We often hear that hospitals and airplanes are the biggest cultivators of germs.
That’s bad news for those germaphobes who must travel by air!
Reducing the risk of getting sick can make your trip less stressful, whether it’s across the globe or around the corner.
There are a few easy things you can do to stay healthy and make sure that your travel doesn’t involve a trip to the local pharmacy or ER.
How To Stay Healthy While You Travel
1. Drink lots of water.
Everybody says it, I know, but it’s even more important when you’re flying. The lower air pressure can cause dehydration and almost always intensifies the effect of alcohol consumption.
If you don’t want to buy a big bottle, use an empty water bottle that you can refill after security to take on the plane. The four-ounce cup you’re handed with your peanuts just isn’t enough.
2. Wear socks.
If you’re not routed through the TSA pre-check line, then you’re barefoot with everyone else. Eww…enough said.
And when you’re on the plane, being able to kick off your shoes might help reduce swelling in your feet caused by the change in altitude.
3. Pack snacks.
Even though most airports have a better selection of foods now than they once did, you never know when you’re going to be stuck somewhere with a nagging hunger and only junk food options.
Take a small bag of dried fruit or nuts and a few protein bars in your carry-on, just in case.
4. Bring sneakers.
It’s always beneficial to visit the gym in the hotel or out in the sunshine when you arrive. Even a brisk walk will get your blood pumping and reduce the risk of blood clots from flying long distances.
5. Take a Neti Pot.
Traveling to places with lower emissions standards than you normally have can increase chances of pollution-induced headaches or sinus problems.
Though Neti Pots are a bit controversial, research has found that they’re safe, and approximately 10% of users experience mild side effects.
Be sure to use distilled or bottled water, as tap water can contain unfamiliar bacteria.
6. Try to stick with a familiar diet.
If you normally eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, stick with that routine as much as possible to stay healthy.
As tempting as it is, try not to overindulge in sweets or alcohol, which can reduce your immunity. That dried fruit you didn’t eat in-flight can also come in handy after you land!
7. Keep an emergency kit in your toiletry bag.
Over the counter remedies for nausea, headaches, colds, and allergies are a must. Band-Aids, sunscreen, eye drops, and lip balm might be useful.
If your emergency kit is already assembled, you won’t forget something last minute and have to scramble to find a pharmacy in a foreign country in the middle of the night.
8. Get lots of rest.
If applicable, try to acclimate to the new time zone as quickly as possible so that you’re not awake when it’s dark and exhausted by activities during the day. Sleep deprivation definitely compromises the body’s natural immunity.
9. Above all else, relax.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, maintaining a low-stress attitude really helps prevent sickness. If you have a routine that helps you relax at home, try to incorporate it on the road. Stay healthy, stay happy!
René is co-founder and CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation, an Austin, TX-based company that buys, sells and leases corporate aircraft worldwide. She applies a background in business journalism and marketing from several industries to the company she started with two private aviation veterans in 2008. Charlie Bravo works with government entities, nonprofits, corporations both large and small, and private individuals, and has closed deals in more than 30 different countries ranging from hundreds of thousands to $40+ million.
Photo by Hanrejacobs