My work travel budget got cut significantly, so I’ve been traveling less and having trouble coming up with new topics. But I'm happy to let you know Travel Tip Thursday is back!
With swine flu pandemic panic being the hot topic on the news, I thought I’d focus on how to avoid getting sick while traveling.
People always ask me “since you travel on an airplane a lot, do you get sick a lot?” The answer is “no”. I'm blessed with a good immune system, but I also take a lot of steps to prevent getting sick.
Here are my tips for how to stay healthy while traveling on planes:
- Pack hand sanitizer. Be sure to bring that comes in size smaller than 3 oz. and put in a plastic ziplock bag, or else you won’t be able to get it through security.
- The dirtiest place on the plane is that tiny nasty bathroom. Avoid it all costs. Remember to use the restroom right before boarding your flight. I’ve heard that the #1 predictor of getting sick from flying is using that airplane restroom.
- Avoid the pillows and blankets available on commercial airliners. They have been slept on, sat on, drooled on, and who knows what else, and they are not cleaned enough. Gross. I always pack a pashmina which can be used a blanket or wrap. For longer flights I also bring my own travel pillow (with a pillow case that I can wash later so as not to have to wash the whole pillow).
- Keep you immune system up. Take vitamins and pro-biotics (like the ones in natural yogurt). DRINK plenty of water. I can’t emphasis this enough. I credit a lot of my good health to drinking at least 60 oz. of water a day. Also make sure you get plenty of sleep the week before traveling. You do not want your body to be run down when it gets exposed to germs.
- Don’t stress. Stressing about getting sick will just stress your immune system and could cause you to get sick. So take the above precautions and then enjoy your trip.
One timely and quick cautionary story for you: My good friend and her family flew to Japan this week, she just emailed me to tell me about her journey. When they landed in Tokyo, men in hazmat suits boarded their plane and took every person’s temperature (including her 4 month old baby) and checked for signs of illness. If they had found one person with a temperature on that plane they were going to quarantine the whole plane for 72 hours. So if you’re feeling sick and running a temperature right now (even if you know it’s not Swine Flu), please consider changing your travel plans for the sake of others on the plane. I’m sure that given the current situation most airlines would waive the change fee (or if you fly Southwest Airlines there are no change fees!)
Do you all have any more tips for staying healthy while traveling?