CLEVELAND-- We've all been there- you're on vacation and you get sick.
Dr. Brenda Powell with the Cleveland Clinic says traveling is stressful, and stress lowers your immune system.
Not only that, if you think about it, especially when you travel, you're touching surfaces that hundreds of thousands of people have also touched: door handles, belt buckles, gas pump handles.
The solution? Using hand sanitizer or wipes whenever you touch anything.
It may sound extreme, but as Dr. Powell explains, YOU can be your own worst enemy, "You have to introduce the virus to yourself- touching your hand to your face, rubbing your nose or eyes. There's the virus- you've just planted it right in your nose. Make sure not to touch your face while traveling- Purell and hands off your face."
Eating and sleeping habits also change when traveling, and poor diet and little sleep also weaken your immune system.
Dr. Powell says it is so important to keep eating well.
One easy but effective way- pack your own snacks!
Take a cooler in the car, so you're less tempted to stop at a drive thru.
On the plane? Pack a bagged lunch or baggies of snacks like nuts and dried fruit.
If you can't (or won't) get 8 hours of sleep a night? Dr. Powell suggests taking naps.
Another problem with long distance traveling: blood clots in your legs.
When you sit still for long periods of time, blood clots can form and can sometimes be fatal.
Dr. Powell says you should always take breaks to move around, "So you need to have active legs even while you are sitting, you need to get up and walk around and you need to stay hydrated."
Sounds tedious? Dr. Powell says, ""Make it something fun- part of the vacation, getting there and getting home."
For road trips, that could mean take strategic breaks at beautiful rest stops. On the plane? Walk to the back and peer out the windows.
Bottom line- be proactive and listen to your body! That way, it won't rebel when you head out to whatever your destination is.