Flu season is almost upon us—and so is one of the busiest travel periods of the year (AAA predicts 43.3 million people will be traveling 50 miles or more from home over Thanksgiving alone). That means there will be plenty of germs to go around and, if you're taking any kind of public transportion, close quarters in which to share them with others. Keeping your hands clean, stocking up on Vitamin C, and getting plenty of rest is a smart strategy for staying healthy. But it doesn't hurt to be prepared, just in case you get hit with a cold while you're traveling. Here are five things I keep in my purse whenever I travel, especially during flu season. What items are at the top of your list?
Hand Sanitizer. It's not always easy to get to the restroom when you're on the run, particularly when you're stuck on a plane. For that reason I always pack hand sanitizer. I look for bottles that have at least 70 percent alcohol content, which is the percentage required to kill germs.
Airborne. I'll never say no to an extra influx of vitamins and minerals when I feel a cold coming on. My grandmother used to carry Vitamin C, which is also a good way to combat an oncoming illness. I carry airborne because I prefer drinking in my vitamins to swallowing a pill.
Band Aids. I never leave my house without band-aids. More often than not I find myself reaching for one to help out with a blistered heel, but they're there in case I need them for something worse too (an open wound is an invitation for germs).
Advil. Doctors recommend that you have at least one pain or fever medication on you when you travel and Advil happens to be my favorite. I rarely use it, but I'm thankful it's there when I'm struck with a headache.
Immodium. There's nothing worse than getting diarrhea or stomach upset while you're traveling. To be on the safe side, I keep some Immodium close at hand when I'm on the road, especially if I'll be passing through foreign countries.
Benadryl. It just so happens that I'm allergic to just about everything—dust, birds, trees, cats—so for me an antihistamine like Benadryl is a must, but you wouldn't believe how many times I've been with a traveling companion who ends up suffering from some kind of hay fever and wants to partake of my stash of Benadryl.