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7 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick on a Plane

by Janelle (Simply Nel Belle)

Hello all, I've been traveling a lot recently, so I figured I would share 7 ways to avoid getting sick on a plane. During winter, we are at the height of flu season. With such an enclosed spaced on a plane, its no wonder so many people come down with a bug after traveling. If you're like me then you don’t want to spend your vacation miserable, so embrace your inner germaphobe for next trip. Let's get to the tips!

1. Wear a surgical mask or wrap your scarf around your mouth.

Looking strange while wearing a surgical mask is far better than coming down with an illness. If you are worried others might think you are sick, then wrap a blanket scarf around yourself or pull up your hood. The point is to protect yourself from breathing in someone else's germs.

2. Nasal spray is your friend.

Nasal spray won’t save you entirely if you come into contact with an ill person, but it will help moisten your nasal passages. Thus, improving your nose’s ability to filter out germs. Tip: I’ve been told Vaseline and Neosporin works as well for this.

3. Avoid touching contaminated surfaces and wash those hands!

In such a small space it is difficult to avoid touching something that may have been contaminated. However, you can plan ahead to minimize your risk of getting sick. Use sanitizer wipes to wipe down commonly shared surfaces such as the tray table, seat pocket, armrest, in-flight entertainment, or even surfaces in the bathroom you may be touching.

4. Stay hydrated, but avoid tap water and hold the ice.

I suggest drinking a bottle of water before you get on the plane so that you are well hydrated for your travels. However, avoid the tap water and the ice, because you don’t know where it came from as some airlines use outside vendors. Also, someone could have breathed on it.  It’s likely you’d be fine but better safe than sorry during flu season!

5. Use your own travel supplies.

Avoid using shared items that could result in germs being transmitted. Bring your own neck pillow, blanket, headphones, and a water bottle. Items passed on to you by the airline may have been touched by someone that is sick. Also, store your items in your own personal item below your seat so that you avoid touching the shared seat pocket.

6. Order a hot meal and tea.

Steam is another way to moisten your nasal passages in the low humidity environment of a plane. If you are on a long-distance flight then definitely get the hot meal. Also, you can use tea to assist in hydration (just make sure it’s actually hot and not lukewarm tea).

7. Use your air vent.

The air vent may be chilly, but I would suggest leaving it open to filter your air. The air in the plane is circulated, but it is also filtered. If you are worried about being cold, then bring a scarf or blanket along with you and dress in layers. This will help you feel more comfortable.

Wrap Up

It's always best to eat healthily, be active, and take preventative steps while traveling to avoid getting sick. I hope that these tips will help you during your next trip! 

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Do you have a tip for staying healthy while traveling? 

Share in the comments. 


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Chloe March 8, 2018 - 3:15 am

These are great tips, I never really noticed at the time, but looking back I definitely get sick often after travelling!

Janelle (Simply Nel Belle)
Janelle (Simply Nel Belle) March 8, 2018 - 5:48 am

Yeah that is never fun! Glad you found them helpful. Thanks for reading.


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