Staying Healthy on a Plane

staying healthy on a planeHow many times have you gotten on a plane, settled into you seat only to see the person next to you coughing, sneezing and generally infecting the entire plane? Fall doesn’t just bring falling leaves, Halloween and Thanksgiving – it brings flu and cold season. Do what you can to protect yourself when traveling.

First, get a flu shot. The CDC recommends almost everyone over the age of 6 months get the vaccine. The vaccine is widely available at doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools and workplaces.

Try to start your trip well rested. Getting enough sleep will boost your immune system and improve your chances of staying well.

Be like a vampire and cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm. A sneeze can go up to 30 feet. Try to keep it to yourself.

Wash your hands and carry antibacterial gel. Enough said.

Wipe down your personal space on the plane. People who have been on the plane before you most likely didn’t cover mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing. You don’t need to transfer someone else’s germs to yourself. Take a wipe along to wipe down the bathroom as well. You may also want to consider using that antibacterial gel after using the plane’s lavatory. If someone didn’t wash well, or at all, cleaning your hands when you get back to your seat is a good idea.

Drink water. A strong, well-hydrated body is better prepared to fend off germs. When the mucus membranes in your nose and throat get dry, viruses and bacteria cannot be flushed out. Fill a water bottle after you go through security or buy a bottle. It’s not always easy to get something to drink during a flight.

Don’t use airplane pillows or blankets unless they are sealed in plastic. If they aren’t wrapped, you don’t know if they have been laundered. The person on the flight before you may have been sick. Use your own jacket, sweater or scarf. If you really need a pillow, consider purchasing one.

Use the air vent to keep germs away. Try to keep the flow of air flowing around you so airborne germs keep moving.

If you do get sick while travelling, trip insurance can help. If you need help finding a doctor when you’re away, you can get assistance 24/7. If you get sick during your trip, and have to miss a portion or the remainder of your vacation, the right trip insurance will get you to the next location, or get you home. Your financial loss from missed portions of your trip can be offset.

So, if you’re going to travel during cold and flue season — get a flu shot, sneeze like a vampire, carry antibacterial gel and get travel insurance.