It’s day 2 of your dream vacation, and you wake up to the sun streaming in the window, a day full of fun activities planned, and a rotten cold. You pull the blankets back over your head and moan, “Why Me?” The reason this situation occurs all too often is because of the large number of people who are seated together in a confined space on a plane. Let’s have a closer look at how to avoid getting sick while flying.
How to avoid getting sick while flying
Commercial airliners are not routinely disinfected between each flight. About 40-50% of the air you breathe has been re-circulated and filters are not fool-proof. The air is extremely low in humidity and the dryness can cause nasal and respiratory irritation, making travellers more susceptible to airborne diseases.
There are 13 steps you can take on your next flight to reduce your chances of getting sick on a plane:
- Get a good night’s sleep before you travel and arrive at the airport early to reduce the stress of traveling on your body.
- Ask your physician to recommend some immunity boosting supplements that you can take before your trip.
- Drink plenty of water before and during your flight to avoid dehydration.
- Use a saline spray before and during a long flight to moisten nasal passages. This will reduce irritation that can be caused by dry air.
- Bring a small package of antibacterial wipes and use one to wipe down your armrests, tray table, and seat belt latch when you take your seat.
- Bring a hand sanitizer bottle for a fast and easy cleaning of your hands.
- If you must use the lavatory, make sure you wash your hands and use a towel or an antibacterial wipe to unlatch the door. The last visitor may not have washed their hands.
- Do not use the provided blankets or pillows. Some airlines do not laundered pillowcases and blankets between flights; however, if pillows and blankets are wrapped in plastic, this usually means that they have been cleaned. I do recommend bringing your own instead.
- Bring your own reading material. If you choose to read the material provided in the seat-back keep in mind that it has been handled by many others before you.
- At a minimum, wash your hands well with soap and water before boarding, after using the lavatory, and before eating.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth. It may be hard to resist the impulse to lick your finger to turn the page of the book you are reading, but try to be conscious of it.
- If the person sitting next to you is obviously ill and there is another seat available, move as soon as you can. Most flight attendants will be happy to assist you if you explain the situation discretely.
- Due to Covid, in Canada, passengers must wear a mask throughout their entire plane travel journey except for brief periods while eating, drinking, or taking oral medication, or unless otherwise exempt. If the airline or country you are travelling into does not require to wear a mask and you have a compromised immune system, it would be best to wear a face mask. You may feel uncomfortable for a few hours, but that is far better than winding up in the hospital.
These are some tips on how to not get sick while flying. Hope they will help you to enjoy your vacation! Do you have any suggestions to avoid getting sick while flying? Comment below!