Anti-Cold Action Plan: 5 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick on Your Next Flight
With their recirculating, dry air and cramped conditions, airplanes are notorious for being the perfect place to catch a bad virus. Few things in life are worse than arriving at your vacation destination with a budding cold. Here are five tips to avoid getting a cold or the flu on your next flight.
1. Get the flu vaccine
Before your trip, get the flu vaccine. Just one quick flu shot or mist could save you from coming down with a debilitating illness. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season, which, in the United States, can begin as early as October and last as late as May.
2. Sanitize your area
Pack sanitizing wipes in your carry-on, and wipe down all the surfaces in your corner of the airplane: the tray table, arm rests and seat belt latch. De-germify whatever you can. Many airplanes are serviced in a rush, and an extra little cleaning will help rid your small space of germs.
3. Wash often
Wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Use hot, soapy water if you can; carry hand sanitizer or sanitizing hand wipes for when you can’t. Get into the habit of keeping your hands far away from your face. When you put germ-coated fingers near your mucous membrane you’re giving bugs an easy route to a warm, cozy place to multiply.
4. Keep your body hydrated
Drink plenty of water pre-flight and in-flight — even if you aren’t thirsty. The dry, in-air environment provides another great means for viruses and bacteria to enter your system. Keep your nasal passages moist so they can do their job and trap germs at their point of entry.
5. Get plenty of sleep
A tired body leads to a tired immune system. Take it easy in the days before you travel and make a point of going to bed earlier. A well-rested person has a better chance of warding off a cold than a fatigued, stressed one.
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