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  • May 04, 2018

Travel Checklist

Remember to pack items that will keep your passengers safe and comfortable.

By Occupational & Environmental Medicine Physician Albert Rielly, MD.

Summer is thankfully right around the corner! Did you know in the United States more than 650 million cross-country trips are made every year? Road trips are one of the most common vacations most of us take over the summer months and they can be a lot of fun exploring small towns, historic sites and other local spots.

A major benefit of travel is increased happiness. Studies show that anticipating a trip makes us happier than the trip itself. People get invigorated by looking forward to a vacation and the duration of the trip does not impact happiness. A good idea is to shoot for a few short trips throughout the Summer over one long holiday. My favorite New England destination for a short day trip is Walden Pond in Concord (MA). There is plenty of room for hiking, swimming and exploring the wonderful nature that influenced Henry David Thoreau.

Before you plan a road trip to visit friends, family or relatives, to the beach or in the backwoods of New England, it's smart to think about what to pack to ensure your passengers are safe and comfortable. Here are four health-focused essentials to bring prior to hitting the road:

  • Check with the folks you will be traveling with to see if anyone is getting over a specific illness and pack based on their and your needs first. Afterward, it's wise to bring prescription medicines for severe allergies, antacids, antibacterial ointments, anti-motion sickness medication and mild laxatives.
  • First aid kits are another must have. Kits come in countless sizes and shapes. One can be bought via a Red Cross Store or at the local drug store. Some kits are tailored for certain activities, like camping, hiking or river travel. You can also pull together your own safety kit based on your family's needs.
  • Provisions to combat illness or injury can be hugely beneficial as well. This would include insect repellent, hand sanitizer (or alcohol-based wipes), sunscreen, over the counter pain medication, and eye drops.
  • Finally, bring multipurpose clothing. Pack rain gear or a poncho, sweatshirts, sneakers, a few pairs of socks and other clothes based on the upcoming forecast. A few blankets might come in handy too.

If you are planning a visit outside of the country, meet the team at CHA's travel medicine clinic, at the CHA Assembly Square Care Center, which offers a full range of consultations. For more travel resources, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Pack Smart page.

This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

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