Holiday Travel pic

During the holidays, airports and roads are crowded with travelers hoping to spend time with loved ones and close friends. To help ease impending travel-related stress, continue reading for my family-friendly health and travel tips.

Stay-Healthy Tips

  • Pack Medications. Prior to travel, make sure you refill and pack your child’s prescribed medications and any daily vitamins. If you run out, chances are it may be hard to find your medications somewhere else. Packing some over-the-counter pain medication, nausea medication, or medications for upset stomach and diarrhea is also a good idea.
  • Get up and walk. One thing you shouldn’t forget whether you’re flying or driving is to stretch your legs. If you find yourself in a cramped area or sitting for a long time, you could develop a blood clot in your legs. Take some time to walk around and stretch your arms and legs, especially on an airplane, at least once every hour. Remember to also stay well hydrated!

Help Your Child Combat Ear Pain on Airplanes

Did you know kids experience ear pain on airplanes more than adults? This is because kids have more colds and upper respiratory infections than adults. Kids are also less able to swallow or yawn on demand, which can help relieve ear pain. I learned all this when I read my colleague Gloria’s RN Remedies blog post about managing ear pain on airplanes. Here are ways you can help your child the next time you travel by air:

  • When your child feels fullness in their ear during takeoff or landing, give the baby a bottle and the older child juice or water to drink.
  • If your child is older and can understand and cooperate, encourage them to chew on something, swallow, open the jaw or yawn at least four times during takeoff and landing.
  • Smaller children can also be offered a small straw to blow through or a colorful pinwheel to blow.
  • Wake up your sleeping child or baby during takeoff and landings as the pain can be worse if they are allowed to sleep.
  • Carry a bulb syringe to clear out the nose if the child gets congested.

To provide more helpful tips, Mary Virgallito, RN, clinical administrator, Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recommends the following:

  • Pack important phone numbers and information, like your child’s doctor, copy of health insurance cards, and vaccination records.
  • Pack a travel-size first aid kit and hand sanitizer.
  • Your child should ride in an age-appropriate car seat. Most rental car agencies have them available.

I hope this blog post was helpful in preparing you and your family for your holiday travels. For the rest of my family-friendly travel tips, visit

~ Megan Summers, BSN, RN II, CPN, CRRN, Float Nurse and RN Remedies Blogger at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.