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Best Flu Hacks Every Traveler Should Know

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While everyone wants to make the most of their vacation, travel can do a number on one’s health, and during flu season, the risk of feeling unwell is even higher. Feel your best with these tips:

• Flu levels increase during winter because people spend more time in enclosed spaces together touching surfaces and breathing “shared” air. Traveling only amplifies this. Reduce your chances of swapping germs by avoiding contact with shared items. For example, don’t put your face directly on airline-supplied pillows or blankets that haven’t been sanitized.

• Ironically, just when handwashing is most vital — while traveling — it becomes less convenient. Carry handwipes and sanitizers and use them when you can’t wash your hands. More importantly, avoid rubbing your eyes or nose.

• An airplane cabin’s dry air accommodates the growth of viruses that thrive on low humidity. Additionally, travelers often refrain from hydrating to avoid frequent bathroom trips. Yet, when mucous membranes are dry, they can’t keep germs at bay. A general rule is to drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour in the air. Under the weather? Drink more than the daily recommended 8-10 cups to prevent dehydration caused by fever, loosen mucus, keep your throat moist and lessen the chance of the virus’ success.

• Getting medical attention away from home is tough. Travel smart with over-the-counter products that are homeopathic and easy to use. Some, like Oscillococcinum, are good to pack in your carry-on so you can take at the first sign of symptoms. Though these uses have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, clinical studies show that Oscillococcinum reduces the duration and severity of flu symptoms such as body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue. Widely available in supermarkets and drugstores, this flu medicine is taken without water, making it an ideal travel remedy.

“I recommend that travelers keep Oscillococcinum on-hand: an easy-to-take, non-drowsy medicine that can be used for anyone ages 2 and up,” says Dr. Ken Redcross, a board-certified physician in internal medicine and author of “Bond: The 4 Cornerstones of a Lasting and Caring Relationship with Your Doctor.” “It works best when taken at the first sign of flu, so it’s important to pay close attention to symptoms.”

• Will you arrive in time to make your connection? What if you forgot to pack Aunt Ethel’s present? There’s no doubt that travel can cause stress, which research has shown can increase susceptibility to flu and even increase the severity of symptoms. Being flexible, prepared and building extra time into your schedule can make for stress-free travel.

• Exercise boosts energy and immunity, so don’t take a vacation from workouts while traveling. Pack workout wear and carve out time for exercise.

• Unusual travel schedules, unfamiliar beds and crossing time zones can disrupt a sleep schedule. Get plenty of rest before your trip to keep your body’s natural defenses at optimum levels.

Getting sick can put a damper on even the best vacation. Take steps to feel your best. (StatePoint)

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Travel Lifestyle

5 Ways to Master a Move

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While real estate agents report that far fewer people than normal have been moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, that may soon change. A recent Harris Poll found that nearly a third of U.S. adults living in urban areas are considering a move to less densely populated cities in the wake of the pandemic. Others may not be fleeing the pandemic but simply want or need to move, either for a job change or other reason.

If you find yourself preparing to move during these uncertain times, here are some tips to help it go more smoothly.

1. Make a checklist: Set a timeline for completing such tasks as packing, cleaning, and registering the kids for school. Staying ahead of the process can help avoid last-minute headaches and make your to-do list seem more manageable. There are even free apps available to help.

2. Organize and purge: Moving is the perfect opportunity to decide what you really want and need in your new home. To lessen the load on moving day, hold a garage sale – following proper social distancing guidelines – or donate unwanted items to charity. You can make the unpacking process simpler by arranging similar items together and labeling each box accordingly, such as kitchen utensils with cups or clothing of a particular season. You can even label a box as “open me first” for items you’ll need immediately.

3. Notify those who need to know: Let your insurance agent know that you’re moving as soon as possible to be sure you’re covered. You’ll also want to discuss how your needs will change. For example, if this is your first time buying a house, you’ll need a homeowner’s policy versus renters insurance. On the other hand, if you’re downsizing from a house to an apartment, you’ll still want to ensure your belongings are covered, which you can do with renters insurance. Be sure to also call your utility providers to cancel or transfer service and fill out a change of address form with the United States Post Office. You’ll also want to update your address with your bank and credit card companies.

4. Consider what’s covered: You may want to consider moving insurance. Some companies, like Erie Insurance, will cover you during the move and say it’s usually not necessary to purchase an additional policy. Keep in mind there are limits for certain kinds of misplaced, lost or stolen personal property. Your insurance agent can walk through that with you.

5. DIY or hire a pro. While during “normal” times you might recruit family and friends to help you with the move, given ongoing social distancing guidelines, now may not be the right time to ask. If it’s a small move, you may be able to handle it on your own or with the help of just a few immediate family members. Otherwise, consider hiring moving professionals who know the proper safety protocols and will be better equipped to protect your possessions and make sure they’re transported safely.

While moving can seem overwhelming, a bit of prep and planning goes a long way. By mastering your move, you’ll be sitting down and relaxing in your new home in no time. (StatePoint)

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