You have a lovely trip planned and then you get sick and can't enjoy it. Why does that happen? Because you can relax yourself sick.

Before the trip, you're stressed. You're running around getting everything organized at work and at home. But when that stress ends, your white blood cell count drops and you're more vulnerable to illness. Then you get on a plane and you're exposed to more germs   from the person sitting next to you, to the television remote control in your hotel room. To stay in top form, try these tricks from the book "When Relaxation Is Dangerous To Your Health"

  • Do a crossword on the plane. Problem-solving under time constraints boosts your immune system.
  • Also, know this: 20% of travelers catch a cold within a week of flying. But recycled cabin air is not usually to blame. The real culprit is low humidity on the plane. Your mucous membranes dry out and stop protecting you from germs. So use saline nose spray to flush out the germs during and after your flight.
  • If you can, avoid family. Those who visit relatives are most likely to return exhausted and run-down.
  • And try to take an extra day to recoup when you return. A Gallup survey showed that 54% of travelers return from a vacation more tired than when they left.