For some people, getting sick almost seems inevitable after a long flight. People get sick all the time but did you know a study found that one in five people get sick from the flu or cold after traveling on the plane?
From the motion sickness, food, water or even the person sitting next to you who sneezed and coughed throughout the flight, there are several factors that can result in getting you sick. But why do so many of us get sick after taking a flight? Well, one of the simplest explanations of this question is that the pressurized plane is filled with a couple of hundred people for hours and this makes the metal tube a perfect breeding ground for germs. And there are many germy surfaces on the plane that contribute to it as well.
Given that you have to travel on a frequent basis, it is important to take precautionary measures to avoid getting sick. So, how can one avoid getting sick? Let’s find that out:
How to Avoid Getting Sick after Taking a Long Flight
Microbiologists extensively tested planes and confirmed the presence of bacteria and viruses. They found that germs on a plane can last for hours and even days after the departure of the person who brought them on the plane. So, here are few tips that can help you in avoiding the bacteria and viruses from entering your body:
Tip #1 You Must Keep Your Hands Clean
This is like your first line of defense against flu and cold germs. Not many people realize that hands are mostly responsible for contracting sickness. After all, they are constantly in contact with various germs on the plane. Scientists believe that cold and flu-causing viruses can survive on a solid object or human skin for hours. This means a person can contract flu or cold from eating food with their hands or touching fork or their mouth.
It is highly recommended to wash your hands every time before a meal and even after taking the flight. Wash your hands with warm water and an anti-bacterial soap. However, the best option for you is to carry a hand sanitizer (or sanitizing cloths) in your bag and use it from time to time. There are good quality hand sanitizers on the market, so choose the best one.
Tip # 2 Try to Remain Hydrated Before and During Flight
Drinking water after a flight is helpful in overcoming headache, fatigue, cramps and other minor issues. However, many people do not drink a lot of water before or during the flight to avoid their trips to the washroom.
Given that your nose and throat are mostly affected by the dry air, it is really helpful if you drink water before or during the flight. You do not have to drink a lot of water but make sure you drink it from time to time. Also, try to avoid drinking coffee or alcohol because they can actually dehydrate you.
Tip #3 Avoid Airline Pillows and Blankets
Though it may seem obvious to not use them, but many passengers are fine with using a blanket and pillow that someone else used earlier. The reason why it is not suggested is that the blankets and pillows of airlines are simply loaded with different types of germs and bacteria. You can use them if they come with proper packaging as it indicates that they’ve been cleaned. However, it is best to bring your own pillow and blanket.
Tip #4 Use a Mouthwash in Flight
First of all, carry a mouthwash that is in a bottle of three ounces or smaller because you won’t be allowed to carry more liquid than the allowed amount. The reason why it is best to use a mouthwash during flight is that it keeps the throat moist and also kills off germs that entered your mouth.
Tip #5 Clean Before Using It
You can easily buy a packet of sanitizing cloth that can be used to clean different things before using them. For instance, the dirtiest places on a plane are table tray, toilet flush buttons, overhead air vents, and seatbelt buckles. Therefore, try to use the sanitizing cloth to clean them before using any of them.
Tip #6 Use Face Mask to Avoid Airborne Germs
This is one of the best ways to protect you from airborne germs. The reason why you need to wear a mask during traveling is that airborne germs are mostly responsible for cold virus infections. You can simply avoid the germs from entering your body by filtering the air you are inhaling and that can be done quite easily by wearing a mask.
If there is a bit hesitation towards wearing a face mask during flight, then you must know that face masks have become fashionable and a trend among the Asians, especially Japan, and the West has also started to embrace it.
Needless to say, if you want to block the germs and avoid getting sick after flying, you should consider wearing a face mask the next time you travel. If you need a quality face mask with guaranteed protection against airborne germs, check this (Kindly provide a link to the product).
The Bottom Line
If you travel by taking some precautionary measures, it is thousands of times better than fighting off cold, flu, or any other disease. Therefore, try to develop a habit of wearing a face mask and also don’t forget to use hand sanitizer. When you get back home, take a salt & soda soak and get some rest. Take care and stay healthy & happy.