How to Stay Healthy While Flying


With all coughing and sniffling around airports, travelers need to be super conscious to keep themselves healthy. Here are 13 of the best “travel healthy” tips for warding off a cough or the flu while flying:

1. B.Y.O.Blanket:

Bring your own inflatable neck pillow, and use your coat as a blanket. Airlines that still have blankets and pillows may not always change them between flights.

2. Keep it clean:
Hand sanitizer – just a small amount, 100ml (3oz) or less for the plane, and use it like it’s going out of fashion. Then keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose.

3. Block the germs:
Rub a little of an antibiotic ointment or a nasal gel on the inside of your nose to prevent you from inhaling airborne germs.

4. Stock up on tissue:
Kleenex – store them close at hand, but not in the seatback in front of you.

5. Wipe it down:
Antibacterial wipes – use them to clean anything you may rest your hands on, the tray top, the arm rest, the blind, the door handle in the toilet. In fact, think of all the surfaces on a plane as being about as hygienic as a public toilet. (Don’t be sensitive, airlines – this is not a reflection on you – just on that tricky, sticky bacteria.)

6. Bring supplies:
Bring basic medical supplies – Tylenol, Advil or Aspirin.

7. Hydrate:
A bottle of water. Or two. Or three. The recycled air in a cabin can really dry out the mucous membranes. An alcoholic beverage won’t help here; it’ll dehydrate you. You need to keep the mucous membranes moist to stay fighting fit. You can always take an empty water container with you and fill it up once you are through security.

8. Take your vitamins:
A fizzing Vitamin C tablet that you can plink into water during the flight.

9. Play Misty:
A small spray bottle that you can fill with water to mist and re-hydrate your face throughout the flight.

10. Snack smart:
A packet of berries or nuts, anything that’s packed full of vitamins and will keep you away from some of the more sinful in-flight snack options. Sugary or fatty treats will make you feel sluggish and won’t help you ward off a cold.

11. Blow the germs away:
Turn the air vent on and towards your chest to prevent germs being blown into your face.

12. Avoid the crowds:
Try to fly on less busy days if possible. Fewer flyers mean fewer chances of catching flu. Monday, midweek or Saturday flights will tend not to be as busy as those on Fridays, Sundays or Mondays.

13. Avoid the sick:
Ask to change seats. Finally, if one of your fellow passengers is obviously suffering from a cold ask the flight attendant to seat you elsewhere. Now you know this is not always going to be possible, won’t win you any popularity contests, and you may feel un-neighbourly and unfriendly, but it’s worth a try, rather than waking up sniffing the next morning.