack in your carry-on or your luggage for healthy travel this summer.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated, especially if you are traveling to a hot climate like Hawaii or Arizona. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it regularly.

Learn more about how dehydration weakens your immune system, plus surprising and creative ways to stay hydrated, in our summer hydration guide!

3. Pack Healthy Snacks

“A good diet cannot boost the immune system, but it’s important to maintain a functional immune system by avoiding immunodeficiency due to malnutrition or micronutrient deficiencies,” explains Pronschinske.

Don’t fall for the unhealthy snacks and food options in airports or on cruise ships.

Bring along nutritious snacks like nuts, fruits, and low-sugar granola bars to help maintain your energy levels and support your immune system.

Once you’re at your destination, focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. A balanced diet provides essential nutrients that support immune health.

4. Prioritize Sleep

Ensure you get adequate rest, even with a busy travel schedule. A well-rested body is better equipped to fight off infections and is foundational for healthy travel this summer.

Learn more about how healthy sleep is critical for your immune system, plus surprising and creative ways to sleep better, in our list of sleep tips and healthy sleep strategies!

5. Practice Good Hygiene

Hygiene is one of the most important things for healthy travel, since being in cramped quarters with other travelers, touching surfaces at your travel destination that millions of other tourists have touched, etc., are all common ways infections and illnesses can be transmitted during travel. Simple hygiene practices such as washing hands with soap and water before eating, can be very helpful.

6. Manage Stress

Travel can be stressful, which can impact your immune system. Practice stress-relief techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

Learn how stress weakens your immune system, and proven ways to calm yourself down in our stress and immune system guide!

This summer, enjoy travel — more specifically, healthy travel — and don’t let an illness derail your vacation.

References:

  • https://thevacationer.com/summer-travel-survey-2024/
  • https://www.ajc.com/things-to-do/travel/summer-2024-travel-survey-reveals-americans-eagerness-to-road-trip/X4Y2FBZTRZHSVDRAPOIDOODLKY/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291468/
  • https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004008.htm
  • https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a60234176/what-is-inflammaging/
  • https://sncs-prod-external.mayo.edu/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/support-your-immune-function-with-good-nutrition
  • https://us.cnn.com/travel/article/airplane-cruise-hygiene-future/index.html