When you’re investing in travel, it’s worth investing in yourself. I mean, you’ve probably already bought a new bathing suit in anticipation of your travels. Don’t let all that effort go to waste. Follow these tips to keep everyone in your family in tip top form before, during and after your travels. 

1. Get your rest

According to the Mayo Clinic, lack of sleep can affect our immune system. Those who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses like the common cold.1

While we may not be able to control how long our kids sleep, we can set up a soothing sleep environment away from home. Research indicates that sleeping in a dark room can help us nod off faster and improves the quality of our sleep.2 3 4

Avoid early morning light creep by taking the hanger (with clips) from your hotel room closet and using those clips to seal your curtains tight. You could also pack a small clothespin for this same purpose. Additionally, eye masks are inexpensive, lightweight and can also block unwanted light. 

As for noise, many folks swear by earplugs, but I’m partial to noise cancelling headphones. Though pricier, they have a white noise function that not only reduces fatigue on airplanes, but acts as a sleep prop. Consider also downloading a white noise app to muffle unwanted sounds.

It’s also wise to not overload your trip schedule. Planning one activity for the morning and one in the afternoon is plenty. Take it slow your first few days before building up your activity level.

2. Food for thought

Ensuring our families are functioning at their best means getting all those essential vitamins and nutrients in. Just like at home, this takes forethought. Try to arrange it so everyone gets decent fruit and veg intake early in the day so you can kick back later on. 

Fruit is easy to keep even if you don’t have a mini fridge and veggies make great snacks. Foods that help boost the immune system include citrus fruits, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, brightly coloured vegetables and poultry.5 6 7 8

Excess sugar is a known immunity killer. Regularly ingesting excess sugar suppresses your immune system and can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infection.9

Nobody’s saying don’t treat your kids to dessert. But if it’s possible to schedule that special sundae outing towards the end of the trip, you may be better off. 

3. Super supplements 

Because we can’t always control everything, it’s smart to have a backup. Whenever I get that scratchy feeling in the back of my throat, that’s my cue to take COLD-FX First Signs. Comprised of zinc, echinacea, andrographis and a proprietary extract of North American ginseng, COLD-FX First Signs helps to relieve symptoms of sore throat, fever, cough, headache, fatigue and runny nose.

Consider taking COLD-FX Daily Support to help reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system. 

To be sure this product is right for you, always read and follow the label.

Note: As of yet, no studies have been conducted on children under 12 years old taking these products, so COLD-FX isn’t recommended for this age group.

4. Keep exercising

Quite likely you’ll be walking a lot on your travels. That’s great. But it’s before your trip that you want to get in your exercise. Why? Not only will it help increase your stamina so you’ll be more resilient while travelling, but studies show that moderate exercise helps the body to defend itself by mobilizing immune cells. Regular exercisers report fewer illnesses.10 11

5. Try to stick to routine

While people may grumble about it, we’re at our best when we know what’s expected of us. Sure you can push bedtime back during your holiday, but if that results in grumpy kids, you may want to rethink your strategy. 

Providing predictable times to eat, explore and sleep not only helps everyone stay in top form, it helps kids emotionally. When children know the plans in advance, they feel they’ve some control of what’s happening during the day. Power struggles erupt when kids feel they have no control. To that end, do your best to canvas all travelers so everyone feels they’ve had some say in the plan.

Jody Robbins is a Canadian travel writer and author of the bestseller: 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit. Follow her adventures on her blog: Travels with Baggage or on Instagram @TravelswBaggage.

  1. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2015/08/131411/short-sleepers-are-four-times-more-likely-catch-cold
  2. https://www.npr.org/2022/03/29/1089533755/sleeping-in-a-room-even-a-little-bit-of-light-can-hurt-a-persons-health-study-sh
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976009/
  4. https://healthnews.com/longevity/biohacking/sleep-science-can-sleeping-in-a-dark-room-help-you-live-longer/#:~:text=Sleeping%20in%20a%20dark%20room%20can%20improve%20the%20quality%20of,and%20potentially%20prolongs%20your%20life
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322412#which-foods-boost-the-immune-system
  7. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/
  8. https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/foods-boost-immune-system
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32395846/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523821/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387807/