What good is a vacation if you’re sick when you get to your destination? And what was the point of all that great rest and relaxation if you’re sick when you get back home?

It’s true that travel can increase your risk of catching a bug, and it’s so common for people to get sick when they return from a trip that doctors have a term for it: leisure sickness. But maybe it’s not travel that directly causes illness. How many people do you think would come down with leisure sickness if they spent more time making sure their immune systems were protecting them properly?

There are lots of tips and tricks out there for saving your vacation once you get sick. We’ve got 5 tips for you to use right now that will help ensure you get the benefits from your time away this holiday season.

  1. Ease yourself into travel.There are lots of reasons people get sick while they’re traveling. The air you breathe while on an airplane is extremely dry, making it tougher to protect against the sniffles of that noisy child behind you. This dry air can also amplify dehydration, adding another layer of stress to your natural defenses. Sleep deprivation, from flying or driving long distances, rapidly changing time zones and climates, or even simply to failing to get rest somewhere that isn’t your own bed, all take a huge toll on the immune system.Take the time your body needs to prepare for the changes you’re about to put it through. Taking an extra day off before you leave and after you get back can help you ease into vacation mode and ease back in to the real world.

READ MORE: Try some meditation on your day off, it’s great for your gut!

  1. Take the opportunity to diversify your microbiome.If you’re at all familiar with RESTORE, you know we are firm believers in eating locally and seasonally. It’s the best way to fuel your body directly from the earth. We also always tell our customers, friends, and family that traveling is an amazing way to get out into nature and to diversify our microbiomes. What better opportunity to do both of these things than by eating fresh, local, seasonal produce wherever you travel?Stay away from the tourist-trap, street-food vendors selling fried and processed foods: they’re as unhealthy as they are back home, and likely to result in stomach upset as your body is already reeling from travel. Vendors selling locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand? You can’t beat that. Not to mention, farmers in other countries tend to use glyphosate less than it is used here in the US.
  1. Be prepared for hunger, whenever it strikes. Stuck in the airport or in a traffic jam? Don’t let yourself get into a situation where you have to sacrifice your digestive comfort to eat. Most processed foods from fast food restaurants, rest stops, and gas stations are made with ingredients that have been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which are horribly damaging to the gut and the immune system. We’ve got tons of incredibly simple recipes that are easy to make. They are all delicious and many are great for snacking on the go. They’re all developed by healthcare professionals who want to make sure your families have gut-friendly options easily at hand. Make a few on your day off before your trip!
  2. Make time for rest.Traveling is exhausting, even if you have nothing planned for your getaway except napping in a lounge chair. This is where some good old-fashioned time management can help. Don’t let your pre-trip, to-do list wait until the night before. Packing, and anything else you need to do before you leave, can and should be completed gradually. Spend an hour or two a day getting ready for the trip in the week before you leave. Cramming everything into the hours before you leave is just added stress that you’ll have to work harder at releasing once you’re actually on vacation.
  3. RESTORE.RESTORE makes protecting your immune system a lot easier. Whether it’s hydrating your sinuses in that dry airplane air or strengthening your gut lining before you eat, taking RESTORE while on your trip will help your immune system function properly. Added bonus: both the RESTORE travel size and Sinus Spray are TSA-ready! Just make sure to keep them in your carry-on so they’re handy whenever you need them!

Don’t let your vacation go to waste. Instead, make the time before, during, and after your trip a time of rest and relaxation, and you will truly get the healing that you need.