Doctor's tips for avoiding getting sick during holiday travel

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has many of us traveling by air or B road to visit family and friends, but all of that sitting can easily take a toll on our health.

During all the holiday travel, doctors warn to be wary of developing blood clots.

"The one thing that you want to do is keep your blood flowing. So, getting up and walking or flexing your ankles when you're sitting. I would not cross my legs -- that obstructs the blood flow back to the heart. Compression stockings are very, very helpful, hydrating well is also very useful," said Dr. Dan Allan with the Cleveland Clinic.

In addition to the dangers of sitting for too long, holiday commuting, if done by air, can put folks at risk for catching contagious respiratory viruses. In fact, a recent study shows that airports are havens for respiratory bugs as there are many areas of the airport that are frequently touched. 

Among the areas tested, researchers found that plastic security screening trays pose the highest potential risk. Another study says limiting contact with others on the flight, by sitting in a window seat, as opposed to the aisle seat, may help reduce exposure to contagious illnesses.

But the best thing we can do is wash our hands as much as possible, and be mindful of what we have touched.

"It's probably more important to wash your hands, cover your mouth, don't touch anything without wiping it down, and not touching your face with your hands would probably be more important than where you sit," Dr. Allan said.

Dr. Allen said that when traveling, it's best to assume everything you touch could have bacteria or viruses on it. Getting that flu vaccine is still a good idea, he said.