Nov. 20, 2023— Flying to visit family or friends or just for fun this holiday season? Try these tips to protect your health and help ensure a smooth journey.
Bring your medications on the plane. Stow them in your carry-on or personal item. Don't leave them in checked baggage, which could get lost. Make sure to pack extra medication, in case your trip gets extended.
Pack a healthy snack. Veggies, fresh or dried fruit, and trail mix or granola bars can keep your energy up. A snack can come in handy if the airplane runs out of food, which can happen during busy holiday travel.
Stay hydrated. Bring an empty water bottle to fill at the airport after you've gone through security. Many airports have bottle-friendly water stations for you to use.
Mask up. A high-quality mask can help you avoid catching a cold, the flu, COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses.
Move around. Protect yourself from developing blood clots in your legs, called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), by getting up and moving around once an hour. If you can't get up, try tapping your feet, stretching your calf muscles and flexing your ankles while you're seated.
Talk to your doctor about additional prevention measures if you're at increased risk for DVT. High-risk groups include people who are older, overweight, have had recent surgery or injury, are pregnant, smoke, or have cancer or other conditions.
Plan ahead if you need medical equipment. For example, you can arrange for wheelchair assistance at the airport. If you have an oxygen tank, you'll need to contact the airline ahead of time about having them supply one—federal regulations prohibit you from bringing your own tank.
Find more advice about staying healthy when you're away from home in our Travel health topic center.
- American Academy of Family Physicians. "Air Travel Health Tips." https://familydoctor.org/air-travel-health-tips.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Blood Clots and Travel: What You Need to Know." https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/travel.html.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Holiday Travel Tips." https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/traveling-holidays.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Masking During Travel." https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/masks.
- Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). "Can you pack your meds in a pill case and more questions answered." https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips/can-you-pack-your-meds-pill-case-and-more-questions-answered.