Holiday Travel Gut Health: (Grand) Mom’s Guide to Dodging Germs

holiday travel plane with wreath
holiday travel plane with wreath

The holiday season often involves travel to reunite with family and friends from all over, but it also brings along more exposure to germs and viruses. For women with weaker immune systems, it’s particularly important to protect your health when going into new environments. This article will highlight evidence-based strategies for building a strong immunity and protecting yourself from unwanted germs and viruses so you can travel with peace of mind.


Probiotics play a unique role in maintaining and improving gut health. By incorporating them into your lifestyle through high quality supplements like you’ll get optimal results more quickly. Though not directly a supplement, incorporating fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi into your diet can also bolster your immune system. A study from the “International Journal of Molecular Sciences” found that certain fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that can improve immune response.[1]

Essential Oils:

Many essential oils like tea tree and lavender have antibacterial and antiviral properties. So it’s worth considering carrying a small bottle and applying a few drops to a tissue or your wrists. This simple act not only boosts your defenses but also offers a moment of aromatherapy to ease travel stress.

Germ-Blocking Nasal Spray:

This isn’t your typical saline solution; newer formulations containing xylitol have been shown to be more effective in blocking airborne pathogens, offering an extra layer of protection in crowded spaces like airports or holiday gatherings.

Zinc Lozenges:

Zinc lozenges have long been used as an over-the-counter remedy for colds. Popping one during your travels can potentially cut the duration of a cold, making it less likely that you’ll pass it on to loved ones.

Pocket-sized Sanitizer:

A small bottle of hand sanitizer can be a game-changer. However, ensure that it contains at least 80% alcohol to effectively kill germs. In addition to cleaning hands, it can sanitize surfaces like airplane armrests or dining tables. Do keep in mind that this method could result in seeing dryness in your hands on top of the dry winter environment – so keep that lotion nearby!

   Taking simple, evidence-based steps can make a significant difference in staying healthy during the holidays. You’ll not only protect yourself but also those around you, whether they are old or new to the world with their immune system. Enjoy your holidays worry-free and travel safely with these effective methods for combating germs and viruses! 

Remember to consult your healthcare provider for a tailored health plan that suits your individual needs.

Interested in learning more? You might like these articles:

Click here to read: Probiotics vs Holiday Germs and Feast Bloating: Grandmas Fly Free.

Click here for reviews on the best probiotic supplements of 2023.


[1] Hill, C., Guarner, F., Reid, G., Gibson, G. R., Merenstein, D. J., Pot, B., … & Calder, P. C. (2014). The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(8), 207–211. 

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