Tips for keeping kids healthy on family trips

A great family road trip can teach valuable lessons and help your child expand their world view. It can also, though, put them at risk of getting sick. Motion sickness, changes in climate, and lots of germ-ridden tourist stops can spell trouble for children with susceptible immune systems.

Tips for keeping kids healthy:

To keep everyone right on track and healthy, follow these health tips. This expert advice can help your kids make the most out of this family trip, without having to miss out and stay homesick.

Equip Yourself For Weather Conditions

If you are a native to warmer weather, traveling somewhere in a higher altitude could spell trouble for your child’s lungs. Harsh, dry air can lead to chapped and bleeding lips, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. For young children, this can make enjoying the vacation almost impossible.

There are lots of ways to protect your kids from harsh weather and dry air. Here are what the experts recommend.


To keep your child’s lips and skin safe from chafing, drying out, and bleeding, bring along simple moisturizers. Lip balm and body lotion are both great for the skin. Reapply these lotions on your child throughout the day to keep their skin protected.

Other than transdermal moisturizing, it is vital to keep the entire system hydrated and moisturized. Difficulty breathing or a sore throat could be a result of the dry air. Use a state of the art humidifier during the night while your child sleeps. This will rehydrate their damaged system and keep them healthy despite changing climates.

Of course, the simplest solution to stay healthy is to drink plenty of fluids. Bring a portable water bottle with you wherever you go so that you can continue to refill and hydrate all day.

Sooth and Medicate

For a sore throat, coughing is natural, but it tends to exacerbate conditions. Bring cough drops with you everywhere to prevent intense bouts of coughing. You can also soothe your throat with specific teas with lots of honey.

There are tons of over the counter medicines to help clear up mucus and prevent infection. These are essential to staying healthy and preventing one sickness from spiraling into a worse one. Weather can bring on cold symptoms. If untreated, these can lead to worse bacterial infections that can last for weeks or even months and may require antibiotics.

Keep a Schedule

One of the most significant risks to your child’s health is their sleep schedule. Not getting enough sleep means putting your child at a disadvantage when it comes to fighting off illnesses. If you have lots of busy days planned with a full itinerary, be sure to leave lots of wind-down time. This way, your kids can get a nice nine or ten hours of rest before tackling the new day.

Scheduling time for rest is essential, and so is scheduling healthy meals. If you don’t make time to invest in preparing healthy snacks, your child could get so caught up in the excitement that they forget to eat, equally as unhealthy is choosing a junk food alternative at the last minute just because it is easy. Keeping a schedule means always leaving enough time to eat and sleep. Your children deserve to spend time taking care of their bodies, even on vacation.

The Bottom Line

However you choose to travel, your kids can always stay healthy if they follow these expert tips. While you are bound to encounter illness or symptoms at some point, this advice can keep setbacks like the common cold or a dry throat from becoming something worse.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler.