Summer Travel 2021: How to Stay Safe and Healthy
Summer is just around the corner! States are reopening and welcoming visitors again, and travel is making a comeback. After more than a year of cancelled vacations and staying close to home amid the pandemic, many Americans are certainly ready to get on the road (or skies) again.
Vacation During Pandemic!
One survey of more than 8,000 people found that 65% of Americans are planning to travel more this year than they did before the pandemic. Similar results were noted in a smaller survey of 535 people, with nearly 68% planning on summer travel.1
Who can blame them! Months and months of scary headlines, alarming spikes in cases, and countless shutdowns, COVID cases are finally on the decline in the US. Additionally, more and more people are getting COVID vaccines. Over a third of the country fully vaccinated. As a result, there seems to be a lot more confidence in the idea of safe, worry-free summer travel.
Of course, COVID hasn’t disappeared. Many parts of the world still observe strict protocols that make visiting a bit more challenging. And even if you’re vaccinated, you can still catch COVID (albeit a very minor case), so taking precautions remains a good idea.
With all that in mind, these travel tips can help you plan a trip and travel safely in this strange new era.
1. Where To Travel During Covid?
If you’re a seasoned international traveler hoping to add some more a few more stamps to your passport this summer travel season, you might want to wait a little longer.
Most European countries aren’t allowing international visitors, though this may change soon with proof of vaccination. Other countries are either restricting international travel or have guidelines in place requiring a negative COVID test and/or quarantine.
So, unless you have extra time (or you’re OK with these stipulations), it’s probably best to avoid international trips for now. Check the State Department for more details on specific countries.
The good news is, America is an amazing country to tour! You’ve got mountains, deserts, and beaches; cooler weather up north and warmer weather down south. Whatever your preference, you’re likely to find it right here. Even better: You’re supporting your home country’s economy.
2. Book Reputable Hotels
Higher-quality, reputable hotels take sanitation very seriously. If you book over the phone, ask how the hotels are cleaned and disinfected. If you book online, the hotel should have that information easily available on their homepage.
3. How To Plan Your Vacation?
Many airlines still have limited routes, so flights book up quickly. Many attractions also have shortened hours of operation and capacity limits (such as theme parks). A lot of places that never used to require reservations, now do. So, plan out as much as you can BEFORE your vacation, so you aren’t left scrambling for things to do when you get there.
Travel insurance may be a good idea too. These policies cover issues such as documented illness or job loss.
4. Boost Your Immune Power
Ideally, you should be using supplements like vitamin D, a multivitamin, and probiotics every day. All of these supplements help to bolster your immune system so you have a better chance at fighting off whatever virus or illness is going around.
Benefits Of Vitamin D
Research shows an “indisputable relation between vitamin D and the immune system,” and “avoidance of severe vitamin D deficiency improves immune health and decreases susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.”2
Vitamin D’s relationship to COVID has been studied extensively this past year as well. One study found that people with low D levels were 45% more likely to contract the virus—and 95% more likely to end up in the hospital.3
Benefits Of Zinc
Zinc is another important nutrient for boosting immunity. One study wrote, “Zinc deficiency can probably be added to the factors predisposing individuals to infection and detrimental progression of COVID-19.” This same study also concluded, “Zinc administration is beneficial for most of the population, especially those with suboptimal zinc status.”4
Of course, zinc and vitamin D are easy to find online and in stores. Or you can get them by taking a good multivitamin. LifeMax from Newport Natural Health is one example of a superior multivitamin that provides high-quality, naturally sourced nutrients.
Role Of Probiotics
Probiotics are important too. By now, you’ve probably heard that up to 80% of your immune system function is in your gut. All this is thanks to the robust environment of beneficial microbes that live there.
Probiotic supplements help to support these living, thriving microorganisms. But not just any probiotic will do. Delivery systems, variety of strains, packaging, shelf life, and more can make a big difference in effectiveness and safety.
In terms of delivery, find a product that encapsulates the bacteria. This allows them to reach the intestines without being destroyed along the way by the harsh digestive tract.
You should also look for products that contain a blend of different types of organisms, with at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per dose.
Finally, to help the probiotics not only survive, but thrive, it’s important to include prebiotics. Prebiotics are fiber-like compounds that feed the probiotics that populate the gut. You can get prebiotics by eating onions, leeks, garlic, and asparagus. Or you can look for a probiotic supplement that includes prebiotics.
Newport Natural Health’s Microencapsulated Probiotic with FOS meets all these criteria. Begin taking at least a few weeks before you travel. And remember to bring all these supplements with you on your trip and continue taking them every day.
5. Protect Your Skin
Spending time in the sun may feel heavenly if you’ve been cooped up for the majority of the past year. But remember, skin cancer is still a real threat. Even on cloudy or overcast days, you need to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen is incredibly important. Oncoderm is a great mineral-based option. It’s free of fragrances, PABA, parabens, phthalates, and oxybenzone—all chemicals found in lower-quality sunscreens. This is an excellent brand for people with sensitive skin and those who prefer cleaner, safer sunscreens.
6. Stay Hydrated
Finally, it’s a simple tip but one that’s incredibly important. Drink plenty of water! Dehydration is a lot more common in the summer months, when it’s hot and humid and we’re sweating.
Staying well-hydrated doesn’t guarantee that you will avoid catching COVID or any other illness. But hydration does boost your immune function and helps your body fight anything off a lot more successfully.
Traveling during and post-COVID may take some getting used to. Hopefully these tips will help you stay safe, healthy, and happy as you explore this new “frontier.”
Martens P, et al. Vitamin D’s Effect on Immune Function. Nutrients. 2020 May; 12(5): 1248.
Merzon E, et al. Low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D level is associated with increased risk of COVID-19 infection: an Israeli population-based study. FEBS J. 2020 Jul 23;10.111/febs.15495.
Wessels I, et al. The potential impact of zinc supplementation on COVID-19 pathogenesis. Front Immunol. 2020;11:1712.