This summer has been hard on travelers, from high gasoline prices to numerous canceled flights. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, no one has been immune from it. Here are eight ways you can use your benefit accounts to help ease travel stress.
1. Stock Up on Medications
Use your FSA or HSA account to refill prescriptions or stock up on OTC medications before leaving on your trip. This will make sure you have plenty on hand in case of unexpected delays or inconvenient locations. Keep prescription information on hand in case of an emergency.
2. Bring a First Aid Kit
It’s a great idea to take along a small first aid kit, including a supply of bandages, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers. It’s also a good idea to keep some digestive relief on hand, especially if you will be around cuisines that your digestive system isn’t used to. First-aid kits, digestive aids, and similar products are FSA- and HSA-eligible.
4. Pack the PPE
COVID-19 is still prevalent in many parts of the world, including the U.S., and particularly if visiting a high-risk area, you may have difficulty getting ahold of personal protective equipment (PPE). Be sure to pack sufficient face masks and hand sanitizer, both of which are eligible expenses for FSAs and HSAs.
5. Stay Active
Even while on a relaxation-based vacation, staying active with gentle exercise such as morning or evening walks will help you feel your best. If your employer sponsors a Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) or wellness benefits, check to see if it covers fitness wear such as a good pair of walking shoes.
6. Prepare for Jet Lag
If traveling outside your home time zone, your body will try to adjust to the new hours, and your sleep patterns can be disturbed. To help get your sleep back on track, use your FSA or HSA for sleep aids such as eye masks, ear plugs, and OTC medications. Some LSAs cover sleep apps, too.
7. Sun Protection
As strong as summer sun can be, it’s important to protect not just your skin but your eyes as well. Use your FSA or HSA account for sunscreen and prescription sunglasses.
8. Stay Calm and Relaxed
Travel problems like flight cancellations or getting lost in an unfamiliar location can be super stressful. In cases, like these, some people benefit from the use of meditation apps or visiting a yoga or meditation studio. These expenses may be covered at least in part by an LSA account or wellness benefit.
Travel is wonderful; stress is not! Put your benefit accounts to work for you to help ease common travel woes.